3D printers can pretty much print just about anything. It’s even possible to 3D print your very own gummy candy now. So it only makes sense that we should be able to 3D print a 3D printer itself, right? Well, the answer’s a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. But let’s takes a look-
From prosthetic arms and organs to 3D printing an entire house, it’s safe to say that 3D printing has come a long way and changed our lives like never before.
However, one question that we’re all curious about is Can you 3d print a 3d printer?
Is It Possible?
Most of it- Yes! A 3D printer can print out most of the parts that you will need to build your own 3D printer. The structural components that make up a 3D printing machine can be printed and assembled even though the process itself would be time-consuming. But 3D printing the electronic parts is certainly more complex.
Reprap- The 3D printer that prints itself!
RepRap was the first ever self-replicating 3D printer designed for the purpose of 3D printing another one! Developed in 2008 by Dr. Adrian Bowyer, RepRap can print more than 50% of the components required to assemble a whole new 3D printer and the best part? It’s open source and freely available so anyone can make one! In addition to this, RepRap uses FDM technology which means the 3D printed parts can easily be made using the popular ABS and PLA filaments.
However, some of the electronic and metal parts especially a fully functioning motor are still hard to 3D print though there have been several attempts.
This means that although you can print most of the parts of a new 3D printer, we’re still not all the way there. 3D printing an entire motor and other mechanical parts are not something that can be done easily even if we use metal and other materials.
The good news?
Since 3D printing is an ever-evolving industry, we’re sure it’s only a matter of time that we print a fully functional 3D printer complete with the electronic and mechanical parts.
But until then, we can use RepRap! And since it’s an open source project free for all to use, you can build a 3d printer right from your home. In fact, Reprap’s Prusa i3 is one of the most used 3D printers in the world! And with a comparatively lower cost and easy-to-assemble 3D printer kit, it’s easy to see why.
Apart from this, you can even check out Geeetech’s very own Prusa I3 A Pro 3D printer which is a great DIY kit and super easy to assemble!
Credits: reprap.org, space.com