Desktop 3D printing has become fairly popular in the last few years,
and affordable printers are flooding the market. But why buy a
difficult to hack black box when you could spend weeks
sourcing/printing parts, crimping a a bunch of wires, and calibrating a
fully open design from the RepRap project?
Aside from the freedom that comes from building your own libre hardware
printer, building your own has many advantages that make the effort
worth it. Want dual extrusion? Triple, quadruple extrusion even? Or how
about pushing the limits by printing clay or icing? Perhaps you'd like
a tiny but super fast printer, one you could fold up and fit into a
backpack, or a printer with a meter of build height. With a libre
hardware printer, you can do all of this -- and far more affordably
than purchasing or modifying a closed printer platform.
This talk will cover the advantages (and disadvantages) of building a
libre hardware printer with a focus on the popular RepRap Prusa i3
family. Finding the community, selecting one of dozens of designs,
sourcing components, and building a printer from scratch can be a
harrowing experience -- this talk should provide some orientation in
the chaos and make the process easier.
The talk will also cover using a 3D printer with 100% Free Software on
GNU/Linux, from designing models (including the printer itself!) to the
microcontroller running the printer.
Clinton Ebadi is a kilt-wearing, cat-loving, Free Software
enthusiast. He's spent most of the last decade volunteering for the
Internet Hosting Cooperative and learning way more than anyone should
know about OpenAFS. After picking up an Arduino last year to make a few
LED strips blink, he found himself borrowing a friend's 3D printer a
few months later, and ended up hooked on hardware hacking.