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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Fabber and RepRap 3D Printers - Make Your Own 3D Printer

For geeks and techies, nothing perhaps is more gloriously fascinating than the ability to be able to fabricate your own gadgets within the comfort of your own workshop. How can any geek resist the idea of having his or her own mad scientist's lab where he or she can put parts together in an attempt to make them work, with a minor explosion or two?

The idea of a mad scientist's lab does sound like something out of a science fiction story, and real-life fabrication laboratories are only typically found in industrial premises where a lot of high-tech fabrication is done. But you can actually have your own fabrication lab right at home, and all you need to do is to get a 3D printer. If you are worried about busting your bank account just to buy a commercially manufactured 3D printer, you can simply visit fabber websites where you can download instructions on how to make your own 3D printer.

What Is a Fabber?

Fabber is simply a nickname coined for the term "digital fabricator." A digital fabricator is a self-contained mini-factory that can help you make objects using digital data. It works just like how a 3D printer would work. You create a 3D image using CAD software and then feed this image to the 3D printer.

To date, fabbers for public consumption are not yet mass produced, and they cannot compete with commercially produced 3D printers yet as well. However, it is much, much cheaper to produce 3D printing machines this way and they are much more flexible in that they can be fed with different types of polymers and resins for creating just about anything.

Your own creativity is your own limit when crafting objects using fabbers. If you browse the Internet for fabbing projects, you will find instructions not just on how to build your own 3D printing machine and replicate it. You can find instructions on how to create your own dinnerware, masks, and even chocolate Easter eggs - just about anything.

RepRap Project - Building Self-Replicating 3D Printers

One of the more popular websites about fabbing is called the RepRap Project. The purpose of this project is to create a rapid prototyping machine that can replicate itself by building its own parts. The RepRap was invented and founded by Dr. Adrian Bowyer, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Bath in the UK.

The plans for the 3D printing prototyping machines that the RepRap Project develops are all available at their website. You can download them for free, and because the plans are all open source, you can improve on and modify these plans however you like.

If you are into building objects and creating just about anything you can imagine, 3D printing using fabbers would be a fabulous project for you. Making your own 3D printing machine will not set you back as much as a commercially made 3D printer would.

This Article is written by John C Arkin from PrintCountry the contributor of PrintCountry Articles. More information on the subject is at PrintCountry, and related resources can be found at Lexmark Printer Cartridges.


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