Feb 012013

Alex Gibson, co-host of the Oxford Jam impressed us all with his RepRap 3d printer controlled by a Raspberry Pi. I hadn’t seen one of these up close and personal before. I’d really like one now, but I have a feeling it requires a large investment in time to build, calibrate and use. Check out the 4 minute video. Most impressive indeed! :)


Alex told us he’d joined the Thames Valley build group, which is a bunch of people who get together to help each other make RepRaps. The reel of poly-lactic acid (PLA) costs about £30 GBP (~$50), weighs a kilo and can make loads of “stuff”. It takes a couple of minutes for the RepRap’s bed to warm up before it can start, then it took about 20 minutes to “print” the minimug. It’s controlled by a Pi, and Alex said it’s quite simple to install the required software on the Pi.

The Oxford Raspberry Jam

The Oxford Raspberry Jam seems to have an abundance of Peters and Alexes. This time three Peters, two Alexes and one Will exhibited. I didn’t get a record of them all, but they are well covered here and here.

  9 Responses to “RasPi RepRap 3d printing on the Raspberry Pi”

  1. I definitely need to build a 3D printer at some point, last time I looked it was still a little expensive though :(

    • Alex said it cost him about £400, which I would probably struggle to fit into the “R & D budget”. Extraordinarily cool though. I’ll have to have one some day – just a question of when.

      • I’ve just finished building a Prusa i3 3D printer – one of the latest models. My total build cost came to just over £300, however I did buy a pre-made wooden frame. If you were to make this yourself, it’ cut at least £30 off the total cost.

        If you can source off the shelf parts you could probably do it all for £250 if you’re willing to shop around. The biggest cost is the electronics kits, but again you can reduce the cost if you’re happy to solder it all together yourself.

        As I type this I’m waiting for mine to finish what will be the first useful object (after printing about 8 cubes to calibrate it.

        My eventual aim is to have it connected to a spare Raspberry Pi which will essentially just sit there running Debian. It’ll mean the entire printer can stay in one place, and I can connect to the pi remotely and tell it to print.

        I’ll also be mounting a pi cam, and lighting to record builds :)

        If you’ve got the time, and patience to source the parts it’s well worth it and a great learning experience. To know that you’ve built your own printer is just awesome!

  2. […] a video presentation from the Oxford Raspberry Jam for using a RasPi to run a RepRap. From RasPi.tv: Alex Gibson, co-host of the Oxford Jam impressed us all with his RepRap 3d printer controlled by a […]

  3. This is exactly what I want. I was disappointed that reprap usually use an arduino shield to control the printer which you communicate via another computer over USB. Is this the same? Do you still need the shield when you’re using a RaspberryPi? I would rather you didn’t, but I guess I would still be fine if that were the case.

    Which reprap variation was used? The reprap community has a lot of really good information on how to build, but that’s just the problem. They have A LOT of information. Probably too much. Is there any information on what these guys used to build their reprap? I’m most curious about where they got their parts and what variant it is.

    • I think it had some sort of shield. Should be visible near the end of the video. Alex Gibson would be able to answer your other Qs.

  4. […] Alex over at RasPi.TV has posted a short video of the one that was demoed at the Oxford Raspberry Jam. Take a look at the post by Alex here. […]

  5. […] raspi.tv: Alex Gibson, co-host of the Oxford Jam impressed us all with his RepRap 3d printer controlled by a […]

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