Welcome to the Bristol Hackspace Wiki


A RepRap 3D printer was donated to the hackspace by Steve Bullock in June 2012. It has been fixed and fettled and is finally producing good prints.

Thanks go to those who have donated parts to get it going: a set of Sanguinololu electronics were donated by Doug, but unfortunately we could not get them working. We did use the stepper drivers, though. Matt V. donated an Arduino Mega 2560, Ian S. donated a set of RAMPS electronics. A heated bed PCB and SD card reader were donated by RepRapPro. A Reifsnyder Mk IV hot end was donated by the Thames Valley RepRap user group.

RepRap is an open-source project started at the University of Bath by Dr Adrian Bowyer. The model we have is a Prusa Mendel. The designs for all components and circuit diagrams are available free to use under various open source licenses. The main entry for the Prusa Mendel is http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa

Hackspace printer capabilities

Materials: PLA only. Please do not use ABS/PVA/HDPE/other random filament, as it may block the extruder.
Bed size: 200mm x 200mm x 100mm (XYZ)
Filament size: 3mm
Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm

How to use it


To arrange an induction, contact Ian S or Russell D via the Bristol Hackspace Google Group. Inductions cost £10 per person, with the money going to the hackspace as a donation. Inductors volunteer their time to provide inductions, and have to fit them around other commitments, so please be patient! Inductions are not scheduled on Thursday evenings, as it's the open evening; there's too much else going on to do an induction reliably.

The Bristol Hackspace 3D printer training manual is available on Google Docs.

You can produce files for 3D printing from many 3D programs. OpenSCAD, Blender, Sketchup are all open source programs you can use, or more commercial ones such as 3DMax, SolidWorks, AutoCad. The file type of choice is a .stl file, or stereolithography. It is a basic 3D model, with just the triangles and faces that make up a solid object. There are two parts to the printing process; taking the stl file to produce a sliced gcode file, and then sending that file to the printer. We use a program called Slic3r to slice the stl, and Pronterface (part of Printrun) to communicate with the printer.

Inducted Hackspace members

Name Inducted Date Status
Ian S n/a Expert
Russell D n/a Expert
Matt V na Inducted
Alaric S-P 2013-10-03 Inducted by IS
Harry G 2013-10-22 Inducted by IS
Chris L 2013-10-29 Inducted by IS
Garth B 2013-11-18 Inducted by IS
Toby 2013-11-26 Inducted by IS
David H 2013-11-26 Inducted by IS
John D 2013-11-26 to be inducted
William S-T 2014-01-23 Inducted by RD
Harry S 2014-03-25 Inducted by IS
Chris W 2014-03-25 Inducted by IS
Donny 2014-03-25 Inducted by IS
Arthur A 2014-05-07 Inducted by IS
John W 2014-05-07 Inducted by IS
Jonathan T 2014-05-07 Inducted by IS
Steph T 2014-09-22 Inducted by IS
John Willis 2014-09-22 Inducted by IS
John O'B 2014-11-06 Inducted by IS
Robin H 2014-11-06 Inducted by IS
Tom G 2014-11-06 Inducted by IS
Zak W 2014-11-26 Inducted by IS
Paul S 2014-11-26 Inducted by IS
Ross M 2015-03-11 Inducted by IS
Joachim E 2015-03-11 Inducted by IS
Jenkins J 2015-04-08 Inducted by RD
Marshall N 2015-04-08 Inducted by RD
Josh M 2015-07-22 Inducted by IS
Lee W 2015-07-22 Inducted by IS
Kaspar E 2015-07-22 Inducted by IS
Christian E 2016-04-15 Inducted by RD
Tom Gizzard 2016-04-15 Inducted by RD
Patrick N 2016-09-21 Inducted by IS
Sab V 2016-09-21 Inducted by IS
Chris B 2016-09-21 Inducted by IS
Tom K C 2016-11-30 Inducted by IS
Tyeth G 2017-01-27 Inducted by IS
Iain H 2017-01-27 Inducted by IS

Proposed costs of use

From the members meeting here: http://bristol.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=botlab:openmeeting_20130603
and here: http://bristol.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=botlab:openmeeting_20130916

Standard process - induction + pay-per-use
Payment for inductions: £10 towards hackspace
Machine time (for people using their own filament): £1/hr
Machine time plus using hackspace filament (donated or purchased): £5/hr

Sourcing Filament

Recommended supplier: Faberdashery are a local company, and sell consistent, high quality PLA, if a little on the expensive side.

There is a long list of suppliers on the reprap.org wiki here. Caveat emptor.

Build History

The RepRap, pretty much as we received it.

Replacement parts

When we received it, the X carriage end parts had all ripped out so they won't clamp onto the X rails properly. Ian printed a set of parts in white PLA, which have been fitted. At the same time, LM8UU bearings were fitted to each axis. When we experimented with printing ABS plastic, the x-carriage got a bit hot and deformed, and has since been reprinted.

Heated Bed

The reprap was supplied with an aluminium heated bed, which power resistors fitted to the bottom. It had no temperature controller, just used a laptop PSU running flat out. We persisted with this for some time, but ultimately it took too long to heat up and gave very inconsistent results. It was replaced by PCB heated bed, donated by RepRapPro, which is controlled by the RAMPS electronics, and is much more capable of higher temperatures.

Hot End

The original hot end worked, just, but caused problems by transferring too much heat into the extruder. A Reifsnyder Mk IV hot end has been donated by the Thames Valley RepRap User Group and has been fitted.


The reprap originally came with mendel-parts generation 6 electronics. This has no heated bed controller, and has been replaced by an Arduino Mega 2560 and RAMPS motor shield (donated by Ian). We couldn't get the Sanguinololu electronics donated by Doug to work. An SD card reader, donated by RepRapPro, has also been fitted.

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