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Rapid Prototypers - Looking to buy!

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by mugofteawouldbenice, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    Simple question - if you had £10,000-£12,000 to spend on rapid prototyping where would you start?
    All ideas greatly appreciated!
  2. Hello,
    Simple question - if you had £10,000-£12,000 to spend on rapid prototyping where would you start?
    All ideas greatly appreciated!
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    I know a little about this. It depends what it is you want to make as each type has it's virtues and disappointments. If you only need a representative model of a shape, the plaster-based ones are fine. Architectural modelmakers prefer them as they give good detail and relatively little post processing. The problem with these though, is you can't make working models, bits that can clip together and so on.
    If you want to make working prototypes you need to look at the variants that use plastic. There is another that uses ordinary printer paper that looks quite good, cheap on consumables but expensive to buy the equipment. There can be a substantial amount of tedious post processing, some of which can be reduced when you make careful planning over how the object is being built. It isn't just a case of draw it and press go like they'd like you to believe.
    From what I've seen, the very low end Rapman machines give poor quality output. The concept is ok, but the equipment as it stands isn't really up to the job and needs refining as these guys will describe: http://www.thingiverse.com/
    Another site worth visiting is this: http://mysd300.blogspot.com/2010/03/small-holes-peeling-cuts.html which if have time to wade through it will tell you how the guy has been learning how to get to grips with the machine he bought.
  4. Classes of 12 AND you are thinking of buying a rapid prototyper????
    You do know everyone hates you don't you?
  5. In defence of the Rapman, the latest versions that are pre built and have double heads are producing some very good models with a very small step over.
    It would be worth looking at Boxford, EMCO,Dimension and i think Techsoft have a version but i dont know there prices. They all have good and bad ponits, Oh there is also the Solido printer from either John Burn or Solar Laser which from memory was under 9K. The important thing to look at is what the running costs are for material and the build times.
  6. We have a Rapman and it is excellent for what we want it for - depends what you are looking for as an outcome. I'm not sure about the current models on the market. My only tip would be that if you were to buy a Rapman - buy a pre-built one!
  7. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    I'd add that you can download plans of how to build one yourself pretty easily off the Internet, along with the software to run it. A good project to get latter students invlolved in, possibly.

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