Talk:RepRap Project

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I think this has the potential to grow into a larger article and may grow back to the branch. I strongly suggest that it become a stub.--TaranRampersad 16:25, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There's nothing blocking you from expanding it into a stub, but the info that is here at the moment is clearly a candidate for speedy deletion. Go ahead and change it if you have enough knowledge about the subject. Sarg 18:28, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
LOL, I guess I am the volunteer then. OK, let me see what I can do...--TaranRampersad 18:34, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK, we have something a heck of a lot better than we had. I'll keep tabs on the project and add to it as things come in. --TaranRampersad 03:03, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Good job! Sarg 10:38, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Since the RepRap project has started to progress on a weekly basis I've started looking after the entry. Plaasjaapie 00:56, 3 Jun 2006 (UTC)

Sorting images[edit]

Text copied from my entry in village pump technical:

Edit links being bumped out of position by a series of right aligned images[edit]

I'm not sure why the edit links seem to get shifted out of position by a series of right-aligned images.

Originally the images were zig-zagged left and right throughout the article, but it was messy to look at, especially when printed out, so I aligned them all to the right, but now the section 'edit' links do not line up with the right sections. Please see RepRap Project.

Is this a bug, and how do I get around this? - CharlesC 17:32, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

This is a VPT FAQ; see Wikipedia:How to fix bunched up edit links. --ais523 17:37, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


So I put the images in question all together in a right-aligned div. - CharlesC 20:36, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

That might have been why the pics were zig-zagged in the first place.  :-/

plaasjaapie 15:29, 23 September 2006 (PDT)

Criticism/rebuttal sections[edit]

I've noticed that the sections on criticism and rebuttal of criticism is currently unreferenced, and that at least one member of the RepRap team is a major editor of this article (hi! :). While these sections don't look like they are overly biased, there's also the issue of original research that's worrying me a bit. We're not supposed to be publishing original analysis of the subjects of our articles, just summarizing analysis that others have done. Does anyone know offhand of any external sources for these arguments, for example on the RepRap home site? Links to non-RepRap sites with criticisms and rebuttals would also be great to include to show that these issues aren't entirely academic. Bryan 17:51, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Bryan: Hadn't heard of a Wikipedia policy such that... We're not supposed to be publishing original analysis of the subjects of our articles, just summarizing analysis that others have done.

If I remember correctly, the guy that threw in the critique was somebody from Poland. His critique fairly closely matched criticisms that had appeared in several articles about the project. Because of that I wrote a short rebuttal and polled others in the project to see if I'd done a proper job of it. I thought the critique was valuable and kept it. plaasjaapie 17:43, 24 September 2006 (PDT)

The main purpose of that policy is to dovetail in with our policy on verifiability (and also as an easy way to deal with crackpots pushing their own personal theories, though that doesn't apply here). If the article contains information that's original to Wikipedia and found nowhere else, how is a random editor who comes along going to be able to check whether it's "true" or not? Fortunately this doesn't look like a particularly troublesome case compared to some of the stuff I've seen in other articles on Wikipedia, it should be pretty easy to fix up. For example, when the article says "some critics argue that...", it would be good to have a link to those articles you mention where some critics did indeed argue that. Likewise with the rebuttals, if you've put that information up at the RepRap website or published it in any articles we should include references for those too. I'd go hunting myself, but I figured I'd ask on talk: first since you'd be more likely to be able to pull sources out of the ether as you're more intimately familiar with the situation. Bryan 01:14, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy about "No Original Research" is I am tagging the controvery section as original research; I can't find anything on the reprap wiki about this either. Krolco 22:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

You didn't find any on the RepRap site because the critique was generated here by one of the editors. I didn't take it out at the time because I didn't want to start an editing war with the editor who included it. Since then it has metastisised into the rather pointless bunch of hairsplitting that you see today.

As to tagging it for removal, I certainly have no emotional attachment to that section any more than I do for that bit about extruding chocolate, which imo, belongs in an article about the fab@home 3Dprinter instead. Fab@home have talked seriously about doing that sort of thing. RepRap people have never mentioned it save in jest, to my knowledge. Plaasjaapie 01:48, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the controversy section. As best as I can see the controversy hasn't existed anywhere except here in the reprap article. I suggest that if anybody wants to criticise the philosophical basis of the reprap project that either the media or a scholarly paper is where it should be done. Then we can report on it here. Plaasjaapie 03:50, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

While I agree that there wasn't any real controversy, the section did contain worthwhile content and should not have been completely removed. I've added back some of it to the intro, and some to a new "Limitations of self-replication" section. --Brouhaha 04:38, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the statement "Within a few minutes of being assembled, the first completed "child" machine made the first "grandchild" part" that was put in "Timeline" is at least highly controversial, taking into account that "it would still require an external supply of several currently non-replicable components such as sensors, stepper motors, cameras, or microcontrollers." The statements like this have mislead quite a few media sources already. Don't people go to wikipedia to see what it's really about??? I'm disappointed. There is _no_ working "child" machine, period. -- (talk) 02:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Why is it controversial? It's a true statement. The problem is that we don't explain the limits of self-replication soon enough. I propose that the first sentence of the section "Limitations of self-replication" should be pushed up to the lead section of the article to make it clear that RepRap doesn't reproduce all of the parts - just the ones that cannot be bought easily off-the-shelf. Once that's been clearly explained, the timeline section is OK. SteveBaker (talk) 17:58, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Proving hypothesis about universal constructors?[edit]

If any members of the RepRap team have really stated that it is an objective to prove the hypothesis that rapid prototyping and direct writing are sufficient to make a universal constructor, a specific citation of that should be provided. Otherwise it should be removed. --Brouhaha 04:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Done. No problem. Pretty much spelled out at length and in detail in the document cited. Plaasjaapie 07:18, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The reference has interesting background on universal constructors and their relation to rapid prototyping machines, but I don't see anyhwere in it that it is an objective of the RepRap project to prove the stated hypothesis. Thus I still think the claim of that being an objective should be removed. --Brouhaha 01:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Statements about hypothesis removed, for lack of documentation that it is an objective of the RepRap project to prove the hypothesis. --Brouhaha 03:01, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


The RepRap project is working towards creating a universal constructor by using rapid prototyping, and then giving the results away free under the GNU General Public Licence to allow other investigators to work on the same idea. We are trying to prove the hypothesis: Rapid prototyping and direct writing technologies are sufficiently versatile to allow them to be used to make a von Neumann Universal Constructor.

You can't get a lot more specific than that. I'm putting it back in with the more focussed reference. Plaasjaapie 16:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


It's pretty easy to figure out what this means, but it would read a lot better if you defined it. Puddytang 21:22, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Heh. I came here to point out the same thing. --SLi (talk) 01:35, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Actually I'm not entirely sure what it does mean. I imagine it comes from "RepRap" and "bootstrap" but it's still not immediately clear. --Doradus (talk) 13:01, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

"Will"s and weasel words[edit]

You might want to refrain from using "will" to imply certain speculative consequences / outcomes of the project, no matter how important or impressive; lighten up on weasel words such as "is described", "it is speculated"; and in general tone down the heavy-handed high-note introduction that promises a global revolution (and seems to repeat itself in regard to self-replication). I edited it slightly, but the article still needs plenty of work in that regard.

Don't get me wrong, this is a great project by all means, but a heavy involvement of project members in the shape of this article is pretty evident, and it's really not that much of a great idea (see Wikipedia:Conflict of interest) - when you do get involved, at least try to focus on the technical know-how, not on hand-waving ;-) --lcamtuf 12:07, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

SourceForge community choice awards.[edit]

It looks like RepRap made it through to the finals of the SourceForge community choice awards in the "Most likely to change the way you do everything" category:

If they win - it would presumably be worth mentioning here.

(Oh - and if you want to vote - just use the link above).

SteveBaker (talk) 21:59, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Extrusion techniques[edit]

It would be helpful to have a general description of some of the main extrusion techniques. (talk) 17:07, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Old fashioned version of Rep Rap[edit]

Old fashioned things like woodworking and various arts and crafts also had the same aim of making things yourself rather than being dependant on manufacturers, even though the terminolgy was not used in the past. Even now, its is possible to make things with hand-tools rather than wait for complete fabrication machines to be widely available. (talk) 16:28, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Major edits underway[edit]

Please stay tuned. --JB Gnome (talk) 20:27, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

OK, done for now. Still could use some more up-to-date images. --JB Gnome (talk) 03:51, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


There appears to be some conflict over whether this is an appropriate inclusion in the article:

"Chocolate has been proposed as a whimsical extruded material. This could allow the manufacture of complex 3D Easter eggs and other such items."

I, for one, believe that it should not be included. For one, nobody (to my knowledge) has ever extruded chocolate, designed a chocolate extruder, sourced any 3mm chocolate filament, or made any effort whatsoever in this direction. Secondly, as HEL points out, it's an unreferenced claim. Perhaps there's a market for chocolate - but I think it won't belong in the article until a chocolate extruder prototype has been developed.

Secondly, it seems odd to have a whole "other materials" heading when there's only one other material, and it's whimsical. It might as well be titled "Whimsical materials".

Not that I'm opposed to printing in chocolate. On the contrary, I would find it fascinating and encourage it for sure. But as nobody is currently trying to make the RepRap print chocolate, I just don't think it belongs.

--JB Gnome (talk) 06:01, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

The closest thing would be the makerbots printing frosting (google "makerbot frosting", it was on TV or something), but I have not seen anyone using a RepRap for paste-type extrusion, so dropping the chocolate stuff seems fine to me. Nave.notnilc (talk) 02:16, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I am removing the section on chocolate. Please supply a citation showing that such a thing exists or is planned before putting the section back. Guy Macon 14:27, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
says this:
"Future Kits -- Coming Soon -- Chocolate Syringe: A heated syringe attachment which can be used instead of the extruder. It can be loaded with low melting point materials such as chocolate which can then be deposited to form the required object. The syringes could also be used to deposit other materials such as silicon rubber"
In my opinion, we should wait until this is actually available before putting it in. Guy Macon 15:06, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


Recently, user Mektez changed the reference to makerBot with the comment "RepStraps: The Makerbot is not a RepStrap. They are their own company and it is NOT their goal to make RepRaps."

I reverted this change with a comment asking him to discuss it here. The change can easily be put back in if the discussion shows that it is accurate.

The original wording, which I restored, says:

"Other [RepStrap designs], such as the Makerbot, share some design elements in common with the RepRap (especially electronics) but with a completely reconfigured mechanical structure."

The replacement text which I reverted said:

"Other approaches (such as Meccano) have also been explored with the intent of producing a machine capable of then building a full set of RepRap parts."

(I would note that nothing in the definition of a RepStrap speciefies being able to make a full set of RepRap parts. Most RepStraps are used to make particular RepRp parts that RepRaps have trouble making.)

So, is the Makerbot a RepStrap or not? Whether they are their own company is irrelevant; other companies can and do make RepStraps. Is it "NOT their goal to make [parts for] RepRaps"? says this:

"CupCake CNC and MakerBot in general are a derivative of the RepRap project. Our goals are similar: to build cheap, open source 3D printers. With CupCake we decided to focus on making a printer that was cheap, reliable, and easy to use/hack. RepRap has a much stronger focus on self-replication which can sometimes be distracting when you just want a machine that works. We strongly believe in self-replication and we look forward to the day when it becomes reliable enough to form the basis of our machines." says:

The Godfather flickr:2397355563

MakerBot was inspired in large part by the RepRap project. We've been actively participating in the RepRap project for many years now. One of the founders (Zach Hoeken) is founder and is also currently the Director of the RepRap Research Foundation. Not only that, but we are lucky to count Dr. Adrian Bowyer [inventor of the RepRap machine] as an angel investor in MakerBot Industries."

In fact, the MakerBot blog addressed this exact topic:

"Make Money with your MakerBot by eBaying RepRap Parts!

MakerBot found early inspiration in the RepRap project. A RepRap is a self replicating, rapid prototyper. Adrian Bowyer, it’s founder, supported MakerBot as an early investor, giving us money to put stuff on the shelves at MakerBot when we were just beginning. Zach designed the Generation 3 Electronics to be modular enough to work for MakerBot and RepRaps. ... To make a RepRap requires having a 3D printer, a classic chicken and egg problem solved by having a MakerBot! You still need to buy the nuts and bolts and motors and belts, and rods and plastic and wood and so on, but the plastic parts are totally MakerBottable!

There is a great demand for these parts such that creating them and selling them on ebay is like 3D printing money! Adrian Bowyer recently sold a set of Mendel parts on eBay for 420 Pounds ($630 US Dollars). Adrian encourages folks to make them and sell them too.

The mendel is a big machine and it takes a lot of time to create all the parts, but if you’re looking for something easier with smaller printed parts, there is a new mini-mendel.

There’s no knowing how long the RepRap gold rush will last, but for now, if you’ve got a MakerBot, you can put it into service making RepRap parts, sell them on eBay and make money with your machine by making parts for RepRap machines!"

That's pretty much the definition of a RepStrap.

Comments, anyone?

Guy Macon 01:12, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

The original definition of a "RepStrap" was a machine you built in order to "bootstrap" the RepRap self-reproducing process. You'd build your RepStrap using whatever technology you had lying around - and use it to make a set of RepRap parts. Having done that, you could then build yourself a RepRap that could be used to make its own spare parts and to create parts for more RepRaps. The MakerBot/CupCake machines could (in principle) be used to bootstrap yourself into making RepRaps - but as far as I can tell that is not the original purpose in making a commercial systems like this. They are sold as low cost general purpose 3D a replacement for a functioning RepRap for those desiring a quick, commercially-supported, solution.
That being the case, the original wording: "Other [RepStrap designs], such as the Makerbot, share some design elements in common with the RepRap (especially electronics) but with a completely reconfigured mechanical structure." is a little misleading because the Makerbot isn't specifically intended to be a 'RepStrap' (although it could certainly function as one). The new wording ""Other approaches (such as Meccano) have also been explored with the intent of producing a machine capable of then building a full set of RepRap parts." is also true. So I don't agree with either the original text, the first editing change - or your subsequent revert.
I think we need to find better wording that incorporates both sentiments. eg:
Other 3D printer designs (such as the commercial 'Makerbot' and machines constructed by other means such as 'Meccano') may be used to bootstrap the RepRap process by building RepRap parts. Many such machines are based around RepRap designs and use RepRap electronics.
Would that be a better compromise? SteveBaker (talk) 20:38, 26 September 2010 (UTC)


I like that wording a lot better.

Your wording also nicely encompasses another meaning that the word RepStrap has acquired. The original definition was a machine you use to make RepRap parts prior to you having a working RepRap. Common usage has extended the meaning to include a machine that you use to make RepRap parts that a RepRap cannot make. It may turn out that the road to a RepRap making 100% of another RepRap will involve a RepRap making one or more specialized RepStraps to make RepRap parts that a RepRap alone cannot make. Guy Macon 17:58, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

OK - I've kinda woven that in as a new paragraph at the start of that section. Feel free to continue to polish it. SteveBaker (talk) 18:29, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Mektez just removed the reference to MakerBot from the RepStrap section. I reverted the edit with a comment asking him/her to try to reach conensus on the talk page.

Message to Mektez: By reverting your edit I am NOT implying that your edit was good or bad. What I am saying to you is that there are at least two other Wikipedia editors who are interested in making this section better, and that you should join the discussion here instead of simply making changes. If your changes are worth keeping (and I suspect they are; you wording was clearer that mine would have been) then you should have no problem reaching consensus - but you can't do that unless you talk to us. Guy Macon 19:37, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't think Mektez added anything that we hadn't already said. We already said that Meccano could be used as a RepStrap - and defined what a Repstrap is. But removing the content that explains that some Repstraps (such as MakerBot) contain RepRap parts and other design elements was a worthwhile part of the article that shouldn't have been removed. So I support Guy's reversion. SteveBaker (talk) 16:56, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I would have gotten here earlier but I was still unfamiliar with wikipedia's layout and did not know how to get to the discussion. Anyways, the initial article called MakerBot a RepStrap. By definition from the RepStrap page of [], a RepStrap is "a open-hardware rapid prototyping machine that doesn't make its own parts, but is intended to make parts for a RepRap." Ergo, calling the MakerBot a Repstrap is saying that the intention of the MakerBot is to make the RepRap. MakerBots can make RepRap parts, the founders of MakerBot said as such themselves, and the MakerBot blog shows it too. It is not designed solely for producing RepRaps. Additionally, the definition of RepStrap includes that a RepStrap does not make it's own parts. The MakerBot can in fact make it's own parts, as illustrated here. Therefore it is not a RepStrap.

I am supportive of adding content to the RepStrap section of the page, but I do not agree with the statement about MakerBot. Mektez 23:01, 3 October 2010

First, let me give you a big friendly welcome to the sometimes bizarre world of Wikipedia editing. Your contributions are welcome, even if we sometimes have a bit of give and take about what the right thing to do is.
I raised a question at so we can make sure that they really did mean to exclude machines that cam make some of their own parts. I do agree that we should not call a MakerBot a RepStrap if it does not meet the basic definition of "RepStrap" used by the RepRap project. I suggest that we wait a few days and see if we get an answer to my question. This may give us better guidance as to how to proceed.
As to the second criteria (intended to make parts for a RepRap), let's put the first criteria to bed one way or the other before addressing it. Guy Macon 04:45, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
What I think we need to say is that: Machines derived from RepRap such as the MakerBot may be used as RepStraps (ie to bootstrap the RepRap process) although they were clearly not designed for the sole purpose of being RepStraps.
But this terminology is clearly in a state or perpetual flux. Right now, a "true RepRap" such as Mendel cannot make more than a fraction of the parts needed to make another Mendel - when we do eventually (if ever!) have a machine that can make ALL of it's own parts (really unlikely because integrated circuits are needed!) then the present generations of RepRaps will be considered merely a part of that bootstrap process. Similarly, if a hand-built "RepStrap" machine (eg one made entirely from Meccano except for a RepRap extruder) could make just one of it's own extruder parts - we wouldn't say "AHA! Not a RepStrap after all!".
So there is not a black and white definition here...rather a continuum from machines that can make literally not a single one of their own parts to machines that can make 100% of their own parts. Only the machines at the ends of that continuum are strictly RepStraps or RepRaps. I contend that there has not been - nor ever will be - a machine that lies at the extreme ends of that continuum. What's important here is the intent. If a machine is built with the intent of producing parts for a successor - and for little else - then it's clearly a RepStrap because it's a part of the bootstrapping process. If a machine can make a large proportion of its own parts - but which is intended to have other applications - then it's a RepRap.
But honestly - I don't think this is a big deal. The RepRap community is pretty free and easy-going with language - and I doubt they give a damn whether you call something a RepStrap or a RepRap.
SteveBaker (talk) 13:04, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


Got an answer from the RepRap project. See

and the changes they made here:

(The history button works just kike it does here; I love Wikis!)

The RepRap developer also mentioned some other ways that he thinks the Wikipedia RepRap / RepStap pages can be improved, The suggestions are well worth reading.

Guy Macon 16:24, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

"Making RepRap parts is sufficient to designate a machine a RepStrap." - Sebastian Bailard. I do not agree with that statement. I find the best conclusion would be to mention that the MakerBot is one such commercial machine capable of producing RepRap parts, but not mentioning it as being a RepStrap or a RepRap. Of course Sebastian would say that it is; he is part of RepRap. Any rapid prototyper could make reprap parts. That does not mean that they are a RepStrap. RepRap machines have the ability to make RepRap parts, but they are still RepRaps and not RepStraps. Makerbot has the ability to make RepRap parts, but it is still a MakerBot not a RepStrap. Mektez 16:48, 4 October 2010 (EST)

It seems to me that Sebastian is right on the money here. He is one of the core team at RepRap and that makes him (in Wikipedia terms) a "Reliable Source"...that means that basically "We believe what he says - until proven otherwise by other reliable sources".
The word "RepStrap" comes from "RepRap" and "Bootstrap" - it's a machine we beg, buy, borrow or steal (or make!) to bootstrap the process of building a RepRap. In that sense, any rapid prototyper could be the first step (and indeed WAS the first step) in making a RepRap. If you look at our photo with the machine on the right being the first RepRap built with parts made entirely by the machine on the left - you'll notice that a bunch of the parts on the "parent" machine are green - and that's because they were made with a commercial rapid prototyper. So the "bootstrap" process for the RepRap on the left most certainly included a commercial rapid prototyper. The Makerbot can fill that niche - as could a hand-built machine. The entire point here is that the term says that this machine is for bootstrapping - and once we've built our first true RepRap, we don't really need it anymore. I don't know where you think the word RepStrap comes from - but I simply cannot agree with the way you're applying it. SteveBaker (talk) 23:09, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry Mektez, but I am 100% with SteveBaker on this one. As you may have noticed, I make it a point to welcome new Wikipedia editors and try to help them along with the goal of having more knowledgeable people working on improving pages such as this one. The newbie has to do his part as well, though, and part of that is learning what Wikipedia considers a reliable source. You quoted in your original argument, and I agreed, stating "I do agree that we should not call a MakerBot a RepStrap if it does not meet the basic definition of 'RepStrap' used by the RepRap project." You cannot at this point turn around and say that you now disagree with (new, modified) basic definition of "RepStrap" used by the RepRap project. If the reliable source had come out and defined the MakerBot Cupcake as not being a RepStrap, SteveBaker and I would both be using that definition when editing Wikipedia, no matter what our personal opinions might be on the topic. That's part of being a Wikipedia editor. Again, I encourage you to learn more about Wikipedia and grow into a valued contributor. Guy Macon 01:09, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Do you all have no life to the point that scrutinizing a single sentence edit is worth your time? It is hilarious that you are spending your time on this to the extent of having the very definition of RepStrap changed. How lame! I only came from the interest of MakerBot in perhaps not wanting their machine to be called a bootstrap device after they put actual hard work into it. Whatever. Calling me a newbie? Telling me what a reliable source is? How dare you; you do not even know me. One must grow into a valued contributor, eh? If I am not valued, then fall Mektez. By the way, you have two too many commas, you are missing a definite article, and one of your definite articles should be a possessive adjective. Mektez 16:00, 5 October 2010 (EST)

I don't think the definition of a RepStrap has "changed" - it's been clarified. But the guys on the RepRap Wiki aren't writing an encyclopedia. They can create and use words very loosely. What happens when Wikipedia does that is PRECISELY what just happened in this thread. You come here - you change some of the article - it gets reverted, someone else chimes in - it all gets very messy. You're right that it's a lot of effort to clarify one sentence - but that's how you have to write encyclopedia articles. We try to be careful.
The feelings of the MakeBot people is neither here nor there...but as I've explained, even a $40,000 rapid prototyping machine could be described as a RepStrap. It's not a derogatory term - and it doesn't even say a thing about the nature of the machine - it simply describes how a machine is used. If I were to build all of the RepRap parts myself with a hacksaw and a drill press - then I would be the RepStrap.
As for calling you a newbie...yeah...that wasn't good. GuyMacon shouldn't have done that. You have a short edit history - but you might have been editing Wikipedia anonymously for the past five years for all we know! But hey - I bet you and I both have been called much worse things than that. Turning around an complaining about someone grammar is also not very nice - we aren't required to use perfect grammar/spelling/punctuation in discussion pages.
<sigh> - just another day at Wikipedia!
SteveBaker (talk) 00:25, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I assumed that Mektez was a newbie because he wrote "I would have gotten here earlier but I was still unfamiliar with Wikipedia's layout and did not know how to get to the discussion." As a rule, experienced Wikipedia editors know how to find Talk pages, how to indent replies, etc. Another thing most experienced Wikipedia editors are aware of is WP:NPA, which clearly states "Do not make personal attacks anywhere in Wikipedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks do not help make a point; they only hurt the Wikipedia community and deter users from helping to create a good encyclopedia. Derogatory comments about another contributor may be removed by any editor. Repeated or egregious personal attacks may lead to blocks." (Emphasis in original). I will now follow the advice of WP:NPA and not respond to any further personal attacks. Guy Macon 02:48, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Cost numbers[edit]

The lines quoting the RepRap project as being on track to cost less than $400 and print at $0.02/cc were added on July 26, 2006 here:

It has been tagged as needing a citation since May 2, 2010 and still lacks one:

I would just delete the thing myself but I'd prefer to find some current cost numbers and add them in instead. I've only searched briefly, but any input would be appreciated.

This is relevant but I didn't see current numbers for RepRap printing costs in there. It does say (article is from April 2009) that RepRap has not achieved it's stated goal of $0.02/cc so whether RepRap was truly "on track" back in 06 is questionable.

Any help would be appreciated, but we need to either source or remove that statement one way or another. It's been long enough.

Mishlai (talk) 21:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

The current version, which states that RepRap has achieved these goals, is different from the version I linked above from 2006. I'm not going to look for how long ago that change was made, but it was prior to the citation tag. Mishlai (talk) 21:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


How can this be used to demonstrate evolution when the evolutionary changes are designed by intelligent humans? DavidPesta (talk) 16:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

You appear to be confusing one specific kind of evolution (evolution by natural selection, sometimes called "Darwinian Evolution") with the more general use of the term. See Evolution (term) Which explains "The English noun evolution (from Latin ēvolūtiō "unfolding, unrolling") refers to any kind of gradual change." Guy Macon (talk) 18:06, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I believe that many RepRap enthusiasts do indeed expect that RepRaps could exhibit a darwinian evolution if they proliferate enough. But this is not as much of a paradox as it may seem, because it would be analogous to the kinds of "designer-less" [natural/wild/darwinian] evolution that happens to things including markets and natural languages—examples of sociocultural evolution. Although individual features of a RepRap could originate with a specific designer, it is out of the hands of that designer as to whether that feature propagates like a meme. As another example, the word "mechatronics" was probably originally coined consciously by one person, but its usage dissemination throughout natural language (to the extent that it occurs) is an evolutionary process not under any one person's control. Thus a layer of blind natural selection beyond the layer of conscious designs. — ¾-10 22:29, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Certainly you can see the design evolving - people build copies of the machine - spot a small design improvement, add it to their machine and publish it to the RepRap web site. Those changes compete in the minds of future builders - and the best of them are built and propagate on into future generations of machine. Less good designs are largely ignored. "Goodness" is defined by hard-to-measure metrics such as how much easier the machine is to build and repair, how cheap it is, how robust, accurate and so forth it is. Over time, RepRaps are getting better and better - in an evolutionary manner. SteveBaker (talk) 16:56, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Steve. "What he said." :-) — ¾-10 17:58, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
All true, but not Darwinian selection. Organisms usually evolve through natural selection, but it wasn't natural selection that gave us the Great Dane and the Teacup Chihuahua - it was artificial selection. Sociocultural evolution isn't darwinian / natural selection either - there are multiple intelligences attempting to artificially select certain societal traits.
Another aspect of natural selection / Darwinian evolution that does not apply to repraps is the basic principle that the traits of the parent are inherited by the offspring - in other words you get your DNA from your parents. In the case of repraps, the builder has a choice of "DNA" from anyone who has made a new variation on the reprap and published the design. This is a lot more like genetic engineering than it is like natural or artificial selection. In fact, it is possible for a sufficiently skilled engineer to create a new kind of reprap without consulting any present reprap designs at all, which would be an example of intelligent design. Guy Macon (talk) 20:39, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I would say that everything you said above is true. I would just add that sociocultural evolution sometimes is truly darwinian, even if not always. It's possible for memes to be unpremeditated in the wild. But your points about RepRaps are valid. Regards, — ¾-10 23:59, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Excellent point about memes. With a million different people all trying to engineer society to different ends, it pretty much averages out and allows the best replicator to win, which of course brings us back to Darwinian evolution. Guy Macon (talk) 00:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Article is out of date[edit]

Article only mentions Darwin and Original Mendel with no mention of newer Reprap models such as Huxley or Prusa Mendel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BrainSlugs83 (talkcontribs) 06:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

"Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit."...including you! SteveBaker (talk) 13:56, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Steve—by all means, feel free to add the info about the newer ones! Your contribution will be appreciated by everyone who is interested in RepRaps. — ¾-10 21:33, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Removed link that didn't help[edit]

There was a link in the article:

sliding contact bearings

but the Wikipedia article it points to -- "plain bearing" -- didn't talk about sliding bearings, so I removed the link so others don't waste time pursuing a non-helpful link WardXmodem (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:31, 5 October 2011 (UTC).


Should there be information is this article about the reprap community? I couldn't find any figures about the size of the community, does anyone know how to find info about that? Bramgeenen (talk) 11:41, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

List of versions available?[edit]

I've deleted some lists of RepRap versions available from the 3D printing article. If they belong anywhere, it's in this article. I leave it up to others to decide if they belong here. Text deleted from 3D printing:

These printers include the Airwolf 3D, fabbster, MakerBot Industries Thing-O-Matic, Ultimaker, Solidoodle 2, Shapercube, Mosaic, Prusa, Huxley, and Afinia 3D printers.
RepRap-based machines enhanced to print at high speed and high definition, including Ultimaker, Airwolf 3D AW3D v.4 and others.

Pol098 (talk) 10:44, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion: Percent towards success timeline[edit]

Given that the entire goal of the reprap project is to be able to ultimately be able to completely create itself, it seems like a major omission that nowhere in the article states what percentage they've achieved in the past, where they are presently at, and what their future projections are. Have they only been able to make 5% of itself? 80%? This seems particularly relevant and is not included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Actually, the answer to your question is on the page:
"The goal is to asymptotically approach 100% replication..."
In addition, to answer the question with a percentage, you need to define what you will accept as raw material. Does it have to make its own plastic parts out of plastic filaments? Does it have to make its own plastic filaments out of bulk plastic? Does it have to make its own plastic out of fossil fuels? Does it have to make its own fossil fuels out of hydrogen and carbon? Or can we go the other way and call a big box that comes in the mail from MakerGear our "raw materials"? Can the actual assembly be done by a human or must it be assembled by a replicatable robot? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:30, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

micron resolution and max printable volume[edit]

in comparing different models, it's foundamental to know the micron resolution and max printable volume. For example, some models guarantee:

  • Printing volume: 20 x 20 x 20 cm
  • Resolution: X and Y: 15 micron, Z: 0.39 micron
  • Typical speed 120 mm/sec — Preceding unsigned comment added by Efa (talkcontribs) 12:06, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

time to remove advertisement tag?[edit]

It doesnt really read like an ad - and it is open source so there is nothing really for sale - you make it yourself. Im relatively new - -how do we get the ad tag removed? --Gigihit (talk) 00:17, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

It's not whether something is for sale or not, it's the tone. I just chose a statement at random:
"As an open-source project designed to encourage evolution, many variations exist, and the designer is free to make modifications and substitutions as they see fit."
Does that sound like the tone you would expect in an encyclopedia article? or does it sound like an advocacy article such as this one (look near the middle of the "Copyleft not copyright" section) or this one (look about 2/3 down in the "Random excerpt from the book" section) Note: the edit that added that language is here.
Designed to encourage evolution? I would expect maybe "designer X says it was designed to encourage evolution" Oh, that's right. The lead paragraph says exactly that, but of course repetition is very important in advertising.
"Many variations exist? how many is "many"? Oh, that's right. The lead paragraph answers that one as well. The number we say it is is four. Is having four models really something unique that encourages evolution or allows the designer make modifications and substitutions? (of course that "four" misses a bunch of things like this...)
The designer is free to make modifications and substitutions as they see fit? in what way is this different from any other open-source hardware or software project?
And why is there nothing at all critical? No mention of months spend building one and more months and lots of plastic used tuning and tweaking? Or this little gem: "While printing from a computer any type of computer freeze up or communication failure may cause 3D printer damage or worse- a fire"[1]
I love the RepRap. I really do. But this article isn't very good.
I think the tag should stay until the problems are fixed. --Guy Macon (talk) 07:32, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I dont really feel comfortable re-writing the whole thing - but I will take a crack at the ones you pointed out. Thanks --Gigihit (talk) 00:40, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

references added can we take off the flag at the top?[edit]

Hi Editors -- I added a lot of the references I could find on RepRap from google scholar - there are now over 25, can we consider this page well referenced now? Please remove flag. Thanks --Stakall (talk) 11:41, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I removed the tag because, in my opinion, it no longer applies. Good job on the referencing, Stakall!
We still need to improve the history section before we can untag it. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:36, 26 February 2014 (UTC)