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Contraptor

Contraptor is a DIY open source construction set for experimental personal fabrication, desktop manufacturing, prototyping and bootstrapping. Various сartesian robots can be assembled from Contraptor and used as a prototyping platform for projects such as XY plotter, mini CNC machine, 3D printer etc. You can make components of the Structural + Basic linear motion subsets of Contraptor at home for about $300 in parts and materials, plus shipping, taxes and time. Sketchup models of Contraptor components are hosted on Google 3D Warehouse while the DXF exports and SVG templates are hosted on Thingiverse, a cool new site for sharing hardware designs. If you like the set but don’t want to make it, we’re working with Hines Design Labs to fabricate a small quantity of Contraptor subsets, and then release the design/manufacturing files under an open source license, so that anyone with Shopbot could do the same. The initial kits are planned to be sold at or below cost – $150 to 250 depending on the subset. We need 10 committed buyers for Structural subset kit ($200) and 10 for Basic linear motion subset kit ($250).

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License, excellent.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Justin C says:

    This looks very interesting. I don’t think I’ll buy a kit due to price, but I definitely might consider making my own machine.

    Is there a community site where people can talk and interact about this project?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t suppose you’d consider setting the spacing at 1.5″ to be compatible with grid beam components?

  3. rileyporter.myopenid.com says:

    Justin,

    Thanks for the interest in the Contraptor project. Yes, prices are a bit high right now however I assure you that Vitaly and I are doing our best to help being the costs down. The current pricing really represents pretty much a way to break even :)

    That being said. You are spot on with building your own. Go for it! We are hardcore Open Source maker robots… I mean guys.. We are planning on selling some templates that will help people create accurate contraptor parts via the home depot ;) However, if you go the route of making your projects on your own be sure to check out a few other online metal suppliers, they are much cheaper than retail stores.

    Anonymous,

    I do not think that we will be changing the spacing now. But thats not stopping you from submitting your own components that will bridge the grid beam with contraptor. If you do let us know. (tweet contraptor)

    I am posting a video to help people understand how to use contraptor better at the end of the day (EST) today. Stop by contraptor.org to check it out.

    Riley

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