Sunday, April 13, 2008


RepRap CAD model

I'm an engineering student, and one of the prospects of this idea that excites me most is the potential released by exploiting mechanical branches or "mutations" that individual end-users will create. Many end-users will want to tweak their machines and add cool features, and seeing as this is open source, I think that incorporating the most successful of these tweaks into the communal "gene pool" is not only legal but laudable.

In the interest of facilitating these mutations, I think one thing that would help immensely for some of us is to have a copy of the CAD used to design Darwin available. This allows more involved modifications to be digitally prototyped, directly printed, and then tested (I love how much easier this whole process becomes when we have access to 3D printers!) Currently there resides in the Subversion directory a copy (I'm not sure how up-to-date) of the CAD files in the Solid Edge format that Darwin was originally designed in, as well as copies of all of the RP parts in .STL and some of them (I believe) in .AoI.

I suggest that we augment these files with a complete copy of the machine plans in either the IGES or STEP file formats (both are open and ISO approved). This will allow the more CAD inclined of us to do our thing. :)

Embedded below is a copy of the Solid Edge files that someone who owns the program exported for me a few months ago as an IGES. I haven't worked with the files (much) since then, so this is pretty much the state of the design. There are some pretty obvious omissions. Unless someone on the dev team has more up-to-date files and can provide me with them, I'm trying take this model and by digitally following the assembly instructions, turn it into a fully modeled copy of Darwin. At that point, I will export a new IGES file and either find somewhere to host it online or place it in Subversion. My plan is to continue updating and re-releasing the model as the project goes through revisions.

For everyone's information, the software I'm using for this is Autodesk Inventor. I imported the IGES file, did a tiny bit of cleanup, then re-exported the files as a .dwf. I then uploaded that file to Autodesk's Freewheel service, which allowed me to embed the model here. It's quite a nifty feature, actually.

(direct link)

I'd like to put out one final call for more up-to-date files. These will work, but will take significantly more time to collate and rebuild than a more recent model would.

In addition, if anyone has Inventor and is interested in helping with this endeavor, let me know. I could always use some fellow monkeys. ;)

Wow, nice to have you on board! I think it is a great thing to have, a fully digital RepRap. It is important that everyone can have the same reference design and that this design is complete(d).
Nice! Very nice! :-D
I have access to Inventor At school this year and next year as well, so If you need Help, I can try.
Well I don't have autodesk. I primarily use solidworks because of school. I am willing to attempt to keep up to date and may be even attempt to animate the building process if I could just find/get the files in something other than stl. Once in stl it is a pain to convert them to any thing useful.
Hey kyle (good name :P) - my goal is to get people like you the files in a platform-neutral format so you can do cool stuff like that! My preference is for STEP, but it will be easy to do it in IGES if that is preferable. Either way, it will be much more useful for these purposes than a STL.
Gday. I was thinking of doing the same, but then in Solidworks. I have downloaded the SolidEdge files and will be loading it into Solidworks tomorrow. The main reason for this is to design a Bootstrap machine in 3D CAD that I can get routered out of MDF at my work for peanuts. The machine would resemble something a bit closer to the Fab@Home machine. I will upload the Solidworks file as soon as they are in a good state.
So is there a download link to the CAD files (whether Iges or STEP). I use Inventor and SolidWorks on a daily basis. please help.
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