Do you remember when the cheapest desktop 3D printer was priced well into the quadruple digits? It seems as though this was a long time ago, but in fact this was the case just a couple years ago. We’ve seen the prices drop down into the low three digits, with some special deals being offered on crowdfunding sites to early backers, for as low as $149.
For those of you unfamiliar with RepRap 3D printers, they are machines which are considered to be “self-replicating.” This means that parts on these 3D printers are printable themselves. Of course this can’t be true — at least not yet — for all of the printers’ parts, but each and every day we see designs for either new machines or modifications to existing machines emerge, providing for a more fully self-replicating process.
For four brothers, named Frederic, Fabrice, David, and Daniel, RepRap provided them with a means of taking the open source files from others, and then modifying them in order to create their very own, custom 3D printers. In doing so, the Fabrap was born, and subsequently was followed by the Fabrap 1.1, Fabrap 2.0, and the newly unveiled Fabrap 3.0. Fabrice, David, and Daniel live on a small French island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, called Réunion, where its not very common to hear of 3D printing technology, while Frederic currently lives in Belgium.
“In July of 2014, I was looking for a cheap RepRap, so I bought a Smartrap kit,” Fabrice tells 3DPrint.com. “It was my first RepRap, and I discovered everything with this small machine. It was an incredible one but it lacks some smalls things/features that could make it better. I have a mechanical background and I’m a SolidWorks user for 15 years, so I started modifying the existing design.”
Originally the Fabrap 1.0 was created so that Fabrice could have a 3D printer with a large print volume (380 x 380 mm). Then they came up with the idea of creating a Z GT2 belt driven printer, and that is when they created the Fabrap 2.0. The latest 3.0 printer, which was just unveiled, brings together everything they learned from the previous versions and puts it into a new machine.
The Fabrap 3.0 has the following specifications, according to Fabrice:
- Maximum Print Size: 20 x 20 x 20 cm
- Hotend: E3dv6 with bowden
- Extruder: Wade’s extruder with bowden
- RAMPS Version: 1.4
- Display: LCD+SD 2004
- Power: Power supply : 12V 20A
- Other Mechanics: GT2 belt on X and Y axes, M5 threaded rod on Z Axis, manual leveling for the bed, firmware adjusting for X/Y angle
While the printer is pretty feature rich, what makes it really stand out is its price.
“A Fabrap 3.0 can be made for under 300 Euros if self-sourced,” Fabrice tells us. “To achieve this, we give links to buy mechanical and electrical stuff on our website. We are selling only a plastic part kits for the moment.”
Fabrice also said that if someone wants to purchase the Fabrap 3.0 already assembled, they expect to sell them for around €400 (approximately $455 USD). He also tells us that they are constantly iterating upon their machines and expect to improve upon this version as they have with their previous models. No word yet on when you will be able to purchase this printer from Fabrap but stay tuned to their website for further news.
What do you think about this latest 3D printer from Fabrap? Discuss in the Fabrap 3.0 forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of this printer in action below: