[SATLUG] RepRap 3D printing proposed meeting in Katy Texas on Sunday December 30 (football, pizza, Linux)

Stephen Gutknecht (RoundSparrow) Stephen at RoundSparrow.com
Thu Dec 27 17:37:44 CST 2007

Hi Ernest (and group),

I think I tend to be a little more balanced and practical that most
open source evangelist, so expect my response to reflect that. I only
got interested in RepRap about two months ago but wanted to speed up
my learning...  So, I went to NYC and hung out with Zach Smith for 10
days (about 30 hours of that was RepRap hang out time in total, we
both work full time on other stuff).

Here is my personal answer:

  -- The project is very alive as Open Source goes.  There is lots of
activity, it has been building up over 3 years, it has all the
earmarks of an open source project that will continue to thrive.
  -- the project is entirely open, have seen no signs of anyone trying
to keep things back, not publish their work, etc.  This is a true
international project that was born out of university and into open
  -- The technology itself has a high level of interest, but not a lot
of people have experience with it in action.  At least not in the
under $2500 price range [there are commercial devices that are much
more expensive].  Still a lot of learning on exactly what kind of
plastics (and other materials) are practical to extrude and how fast
we can extrude them (the machine is rather slow at this point in
  -- Cost of building the hardware side was probably around $750 on
November 1, but by January 15 I think it will be more like $350.  The
group has been doing bulk purchases of stepper motors, coming up with
new designs, etc.
  -- The software for printing things is pretty much complete, but
really only a handful of objects have been created to print, and maybe
only a dozen machines assembled.   I'd like to see more people
creating objects, using 3D modeling skills.  Right now we have sample
objects like shot glasses and a flask and parts to build the RepRap

>From a practical construction perspective, two more points:

  -- The Darwin 1.0 design is rather parts intensive and requires a
lot of plastic printed parts that present a chicken/egg problem.  The
community is rather excited about a new CNC design that is being
adapted to the RepRap electronics (and expanded from 2D to 3D).  In
simple terms, there are two competing designs to consider when
starting on construction (Darwin or McWire CNC).
  -- The electronics side there is work on a next-generation platform
ongoing.  So, you have to decide if you want to go with the
"established" electronics or go with the newer (and in many ways
simpler + better) design that is not yet official (Arduino).

In other words, it is an exciting time to get involved!  I think in
the next 3 months the community will go from having maybe 10 working
machines worldwide to having 100 or more.  I personally witness dozens
of orders being shipped out for the electronic circuit boards, etc.

Hope that answers your question.

  Stephen Gutknecht
  Canyon Lake, TX

On Dec 27, 2007 3:07 PM, Ernest De Leon <edeleonjr at gmail.com> wrote:
> I remember hearing about this a while back, but it kind of went under the
> radar.  How is the project coming along now?
> Ernest
> On Dec 27, 2007 2:58 PM, Stephen Gutknecht (RoundSparrow) <
> Stephen at roundsparrow.com> wrote:
> > Hi, just joined the mailing list.  My name is Stephen Gutknecht, I use
> > Linux for business and personal and am actively working to build an
> > open source RepRap 3D printer (extrude 3D objects with plastic and
> > other materials).
> >
> > So far, I haven't found anyone else in San Antonio building a RepRap,
> > but I there are at least a couple of people in Houston.  So I'm
> > proposing a get together this Sunday, brining my RepRap stuff with me.
> >
> > I know Katy is kind of far, but I'm driving all the way from Canyon
> > Lake... and can carpool some others if you want to meet/park
> > somewhere..
> >
> > Anyway, I just spent 10 days in Brooklyn hanging out with Zach of the
> > RepRap project and am pretty close to having my RepRap Darwin
> > assembled and working.
> >
> > This is an entirely open source 3D plastic printer.  Info:
> > http://www.reprap.org/
> >
> > Discussion and details on the proposed meeting are posted on this thread:
> > http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?26,7263
> >
> > Meeting is NOT YET FINAL, but the more people who agree to the
> > time/date the better.  Both Houston and Dallas play football on
> > Sunday, and we are meeting at a pizza place. I'm buying Pizza.
> >
> >  Stephen Gutknecht
> >  Canyon Lake, TX
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