Greetings one and all! Recently, as I was compiling little bits of fischertechnik related news to share both with readers of this blog, and also with our fans on the “fischertechnik User Group” Facebook page (join up, if you already haven’t), I came across an interesting article on a website called RepRap.org, dedicated to the RepRap community. So what is a RepRap? Per the website:
“RepRap is a free desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap can print those parts, RepRap is a self-replicating machine – one that anyone can build given time and materials.”
A variation on this is the ‘RepStrap’, which is also defined here as:
“…a 3D printer cobbled together from whatever parts you can find, which will eventually allow you to print the parts for a RepRap machine, or to simply use as a standalone machine”.
So that said..RepRap..RepStrap…what does any of this have to do with fischertechnik? As it turns out, quite a bit. To take the concept a bit further, the site also lists what they call an ‘FTIStrap’, which is a RepStrap built almost entirely of fischertechnik parts, with only some additional items which are readily available in many local stores, and the whole thing can usually be constructed within a single working day.
The site includes complete assembly instructions, parts list, and even a software download for your controller unit. In all, the directions print out at a whopping 87 pages, and seem to cover all the bases including lot’s of diagrams outlining the various steps. Whether you decide to build an FTIStrap on your own or with a group, or you’d just like to see how the creators of this machine made it work, feel free to click on this link and check out this very fine work.
(Please note—the instruction on the page linked above do include a warning regarding the risk involved in using the required hot-melt gun which operates at 220V and a temperature of 230 degrees Celsius. As such, please read all directions on the RepRap page very carefully, and likewise note that neither the authors of the RepRap page, nor Studica/fischertechnik will in any way be held liable for any damages or injuries if you decide to build your own FTIStrap.)
And to give you a quick idea what a machine like this looks like in action, we found a video which shows another variation on an FTIStrap going through the motions:
Let us know what you think of this creation, and if you’ve come up with any interesting and unique fischertechnik models of your own or at your school, please feel free to email us and tell us about them. If you provide clear pictures and video clips, we may even be able to share them in a future blog entry, or feature them on our Facebook page. As always, please direct any questions or correspondence to email@example.com. And so until we meet again, happy building!
Author: Lance Zurek