Oh what to do, what to do… I decided I wanted a printer, but wasn’t quite sure what model I would build. The Ultimaker is nice, and it would be great to have something I am already somewhat familiar with and have some local help to support but the cost was a bit of a put off. On the other side of the scale, the Printrbot JR is cute and certainly in the affordable price range at only $400. After seeing Aaron’s Printrbot JR in action at the 3D Print-a-thon was a huge motivator given the quality of prints he was able to pull off, but the build platform just didn’t seem big enough. Somewhere in the middle I figured the RepRap Prusa Mendel i2 landed. With an almost equivalent build platform and a completed cost at around $600 to $800 I decided this was the route I was going to take.
Since I didn’t get a complete kit, I have had to look around for a few things like plastic parts. I’ve also had a few issues with the company that sold me the kit not having a very accurate inventory system and am still waiting on a few items from them almost a month later. In the mean time I went and ordered some of the main missing inventory from another supplier Voxel Factory out of Montreal and am very pleased.
Since the RepRap is a self reproducing 3D printer, many of the plastic parts used to build it can be 3D Printed. I have been using the ModLab printer a bit to try and print a set of parts for my own printer. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me!