Make Money with your MakerBot by eBaying RepRap Parts!

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MakerBot found early inspiration in the RepRap project. A RepRap is a self replicating, rapid prototyper. Adrian Bowyer, it’s founder, supported MakerBot as an early investor, giving us money to put stuff on the shelves at MakerBot when we were just beginning. Zach designed the Generation 3 Electronics to be modular enough to work for MakerBot and RepRaps.

The RepRap, like MakerBot, is open source and the RepRap team is super smart, resourceful, and sharing which makes them superstars in the 3D printing world.

Zach, Adam and I got into 3D printing a few years ago hacking on it in our free time and just trying to make a machine that would work. Zach’s RepRap Darwin machine broke a few minutes after he had spent 3 years building it and my McWire machine actually caught on fire in Austria and started emitting the magic smoke of burnt up electronics.

A few years later, it is still not trivial to put a RepRap together, it requires a lot of enthusiasm, a healthy dose of bravery, and the ability to navigate a project that is growing and changing every day. There aren’t step by step instructions which makes it a very challenging project.

To make a RepRap requires having a 3D printer, a classic chicken and egg problem solved by having a MakerBot! You still need to buy the nuts and bolts and motors and belts, and rods and plastic and wood and so on, but the plastic parts are totally MakerBottable!

RepRap Mendel Printed Parts on eBay (end time 14-Mar-10 11_15_06 GMT)-1

There is a great demand for these parts such that creating them and selling them on ebay is like 3D printing money! Adrian Bowyer recently sold a set of Mendel parts on eBay for 420 Pounds ($630 US Dollars). Adrian encourages folks to make them and sell them too.

The mendel is a big machine and it takes a lot of time to create all the parts, but if you’re looking for something easier with smaller printed parts, there is a new mini-mendel.

There’s no knowing how long the RepRap gold rush will last, but for now, if you’ve got a MakerBot, you can put it into service making RepRap parts, sell them on eBay and make money with your machine by making parts for RepRap machines! Here are all the things tagged with Mendel on Thingiverse which should point you in the right direction so you can start printing parts!

Update: One of the MakerBots (#170) that made a ton of the pulleys for batch 7-9 MakerBots has an ebay auction for Mendel parts up right now! Go check it out!

Photo by Batist!