Build Your Own 3D Printer With A 3D Printer

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I think we have established that 3D printers are awesome. From organs and houses to guns and drugs, 3D printers are the future. Of course, you now want a 3D printer of your very own, but you don't know where to get one. If you have the cash and a free weekend, one group will show you how to build your own.

Starting on July 28, NextFab Studio will be hosting three weekend events in Philadelphia where people will be building their own MendelMax 1.5, the most advanced version of the RepRap 3D printer. How does that work? Well, the RepRap is a particularly awesome 3D printer because it's made primarily out of plastic. That means that you can build a 3D printer with a 3D printer.

The weekend classes will cost you $2,000. That's about the price of an assembled RepRap printer so you get the printer and the knowledge of how to make your own for such a low price. As an added bonus, they will even thrown in a free copy of MOI v2, 3D modeling software that will allow you to make your own models for printing.

So you're already at the "Shut up and take my money" phase. What will you need to start building your new 3D printer? Surprisingly, not a lot.

  • A laptop + powercord (OS X 10.6+ and Ubuntu 11.04+ are recommended for robotics control and 3D printing. Windows should work but due to the variability in Windows systems you may have some hurdles to getting the proper software installed. You will need Python v2.7+, the Arduino environment, and a few other bits.)
  • Enthusiasm and a passion for learning and helping others learn.
  • Bring your friends! (3 Students MAX per kit): Bring a friend, a parent, your kids, anyone else you want to help you build your kit and learn all of its inner workings and how to fix it!
  • The deadline for session one has already passed, but you can still jump on the registration for the next two sessions. For the August 11 session, you will have to sign up by July 28. For the August 25 session, you will have to sign up by August 11. You can buy your ticket to the event over at EventBrite.

    Considering that you will be the envy of all your friends with a 3D printer, the price definitely seems worth it. Since you can bring up to two friends along for the ride, splitting the cost for the kit will be pretty easy.

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