RS Components, the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, announced in a press statement on Thursday, 16 January 2013 that it has signed a distribution agreement with RepRapPro Ltd.
Under the terms of the agreement, RS said it will be able to deliver affordable, open-source, self-replicating 3D printing technology to engineers worldwide.
The completion of the deal coincides with the launch of the RepRapPro Ormerod low cost 3D printer, which RS said it also sells.
According to RS, the Ormerod uses the Fused Filament Fabrication process to build 3D objects in a range of plastics and in a variety of colours.
This process enables the user to create almost any shape that can be modelled on a computer, including some that cannot be produced by traditional manufacturing techniques at all, RS said.
RS said that the Ormerod is a monochrome 3D printer that has been configured to work with one type of plastic at a time, but that it was fundamentally designed to work with three-colour deposition. An upgrade kit for this is to be made available soon, RS said.
Compared to its predecessor, the RepRapPro Mendel, construction of the RepRapPro Ormerod is much simpler.
While the Mendel took two days to put together on average, the Ormerod only takes two hours, RS said.
The Ormerod’s electronics have also been been redesigned and now enable connectivity via a web browser, RS said.
According to RS, the complete kit includes: all printed parts; all hardware, including threaded and smooth rods, screws, nuts, washers, belts and bearings; pre-soldered and programmed electronics; MicroSD card and adapter; heated PCB build surface; motors; nozzle assembly and extruder drive mechanism; 100m of 1.75mm-diameter PLA (polylactic acid) filament material (approximately 300g); power supply (for EU, UK, US and Australia); and finally, the open-source software to run the machine, including firmware for the electronics.
All RepRapPro printers are capable of self-replicating their own plastic components, and RS said that hardware-only Ormerod kits will be available soon for those that want to use their Ormerod to make Ormerod printers for other people.
Other specifications of the Ormerod include accuracy of 0.1mm, resolution of 0.0125mm, build speed of 1.8mm per minute and deposition rate of 33cm3 per hour.
Currently the RepRapPro Ormerod Full 3D Printer Kit is listed for R8,999.99 with availability expected by 17 January 2014.