By Adrian Bowyer

RepRap has been called the invention that will bring down global capitalism, start a second industrial revolution and save the environment.

Look at your computer setup. Imagine if you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical parts. To give you an idea of how robust these parts are think of Lego bricks and you're in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make most of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.

RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right - a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer will make components using Fused Deposition Modelling Rapid Prototyping, which builds the component up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about €30,000. And it isn't even designed so that it can make itself. So what the RepRap team are doing is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy

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rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping takes virtual designs from computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software, transforms them into thin, virtual, horizontal cross-sections and then creates each cross-section in physical space, one after the next until the model is finished. It is a WYSIWYG process where the virtual model and the physical model correspond almost identically.

Source: Wikipedia

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Metropolitan Works

Metropolitan Works’ Digital Manufacturing Centre houses one of the broadest ranges of digital manufacturing equipment in the UK. It is a “factory in the city” where creative practitioners from all disciplines can explore the potential of formerly inaccessible industrial technology to develop their ideas through experimentation, rapid prototyping and production. The Digital Manufacturing Centre operates a Bureau Service which handles all enquiries and work coming through the Centre. Please contact for a quote.
London Metropolitan University 41 Commercial Road London


I found out about them in 100% design at the 100% detail, they were really cool people to talk to. They are like a Macdonald in prototyping, we can find them chain workshop every where apparently. Does from basic 3D printing to more sophisticated prototyping using different materials and processes. They should be very good choice for our potential web based international customers.
Warwick Suite, Windmill Industrial Estate, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry,

Xpress Product Development Group

Something special about what they do? they cover pretty much everything like above company, but they have a new material for 3D printing is the WaterClear® Ultra SL Resin, which should have the visual effect of the glass/crystal, can be good for one off glassware mock up.
Xpress Product Development Group, Ltd. 2A Oldfield Lane NR Keighley West Yorkshire, England

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