The Laser Cutter

I’d like to introduce the 80 Watt laser cutter that is making this project possible.  SeeMeCNC provided two discounted laser cutters, both of which are going to enable a lot of exciting research.  Above is a tour of the machine including the laser head, the Zinc Selenide meniscus focusing lens, the 80 Watt CO2 tube, and a very hackable stepper motor driver (Y-axis).

OpenSLS: A New Selective Laser Sintering RepRap Project

The RepRap Family Tree is an interesting and informative structure that details patterns and bursts of development.  Critical RepRap designs, such as the Prusa Mendel, Sells Mendel, and DeltaBot, emerged as platforms for development and advancement of 3D printing technology.

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Fused-extrusion technologies have grown more sophisticated over the past six years, and the community has recently been doing tremendous work in the new (to RepRap) technologies of Delta position systems and photopolymerized resin printing.

This project aims to shed light on the fundamental processes and hardware design challenges that compose this technology by systematically quantifying processes and problems to make this technology accessible to further experimentation.  By leveraging the resources, both practical and intellectual, found at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI) at Rice University I hope to open this powerful and exciting technology for further exploration by the RepRap community.  Perhaps this technology could even begin a new limb on the RepRap family tree.