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Digital Designs

The 3D Printing Process

It all starts with a 3D model in software. You can design your own model using software such as Sketchup, a 3D modelling package or you can scan an existing object using a desktop or handheld 3D scanner. You may also download a 3D model straight from the internet, from one of the 3D model repositories such as Your chosen model is then loaded into a printer interface package for print preparation and virtual slicing. The results are then sent to your printer for 3D Printing.

Step 1: Design your model or download an existing model

Step 2: Load the model into your 3D Printer Software

Step 3: 3D Print your new Ferrari F1

Digital distribution of Physical Products

More on this shortly ...

3D Modelling

Exceptional 3D Modelling isn't beyond your grasp. With the advent of free 3D Design packages such as Google Sketchup, you'll soon be creating your own masterpieces.

Sculpture by B Grossman, USA

R2 by Jason M, USA

Starship Enterprise by Jacques, S.A

Tiger II by Drew Petitclerc, USA


Can I create complex objects?

Yes, take a look at the designs below

Autonomous Bubble bot by Todd,Adam & MB

Intelligent Bumper Bots by Jason & MB

What will yours look like? Button Bot by MB

Robotic Hand 'InMoov' By Hairygael, USA

3D Printed R/C QuadCoptor by Frank, USA

Differential Gear System by Thing-O-Fun, USA

3D Printer modification by Aleph/Bob, USA

X Axis Carriage by Mark D, UK

If you want to create something that's a little more fluid, you can always use a scanner to capture your subject matter

The Kiss by Afro-Punk


Everyday objects

The clothes peg, important or not?

Personal 3D Printers are already inspiring new and innovative designs and products, but what about the everyday objects we take for granted. For example, the clothes peg.  This everyday item may seem insignificant, but try hiding the clothes pegs for a couple of days and see what happens (no don't, really!). Its only when you consider the global market for clothes pegs or clothes pins as they are sometimes called, that you realise how important these items really are. Take a moment to consider how many you have in the house, how many your neighbour has, how many in the street, the village, town, county etc, etc and you'll realise the scale of clothes peg production around the world.

Now compare the effort needed to manufacture, market and distribute millions of clothes pegs around the World, with your new found ability to press 'Print' and you'll soon realise, things really are about to change...

So, are clothes pegs important? Well we'd say so, if only to demonstrate the power of this 3D Printing revolution and the incredible changes that will soon be upon us.

3D Printed clothes peg, courtesy of Thingiverse and PolygonPusher

Running repairs

You'll notice you begin to repair items rather than throw them away. It's an empowering thought!

A nice example created by TH, Australia

Bespoke Products

Tailor your 3d prints!

You can create one design and 3D Print an infinity if you wish or you can choose to customise your prints to suit individual needs

Guess who these are for?

3D Printed Frames by Aaron T, USA

Custom Egg Cups by Gijs/Karl

Swan sculpture by Tony Buser

RC Trophies by Maak

Chocolate mould by Ryan

Craftwork crimper by Jetty/Leemon

Pentacle robot wheel by Nieves

Beethoven Bust by Dino-Girl/Matt

Your custom puzzle? by Owen/Alan

Custom dolls furniture? by PST/Cynthia

Custom chess sets? by Joseph

Water Pump Prototype by CocoNut

Your extruder redesign? by Greg/Jonas/Bill

iPhone case by Saga Design/Shapeways

Running Costs?

How many objects will you be able to 3D print with 1 kilogram of filament?

Fortunately our friends at MakerBot have answered this for us

Picure courtesy of Makerbot


Poll Results

Well, we know from the Poll, that over half of those surveyed want to build a RepRap Printer and a significant number would like to print an iPad, but is there anything else you'd like to build? Let us know

Please note: There are currently 5 test votes in the system


Our Architectural 3D Print

Architects proof of concept house, complete with detailed floors and furniture. For more details, see our Facebook page. 3D modelling by Phil.


3D Prints

You can design and build your own creations or simply download & print an existing design. With a myriad of uses, your 3D Printer will rarely sit idle. If its not printing your next robot or creating an exciting work of art, it'll be earning its keep in some other way, printing a new catch for the kitchen drawer, replacing that missing curtain ring or even creating your latest prototype , the potential really is endless!

Flexible Coupling by RepRap Central/Gyrobot

T34 Tank 3D Print by RepRap Central/Vittweet

Artwork - 'Lucy' by RepRap Central/Stanford

Engineering - Ford Engine Block  - TV, RRC

Model Engineering - High Res Tractor by MB

A 3D Printed Grandfather Clock by Michael/MB

Custom build - Raspberry Pi Case by Ryan, CA

The Puritan, 3D Print the past or present, MB

The Canon DSLR 3D Print by RepRap Central/Sergey

Functioning Steam Engine, uses Co2 by CharlesB

Design your custom Phone case - Nokia/MB

Everyday things - Cool Lunch Box by Erik

Cool - Spec your own frames by Michelefaini

Architecture - The Cathedral by Skimbal, USA

Music - A Recorder for all by JL, TB & JR, USA

Tooling - Need a custom Jig? by Hrvoje

Design - Large scale Parisian Mansion by MB

Robotics - Line sensing Robot by Carlos

Fashion design - The Monocle by Rick O, USA

Replicas - The Terminator by Andrew, USA

Games Design - Pocket-Tactics by Arian, WA

Autos - 3D Printed Lotus Inst pod, LeftAngle

Engineering - Mini Lathe by Brad, Canada

Gaming - Wargames set by Epengr, CA

Decorative items - Blossom Lamp by Emmett

Replacement parts - Winder by Michael, USA

For the home - Useful containers by Tunako

Hobbies - Scale models by PST, USA

Accessories - Stylish Iphone case by Tim

Family friend? - The Bulldog by Camiel,PP3DP

Prototyping - Mobile Accessory by Kelvin S

Toys R U? - Fairytale Castle playset by MB

Hobbies - Complete RC Plane by Chris, Sydney

Jewellery - Stretchlet/Bracelet by Emmett

Planning - Create your own city, by Michael C

Kits - Create a kit of parts - by Whosawhatsis

Your production line? - The Tardis by Amanda

There are over 25000 designs to choose from on the web and most of them are free to download and 3D Print!


Rapid Prototyping Service

This will commence later in the year and we look forward to creating your designs. Can't wait? Invest in a MakerBot Replicator 2 and go DIY, you'll be amazed at the things you can do!


The RRC Library

Check out the RRC Library, its growing all the time. There are articles on 3D Printing and their different applications. You can access a series of videos which include the superb Ericsson videos, the 2020 shaping ideas series. These showcase our most influential figures and their thoughts on the near future (features the creator of the RepRap Project among others). There's an interesting video on Bio-printing and the TV host, Jay Leno talks about the Scanners and 3D Printers in his dream garage.

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