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Software Recommendations for RepRaps and their descendants

24 November, 2011 


This page is still under construction, so send me your feedback or ideas via the Contact Form

The many articles on building a RepRap often contain articles referring to articles referring to websites. I will attempt to make the process easier by giving my recommendations.

I have the most experience with Medel Prusa's and Makerbots, so my recommendations are slanted this way.

  1. The first thing to think about is you Arduino Mega. It needs to have the correct firmware installed. It may come with the correct firmware, if it doesn't then use a Arduino Software to upload some to your board. The host software is here: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/software, but exactly which firmware is required is tricky. If you have bought a kit, the kit provider should be able to send you a copy.
  2. Flashing the Firmware to the motherboard can be done through the USB port on the Arduino.
    For a Makerbot, use ReplicatorG. Every time you open the software, it checks the Makerbot website for updates to the firmware. You can flash these across to the motherboard and extruder controller from within the software. Select Machine > Upload new Firmware, then select your machine. You can download it here
    For a Reprap with RAMPS motherboard, the firmware is updated via the Arduino firmware update
  3. Printing software.
    For a Makerbot, ReplicatorG will do everything you need. It uses a version of Skeinforge in the background to slice up your model and create the "GCode" which is sent to your Makerbot to tell it where/when to print.
    For a RepRap, you can use repSnapper to connect to the printer, generate the GCode as well as controll the printer manually. This is currently being maintained by Tim Schmidt here

Chris Bilby

Find out more at www.bilbycnc.com.au or phone 1800-245-297

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