The great thing about 3D printer owners is that, in most cases, they are “Makers.” The term “maker” is a broad word, and includes basically anyone who likes to ‘make’ things. One man, named Jean-Luc Guillemette, decided to use his skills to ‘make’ a very unique 3D printer.
Mobility has been a concern brought up by many within the 3D printing space. Desktop 3D printers, while much smaller than the industrial level machines, quite simply are not mobile. If you are going out of town and wish to bring your 3D printer with you, good luck.
“Looking at different models, I saw the FoldaRap which made an impression on me,” Guillemette tells 3DPrint.com. “I loved the idea of a portable 3D printer.”
So Guillemette decided to use the Mendel 90 as a model for creating a portable 3D printer he calls the Case-Rap. He chose the Mendel 90 because of the fact that it didn’t require that many printed parts, it was very ‘stiff,’ and not too expensive. He did, however, make several modifications to it. He wanted to use 5/16 inch rods as opposed to the standard 8mm, so he redesigned all of the 3D printed linear bearing parts so that they would fit correctly. He also modified other parts of the printer in order to allow it to fit with imperial bolts and nuts, which are more easy for him to obtain in Canada.
The case of the Case-Rap is actually made out of an MDF box, which Guillemette decided to paint blue, although he doesn’t recommend painting it, as it causes some issue once assembled. The next version of the Case-Rap, however, will replace the MDF box with 1/2″ Russian Plywood, so that it weighs less and doesn’t require paint to maintain an appealing look.
“I took a working Mendel 90 and a tape measure, to check how much room I was going to need inside the box,” Guillemette tells us. “Then I used Sketchup Make 2015 to design the MDF body of the printer. It is cool because with this program, you can create groups that you can move independently, so I designed the x-z axis as a group and the y as the other. I was able to put the x-z axis in operation position, then move it to transport position to see if every thing fit. When finished, I realized that the box was maybe 1 1/2″ too large, so I fixed everything before I started building it.”
The overall results are quite impressive. The Case-Rap works just as well as a regular Mendel 90 3D printer does. As you can see in the video below, the only issue that Guillemette has with this printer is the fact that he has to hold the front panel in place during the transformation process. He plans to fix this with the next iteration.
Guillemette, a former high school science teacher, now works as a carpenter, building and fixing houses. Ever since purchasing a 3D printer about two years ago, he has begun to think differently about solving problems around the house. He has made numerous repairs with 3D printed parts, and has printed many toys for his child. He has even printed educational materials for his wife, who is currently a teacher herself. He admits that he has quite the obsession with 3D printing, and I have a feeling the Case-Rap won’t be the last we hear of Guillemette.
“I printed, printed, and printed,” he explains. “I almost got crazy. I think I lost some of my Facebook friends because I only talk about 3D printing.”
Don’t worry Jean-Luc, there are plenty of 3D printing nerds out there just like you…including me.
What do you think about Guillemette’s uniquely built 3D printer? Would you consider constructing one like it yourself? Discuss in the Case-Rap 3D printer forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the Case-Rap below.