My engineering course this semester has a group business and design project where we work with a company on developing a product. Besides a couple of projects that you’d have to specifically sign up for, these projects were assigned to you and I was a bit nervous about it since I had no idea what the companies and projects were. I was incredibly glad when I ended up on a project sponsored by RepRapPro! 3D printing was something I’ve been meaning to dive into for a while now. I even got to meet Adrian Bowyer, the original RepRap developer (who used to give lectures at my university a few years ago!). It certainly was exciting and with their open source philosophy I was given the blessing to publicly discuss the project – something I wasn’t sure if I should do with my earlier projects. So now I can freely rant about it. Yay!
Now, about the project itself. The idea for the project is to develop an open source, desktop sized machine that can break down old 3D models and waste support structures and turn them into reusable filaments for more printing. There are a few similar plastic extrusion machines out there such as Filabot and ProtoCycler so we would have to work on setting ourselves apart from them. One thing we wanted to do was distribute ours under the GNU Public License, which does allow commercial derivatives, much like current RepRap machines. I do feel this is nice because I’m not entirely sure of the future of the project past the project deadline, and at the very least the project wouldn’t be dead if the group decides not to pick it up as a business when we graduate.
Nonetheless, it would be a fun project as one of the aims of the project is to produce a usable prototype before the project deadline in May.
Given that it’ll take time for me to write things up, my posts would be a while behind what’s actually going on.