Sunday, April 07, 2024


How far can the μRepRap concept be pushed?

Just posted this on the wiki, and posting here for comment:

"As with the original RepRap, it is hoped that once the first μRepRap is operational, it will be able to replicate. Unlike the original, the replicant will not be identical to its parent but will be a much smaller functional equivalent. Control of the replicant will be difficult, but not impractical. Options include perpendicular magnetic fields, inducing vibrations to operate ratchet mechanisms or tuned structures, or at its most basic cranking the mechanism with the tip of a probe until something better can be worked out.

It might also be possible to fabricate a μRepRap that is scaled down further. Assume that a RepRap has a precision of approximately 0.2mm on a 200x200mm work area, and a μRepRap has approximately 1 micron resolution on a 10x10mm work area. We see roughly two to three magnitudes in reduction in scale. If flexure systems also scale, then it might be possible to use a μRepRap to create a smaller printer with a resolution on the nanometre scale. Unlike current attempts to operate with nanometre precision with macro scale hardware, errors in the device due to thermal expansion and other material-related noise would be much reduced. It would at least be interesting to see how far this limit could be pushed."

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