What’s so great about a RepRap anyhow?

When I read the RepRap blog or the RepRap builder’s blog I see people printing incredible things in PLA.  And I never hear about their troubles with PLA.  Nothing about it jamming or being fussy about temperatures.  What am I missing?  What are Darwins and Mendels doing that my little MakerBot isn’t?

7 Responses to “What’s so great about a RepRap anyhow?”

  1. Spacexula says:

    Stepper extruder

  2. Cyrozap says:

    Nichrome along the entire barrel, a one-piece extruder barrel and nozzle (the barrel is also the nozzle). The reason this works better is because the PLA actually needs to go through a phase change to extrude, which requires a lot of energy; a lot more energy than the energy needed to extrude ABS. The nichrome along the entire barrel heats the PLA steadily, giving it the energy it needs to melt steadily over the entire barrel so that when it hits the nozzle, it’s able to extrude. When it’s in a MakerBot, it needs to melt all at once at the nozzle, which needs a huge amount of energy to melt the PLA all at once.

    I run my MakerBot with PLA at ABS temperatures and oil the PLA with WD-40, and it runs really well.

  3. BrianBeebe says:

    Yep, Stepper extruder.

  4. MakerBlock says:

    A stepper extruder makes a difference with PLA?!?! How? Why?

  5. Rick Pollack says:

    I’m running PLA 4042D and 4032D without issue and without oil on a standard MakerBot style extruder.

  6. MakerBlock says:

    :/ Admittedly, I haven’t tried PLA again since I got my extruder all jammed up. But, what am I missing? I’ve got the single wrap of nichrome up the barrel as per your suggestion. I guess it’s a heat thing. I dunno.

  7. Rick Pollack says:

    Try a MakerGear Assembly :)