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FoldaRap, Peer-to-Peer Edition

An experience of distributed manufacturing for the next evolution of the FoldaRap

Economic needs



€ 16.000
€ 12.000
€ 52.835
09 / 07 / 2013

What is offered in exchange

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Non-economic needs

Looking for

  • Seeders

    The whole idea is to distribute the manufacturing and profit over the community, so every person who have a well tuned RepRap is welcome to contribute :) Join the network ! http://reprap.org/wiki/FoldaRap_Distributed_Manufacturing (Once you have proved your quality I will add you on the wiki list as a known good supplier, you can sell parts directly to people near you or I will offer 90€ for a set to complet my kits)

  • Bootstrap & Seed (3D Printer)

    Along this idea of distributed manufacturing : I can send a complete kit for few persons, an association, etc. and in exchange, once the machine is well tuned, you send me back 6 sets of printed parts :)

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Individual rewards

  • Contributing € 10

    Acknowledgment: Supporter

    All contributions are welcome and deserve a big thank you ! A nice postcard and some stickers :)

  • Contributing € 20

    Product: Curious

    A random printed part among the trials which permitted to progress in the development of the FoldaRap. + previous rewards

  • Contributing € 40

    Product: Explorator

    A little printed object :) + previous rewards

  • Contributing € 60

    Product: Collector

    A tee-shirt with an illustration of the FoldaRap for this special p2p-edition + previous rewards

  • Contributing € 500

    Product: FoldaRap P2P Edition

    The most interesting reward of this campaign, also probably the quickest way to have your kit! All you need to build the lastest version of the FoldaRap, excepted the printed parts. Find a local reprapper to add them to your kit ! (hint : with probably more than 40 000 machines in the wild, there must be one near you, or we can still have them printed separately)

  • Contributing € 600

    Product: FoldaRap full kit

    All you need to build the lastest version of the FoldaRap !

    Limited reward
    15 units left
  • Contributing € 900

    Services: Workshop @NYBICC

    Workshop at NYBICC (Nancy, France) We find a date that arrange everyone, and you came to build a FoldaRap with us in our super friendly Makerspace : the Nancy Bidouille Construction Club !

    Limited reward
    1 units left
  • Contributing € 1.000

    Services: Workshop around the world

    We find a date that arrange everyone to invite me (for a week-end to a full week), and I personally come with my machine to help you build and learn to use the FoldaRap(s) you may have funded !

    Limited reward
    3 units left
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Hola! Soy un apasionado diseñador francés. Me interesa todo. Pensador y hacedor. Empresario. Idealista. Zurdo. Daltónico. Soñador impenitente.
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FoldaRap, Peer-to-Peer Edition

You may already know The FoldaRap (reprap.org/wiki/FoldaRap), an open-source 3d-Printer, easy to assemble, and most important : foldable to bring it everywhere !

After a first version and 30 prototypes I'm looking to make a second batch for the version 1.1. And to make it available for more people I need you to be a part of it.

3D-Printer, RepRap, what's all about ?

3D-Printing is an additive manufacturing process : layers of plastic are successively laid down to produce objects relatively quickly. This allows to produce some pieces that would have been difficult to make with conventional processes (machining, injection), and contrary to molding there is no tooling.
Hence it is often compared to our traditional printers : with a digital file and a raw material we can make all sort of things at demand (fused plastic replacing the paper+ink), simply by changing the file sent to "print". We are still far from the Star Trek Replicator, but on the way...

The technology of 3D-Printing is not new, but there have been a big change around 2006 : the team of the Dr. Adrian Bowyer (Bath University, UK) made the firsts RepRap (Replicating Rapid-prototyper) - a 3D-Printer which can prints some of it's own parts.
However, the beauty of this invention resides not in itself but rather in choosing an open-source license (learn about it here reprap.org/wiki/Wealth_Without_Money ). Quickly a vibrant community arose around this project, the propagation became exponential and variations started to flourish (see the RepRap Family Tree reprap.org/wiki/RepRap_Family_Tree).

A technology which was only accessible to industry and big companies is now at hand of any enthusiast tinkerer. While 3D-printing makes it's way in schools, garages and homes, people start to make or try lot of things by themselves, useful or not, sometimes truly practical when it came to fix stuff or for custom-made parts. Looking at sharing platforms like Thingiverse, CubeHero, etc. reveals how creative everyone can be... what do you imagine then ?

Main features

The idea of the FoldaRap came from the experience gained through different RepRaps and other machines that I built. And mostly from several workshops and presentations that pushed me to develop a version that would be really transportable (in it's flightcase we could even take the plane with it, or just for storing under the desk when not used).

Main features :
* Foldable, +/- 4kg
* Made with 20 x 20 mm robust aluminium extrusions, widely available
* Easy to assemble or disassemble, with few tools
* Modular, this point is particularly important, not only to scale/tweak the machine, but also on a long term perspective, unlike machines based on custom cut panels you can reuse the basic construction elements in a newer version or other builds.
* All the electronics are safely enclosed in the base, connected via USB
* Use the same open-source toolchain (firmware/software) as any reprap (Marlin/Slic3r/Pronterface), that run on windows, mac, linux
*Peltier heated bed (fast heat-up), or cold-bed
* 1,75 mm direct drive bowden extruder (instant retract, near-zero hysteresis)
* Use parts shared with other printers design (reprappro hotend, Melzi boards), contributing to the reprap dev. ecosystem
*140 x 140 x 140 mm build volume

Why this is important

It took me (only) several months to develop it. Fortunately I could build upon the shoulders of others. To perpetuate that virtuous circle I followed the known lesson in open-source software "release early, release often", I also included a detailed Bill Of Material and the project and its documentation are continuously refined over time.

For who is this project ?

I firstly aim this project for experienced users, already having a 3d-printer or aware of the personal manufacturing trend, the maker movement, FabLabs, etc. and the potential revolution they represent.
Nonetheless, I designed the FoldaRap to be as easy as possible to build : you need few tools, and there is no distance to check during the assembly thanks to the push-fit strategy, making it easier to build than the previous models.
"You don't own it if you can't open it", by building it yourself you will also got to know how it works in the details, which is useful in case you need to repair or adapt something on the machine (an appreciable difference over plug-n-play/closed machines).

For the 30 first FoldaRaps, we have seen both neophytes and experienced users building one, it took between 4h to 20h to assemble (for a order of challenge almost comparable to a Ikea furniture). So that make me think it is for people who want a cute little printer, that works well in a not so tiny print volume ;-)

The FoldaRap will soon celebrate its first anniversary of printing (project start : 2011/11 - first printed object : 2012/05/24 ) ! And now this model has been replicated several times in the wild !


Goals of the crowdfunding campaign

I take every project as an opportunity to try new things. The FoldaRap was the occasion to apply the nice lessons I learned from open-source in my design process, it was also my first and successful experiment of crowdfunding !
This time I want to go to a next level and experiment with distributed manufacturing and open-source business models.



By offering mostly kit without printed part it will create a demand that the community can answer, sometimes locally (why ship printed parts when you can have them made near you?), but I also asked for people who are interested by this experience to supply printed part for the complete kits, in this case we can think of it as a quality certification of the producers and their machines.

Distributing the production over the community is also a way to scale up with agility, allowing me to supply a greater number of kits (which is good for bulk ordering) while sharing the profit with others.


The next level experience is about a distributed low-cost 3d-printing service that I'm setting up with a team (3dprintskin.eu), because even if the machines are more accessible than before, there will be always people who just want their model printed, while those who are most interested by the RepRap could help them and make an additional revenue from it.
Think of every FoldaRap as a potential franchise, replicating the machines but also the economic model we imagined, which let a very good share for the contributors, but this is another story ;-)

(insert here the last image showing a p2p-network of repraps)
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