Manufacturing Processes

What we used to make the machine... 

There were two main processes used in the construction of the OIT RepRap: CNC and TGAW. All of the electronics came with the PCBs already made so all we had to do was solder them together.

All CNC work was done on an old Kira CNC machining center by David Culler and graduate student Yan Xu. The G-Code was generated in FeatureCAM and tweaked by David Culler.

The blanks for this work were manually milled on a Kent vertical mill with a Kurt vice and look very boring even though they took us a bit of work to get right. Machining is still more art than science.

There were three main types of components that were milled:the extruder body and bracket, the mount brackets for the x-axis rails, and the x and y axis carriage assemblies.


The other process used was Tungstan Gas Arc Welding. This was done exclusively on the frame. All welding was done by Noah Anderson. Immediately after he was done, he began complaining about the quality of his welds. Probably because he knew we would be documenting all of this online!

 In future versions of the machine we hope to use 80/20 for the frame as it is light, rigid, relatively cheap, and easy to design and use. Such a frame would have the benefit of only needing to be designed and ordered. No complex or time consuming construction needed. Also, the 80/20 sales people will run structural analysis of the proposed frames and size members to fit. I'm also sure that they would provide load and structural information for the frame when they are done if asked. All in all, a better solution and something we are going to take away from this project for next time.