by General Fabb
There was once a time when your 3D printer arrived as bags of teeny parts that you had to carefully assemble over a weekend. Then there came a time when your 3D printer would arrive fully assembled. Now is the time when your 3D printer can arrive folded.
Yes, folded. Maker Emmanuel Gilloz has designed a species of RepRap 3D printer that can actually be folded into transportable form!
It's driven by the Gilloz's experience at 3D printing meetups, where folks drag their carefully assembled machines together and learn 3D printing by doing it. Let's face it, the 3D printers of today are generally not easily transportable. They are sometimes large and often have fragile bits sticking out, able to snare easily and damage the unit.
Gilloz has taken a standard RepRap design and modified it in such a way to enable folding the 3D printer down to the size of a regular carrying case (see images). This is precisely how one would want to lug a 3D printer around town. This format would even make air travel almost comfortable, although it would be interesting to listen to the FoldaRap owner's explanation at the security gate.
Aside from the foldability, the FoldaRap is a regular RepRap 3D printer offering standard specifications, just what one would expect.
FoldaRap is now a fundraising project on Ulule, where Gilloz hopes to raise €6500, but as of this writing he's well beyond that, indicating this is a particularly interesting project for the 3D printing community.
As with most fundraising projects, Gilloz offers a variety of donation levels, but the interesting ones start at €600 (USD$740) where you can get a kit, which when combined with your existing 3D printer to print out a few necessary parts, you can make your own FoldaRap. For €1000 you can get one assembled if you're in a hurry.