Jun 20, 2016 | By Benedict

Father-and-son 3D printing startup Dollo 3D has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Dollo 3D printer, a self-replicating machine that uses fewer off-the-shelf components than a RepRap. For $250, backers can secure all the necessary electronics to build their own.

For many people, discovering 3D printing is a fascinating experience, and one which prompts a number of immediate questions: What kind of materials go into a 3D printer? How big can a 3D printer get? Can a 3D printer print another 3D printer? The latter question, perhaps the most intriguing of them all, has fascinated makers for years, and even laid the groundwork for the RepRap project, a huge online community of open-source printer developers. And although the RepRap project now spans a wider range of products and ideas, the concept of the self-replicating 3D printer refuses to go away.

Two 3D printing enthusiasts flying the flag for self-replication are Ben and Benjamin Engel, a father-and-son duo who have designed their own self-replicating 3D printer called Dollo 3D. After five years of collaborative 3D printing projects, which included assembling an i2 Prusa Mendel, the Engels have now launched a Kickstarter campaign for their own modular, scalable, and “more printable” 3D printer. The printer-mad duo have set a target of $50,000 for the campaign, with backers able to choose between an electronics only kit ($250), an electronics + printed parts kit ($350), or a fully assembled version ($500).

Despite being huge fans of the RepRap project, Ben and Benjamin believed that makers would relish the opportunity to build an even more self-replicating machine; one with fewer off-the-shelf components and an even higher percentage of 3D printed parts. The team has done just that, using OpenSCAD to create a highly printable machine with an all-metal hotend and a variable print volume. The Dollo 3D printer can even be used to 3D print a functional CNC mill or laser cutter.

Dollo 3D’s simple design purportedly makes it easy to repair, upgrade, and expand—things it can do virtually on its own by printing out spare and replacement parts for its own system. According to its makers, the 3D printer is as easy to assemble as a LEGO model, and can be built in under an hour. And since it consists of just 15 3D printed parts and 24 screws, the self-replicating 3D printer would probably make a realistic project for builders of all skill levels.

The Engels have turned to Kickstarter so that they can source all the necessary components for the Dollo 3D printer in bulk, before passing the savings on to backers and future customers. Should the campaign succeed, Early Bird backers will receive their rewards within 90 days the campaign ending, with the remaining printers shipping “soon after”. Worldwide shipping is available.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Jeff Keegan wrote at 6/21/2016 11:52:36 PM:

The title is wrong. Technically Dollo 3D IS a RepRap. It might be able to print more of itself than typical models of RepRap, but it IS a RepRap itself. RepRap stands for Replicating Rapid Prototyper. If it can make a majority of its own parts, and you can use it for rapid prototyping, it's a RepRap.

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