RepRap: The Replicating Rapid Prototyper: Maximizing Customizability by Breeding the Means of Production
HANDBOOK OF RESEARCH IN MASS CUSTOMIZATION AND PERSONALIZATION, Forthcoming
Posted: 20 May 2010 Last revised: 24 May 2010
This paper describes progress on RepRap, the replicating rapid prototyper. RepRap is a filament-deposition rapid prototying machine that has been designed to manufacture the majority of its own parts. All other parts of the machine are standard materials and components available everywhere in the world. RepRap is intended to maximize the customizability of both the products that it makes and also itself. It achieves this by several complementary mechanisms: it is intended for individual (as well as industrial) use, so its users may employ it to manufacture whatever they want; it can make copies of itself, and those copies can be customized; it is extremely low cost, and so ownership can be widespread; and finally it is open-source, so all its designs and software are available for modification. Prototype RepRap machines have been built and are described. These have made parts for themselves and each other, and this is depicted. The design principles and specifications of the machine are given. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possible impacts that the machine may have on personal manufacturing and product customization.
Keywords: Mass Customization, Personalization, Engineer-to-Order, Open Innovation, User Co-Creation, Modularity, Platform Design, Customer Centricity
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