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RepRap Air

by Mecano, published

RepRap Air by Mecano Nov 13, 2011



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ALREADY PUBLISHED THE NEW VERSION AIR 2 AT http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14204

Since I discovered the RepRap project I was surprised how much knowledge could be stored in an Internet community. I was impressed as a practical invention was able to born and grow in the network through the collaboration of specialists in various fields such as mechanics, electronics, computers ... all around the world.

In the mechanical field, It was a revolution when Josef Prusa got dramatically simplify the construction of a RepRap Mendel, current resulting Prusa, that has become a standard in building a RepRap. This also achieved make it much easier a person to be able to build a 3D printer.

The Prusa Air drinks from this spirit and tries to give a twist to the construction of a 3D printer. Its design is based on three basic principles:

1) To simplify the manufacturing and assembly (KISS principle).
2) Designing parts the cheapest way to be able to meet the requirements.
3) A little beauty.

With these guidelines, the use of RP parts is reduced for "commercial" pieces but always bearing in mind that they were readily available worldwide.

The changes are basically:

A) Most of the frame rods and RP pieces has been replaced by three pieces of acrylic embedded between them. They have followed all the design dimensions of Prusa, so for size, trips, electronics, firmwares... it works as a Prusa.

B) One of the sides of the typical Mendel triangle has been removed, resulting in a work area more accessible.

C) The holes for the rods have been changed so that the rods can be removed without having to completely unscrew the nuts.

D) The X and Z axis haven’t changed, they are exactly the same of a Mendel Prusa, the Y axis, as the guides are placed in the same way, you can choose to place a traditional Y-axis or mount a Y-axis with integrated heated platform like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11657.

All the infographics was made by Pikelo with Cinema 4D + Vray.

There is a wiki page writen in Spanish: http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa_Aire



Here are all the parts needed to build the printer, not including carriage parts for the X axis, or for the Y-axis platform because they are considered independent subsets and each person can choose which place.


6 U-clamp
3 Endstop Holder
1 X End Idler
1 X End Motor
1 Y Motor Bracket
2 Z couplings Can be replaced by: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9622
2 Pulley Along with this will be a M3x8 grub screw and nut M3
4 PLA bushings



The threaded rods shall be steel, zinc plated and M8, the cuts required are:

4 x 285 mm
2 x 210 mm
1 x 430 mm

If you cut they from 1 meter rods you will need two rods, the best way to cut is:

Rod 1: 285 - 285 - 430 ========> Total 1000 mm
Rod 2: 285 - 285 - 210 - 210 ===> Total 990 mm


Smooth rods should be 8 mm diameter stainless steel, the ideal is to get calibrated rounds that have a very tight dimensional tolerances (7.97 - 8 mm). The cuts required are:

4 x 410 mm
2 x 345 mm

In total would be about 2.35 m. The dimensions may be the same as those of Prusa but some have been slightly changed to minimize the number of different pieces.


Again I stress that this includes the hardware necessary for the printer without including extruder / X carriage or Y axis platform.

43 M8 nuts DIN934 for rods
40 M8 washers DIN125 for rods
1 M8x35 screw DIN933 for Axis belt X carriage
8 M3x10 screws with nut DIN912 To fix X-Axis guides
16 M3x10 with washer DIN912 To fix the 4 motors
7 M3x20 screws with nut and doble washer DIN912 for Z couplings and Endstop Holders

Screws DIN 912 are for allen wrench and installation much easier.

Finally would be to add the 3 608ZZ bearings, belts T5 840 and 900 mm long and 5 mm wide, and last, the 6 M8 fender washers with a diameter of 30 mm, these are very difficult to get, at least in Spain, and they can be replaced by washer-brimmed (DIN9021) of M10.

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If a bottom piece and middle cutout peace locked into the sides then alignment wouldn't be as necessary. Also their could be less metal parts. What is really the cost of more 6mm wood to bolts and screws and trying to align the bed...

I think when the prusa air 2 or the prusa i3 have a bottom or mid bottom piece or both that lock in the level platform by making a laser cut box then further designs of pick and place machines and solder paste extruders would be more feasible.

The open designs are good I have seen so far its just the acuracy of makeing things by hand compared to laser cut parts. screws and nuts locking things down is a good idea.

Is there a BOM for electronics, railings, servos...all that? I couldn't find

thanks in advance

Enhorabuena por el dise
ño. Soy usuario de varios años con la Rapman. Estoy muy interesado en colaborar y conocer tus proyectos. Pertenezco como fundador a la SOCE Sociedad Española de Odontología Computarizada. Si te interesa, podríamos hablar de tu colaboración en el Simposium de Septiembre.

Muchas gracias, estar
ía encantado de ponerme en contacto contigo, dame un correo o escríbeme un mensaje privado.

Any progress on the update? :-)

Very interesting!!! I am in the need to replace my current printer to a new version!! I guess this is my top candidate!!!!

I hope you can get it stable, although it looks study!! Please keep me up to date on you progresses!! And of course video's, always nice to see stuff working :-)

Very interesting! Good job! I'm not fluent in English to express more precisely:)

I thank the good acceptance is having, if you can wait a few days soon I will publish the Prusa Air 2, I'm putting the finishing touches. ;)

Cool! - offer still stands; I'll cut a frame and trade it for the printed parts required to make the printer.

If someone wants one of these - I'll laser cut the parts from plexi if you'll print me a clean set of parts on a currently running printer - then we can both have one!

Are you ever on freenode #reprap?

I'm thinking of building one with MDF or plywood instead of plexi, using the same materials as the table. There are also printable fender washers that could be included in the set.

It may be interesting to see it in MDF or Plywood, put a picture when you get it.

Just a noob question Is their any reason why not to mount the z axis motors on the bottom?

And great design your making it that much cheaper and easier to build a rep-rap. :)

Thank you very much, :), the truth is that yes, but ... And why not above?

this is really a great contribution. Thanks... at Universidad Carlos III our students are building several Prusa Mendel (20 want to do it, 2 are already build), from now on, we will tell our students to try with the Prusa Air.

Thanks avalero. I'm working on a redesign to give it more rigidity and more space. I am also adding holes for an easy wiring and stay cleaner.

Once done, I would ask the pieces of acrylic, sure I can get a good price if I order more quantity.

I really like it!!!

Do you thing is possible to make it with aluminium instead of acrylic?

Yes, you could do, but keep in mind that the slots are designed to pieces of 5 mm and aluminum could be heavy.

Thanks, glad you like it!! :) :) :)

Indeed has a small bending with carriage movement along the X axis This can be fixed with a cross brace as you say or maybe screwing a squad specifically designed in ABS.

The upper piece which supports the Z-motors also suffer warping, when displacement in Z. The squads will help them. Possibly d
ecreasing the clearance between the pieces of acrylic also improve that point. Currently for 5 mm acrylic slot is 5.1 mm.

I'm working on the redesign and the first thing I will change is the separation of the side pieces. I will increase the separation. This will allow for more accessibility and mo
re print volume. This will enhance the efforts of the top piece of acrylic.

Are you going to post the SW files?

do you refer Solid Works files? I haven't Solid Works files

Beautiful machine! I agree with jridley, looks like it could use some cross bracing for sure. You might get away with using larger washers on the existing points of contact to increase the rigidity without adding more material like a clear cross members. At any rate, very nice, very clean! I like it! :-D

...or laser cut the acrylic at 3/8" instead of 1/4", much stiffer!

It looks like it would have almost no resistance to flexing as the x carriage moves side to side - looks like it could easily vibrate and flex from side to side, especially as the X carriage movements hit resonant frequencies. I have this problem even with my conventional Prusa and am about to add bracing, this looks even more susceptible to it.

Very Nice!

Looks like something any eager builder could try with electrochemicaletching!



I mean, just email a friend a Prusa Air.pdf telling the builder to clean/paint/print .pdf/align it/scratch and do its thing with a ATX-psu over night = Awesome! Can't wait for userfeedback on this one!

It could be interesting the electrochemicaletching after plot a shape in a sheet of metal with our RepRap. :).

Looks cool! Reminds me of the simplifiec reprap that nophead is working on: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,95108,95680#msg-95680http://forums.reprap.org/read....

Wouldn't it be susceptible to vibration in the X axis though?

My thoughts exactly, it NEEDS a cross brace.

Very, very cool. Looks like it makes construction much easier. Probably weighs a good bit less too. I'll keep an eye on this for building my next RepRap.

This is very pretty. Impressive work.