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.