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How to 3d Print a 3d Printer

It's a popular internet joke: the danger of 3d printing is that once you have a 3d printer, you can just print out more 3d printers. This would be a concern to 3d printer manufacturers. But if you've spent some time with 3d printers, you know that this is nowhere close to becoming a reality.

For now.

But you can print parts for a 3d printer and many people have (I've printed out a spool holder for a 3d printer using the same 3d printer). Instructables member redhatman and his roommate were curious about how much of a functional 3d printer could be created using only printed parts. He did this because he and his roommate bought a 3d printer together and had to decide what to do with it when they parted ways. King Solomon was not available to provide a solution, so they resolved to duplicate their printer.

It was successful! Redhatman and his roommate were able to build a 3d printer that successfully prints objects, including this dragon figurine. He suggests eventually developing self-replicating printers, which isn't necessarily just a crazy concept from Star Trek.


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this might be asking too much, but I'd like to see a 2nd generation 3D printer: a 3D printer grandchild, if you will. If the grandchild is a copy of the child, then that's big news!
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I thought the whole point of projects like RepRap was to have an open source printer that could print itself, and as of several years ago it could to the extent it only needed the addition of some Arduino circuits, stepper motors and cheap steel rods. There should now be a lot of variations freely available so that anyone with a friend with a 3d printer can get a simple 3d printer themselves cheaply (ymmv with regards to quality of printer though).
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