"A vitamin is an... essential micronutrient which an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the organism, either at all or not in sufficient quantities, and therefore must be obtained through the diet." - Wikipedia
Replimat inherits the term vitamin from the RepRap project, a vitamin is anything that you need to make Replimat, which Replimat cannot make for itself.
Completing key development targets will allow Replimats to manufacture parts currently sourced from commercial suppliers.
Parts currently sourced from commercial suppliers include:
- Standard electronic chips such as microcontrollers and optical sensors
- Standard electrical wiring, USB connectors, LEDs and other electronics components, etc.
- Standard electrical PCBs -- at least until we have a breakthrough in Automated Circuitry Making
- Motors (Stepper, Servo, and DC alike)
- Power Supply
All of the structural and mechanical parts should be printable or otherwise able to be manufactured by machines made primarily of Replimat.
Initially we were under the impression that, in order for everyone that wants one to have a Replimat, we needed to design "the" Replimat from "components that are available worldwide". More recently some researchers have been experimenting with the idea that maybe it would be better (lower cost, stronger, etc.) to have several different designs to adapt to whatever local materials are available --
- bamboo where available (Bamboo Printer, etc.)
- plywood and SAE components in North America (Paul Bunyan, SAE Mendel, SAE Prusa Mendel, etc.)
- steel and aluminum in Australia
- ice in Antarctica (IceRap)