Nov.7, 2014 | By Alec

Nowadays you can find some cool designs online and then download print these on a desktop FDM printer. But here are others who don't get a big enough kick out of this. These people feel the need to take things a bit further. They involve themselves in the revolutionary RepRap community and make 3D printing a complicated engineering endeavour.

While there are a lot of people involved in RepRap, some of them are a bit more 3D printer-mad than others. People like Richard Horne (perhaps better known by his internet identity RichRap), who have designed and created numerous 3D printers by hand and are thus doing wonderful work in getting to the fundamental basics of this cool manufacturing technology.

Richrap is an electronics engineer and product designer, and has been nourishing his passion for 3D printing technology since 2009, when he first came across RepRap. RichRap has already shared a number of designs and creations online, many of which involve different designs, printer fundamentals, sizes and colors. And he has recently shared another intriguing 3D printer that would make a very interesting construction project for anyone looking for a bit of challenge: the Sli3DR 3D printer.

As can be seen in the images above, this 3D printer is an unusual model, and not just for its color scheme. For those of you who were wondering, that's Faberdashery Cyber Yellow, an unusual color that will brighten up any room, day or night (Rich lets his children decide which color he uses).

Aside from that, the Sli3DR (pronounced slider) is unusual for its almost unique printing mechanism. Rich has based it on an intriguing 'unnamed mechanism' that he found floating around on the RepRap Forum and G+ a while ago.

As he revealed, this mechanism has been identified as being used in a very old Rikadenki Pen Plotter. What's a Pen Plotter, you ask? For that, you'd have to go deep down into the history of computer-aided design, as it's an old-fashioned type of printer that sketches designs on paper using a pen attached to an XY axle. Essentially, it's the predecessor of the inkjet printer.

Its basic design is unlike any of the Cartesian bots currently used in the common FDM 3D printer. A few makers have tried it out for 3D printing using off the shelf mechanical parts, but Rich wanted to make it with 3D printed parts and Spectra Line based on this mechanism.

And he's shared all the designs and STL files on YouMagine, so anyone can tackle this cool and exciting project themselves. However, he hasn't written a step-by-step tutorial for it, so you will have to rely on your own engineering experience. To make the whole thing easier to understand, Rich did include an entire 3D model in Sketchup.

Rich had already been looking to design a 3D printer with an unusual positioning mechanism, and had looked into the CoreXY and HBot before settling on the 'unnamed mechanism'. It's especially intriguing because of its age and it challenge.

Rich invites everyone to take on this challenge for themselves. He did add a creative license to it (ShareAlike Creative Commons V3 (CC BY-SA 3.0)) to avoid things getting completely out of hand. 'If you decide to print and sell these or make further changes, improvements or additions, that's great! I want you to do that! Happy Building, and as always let me know if you build one... or thousands.'

Posted in 3D Printers

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busyman wrote at 11/17/2014 4:32:36 AM:

Check out this video from October 2013...

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