Clonedel -- A Prusa Mendel Inspired RepStrap

by open3dp, published

Clonedel -- A Prusa Mendel Inspired RepStrap by open3dp Mar 1, 2011

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The Clonedel RepStrap was inspired by the Prusa Mendel (see the related article).


It came about due to necessity of students wanting to build RepRap style machines faster than we could 3D print them. It took about a week outside of class to redesign Prusa parts for mold production. Most of the parts required only minor modifications, but several parts, such as the X-Carriage assembly, required redesign. All modified parts were placed on mold pattern plates to allow for the production of silicone RTV molds.

All of the STL files are now posted here and on GitHub as an Open3DP fork off of the Prusa tree.


They are to be considered Alpha release (and we are already working on some changes). However, we am quite sure that you will be able to use them to print master forms to produce molds (because we have produced molds and we have used the molds to produce RepRaps).

These mold plates represent the current best practice as provided by reprap project, prusa mendel, jnfisher, whosawhatis, rustyspoon1121, etc.

Further, Metrix Create Space has already created molds sets and cast parts. Metrix Create is already making them available.


{P.S. Several people have had trouble with EndStops and XMotor. I uploaded them to NetFabb Beta to fix them. I have uploaded _Fixed versions. Please let me know if these files are better.}


Print parts which are mold master, cast silicone RTV molds, and pour Clonedel parts. Once you have made the silicone RTV molds, you should be able to cast a set of parts in about 30 minutes.

Makers may wish to have a drill press available, as all holes will need to be drilled (their locations are clearly marked with conical indents).

NOTE: the X-Clamps are not interchangeable between the X-Idler and X-Motor Mount. One flange is 1-2 mm narrower and should go toward the rear of the machine.

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Can you put these parts directly on a REPSTRAP?

Some detailed instructions on the casting process it self? Do you just pour the resin(+filler) in the silicon mould and scrape off extra material off the top or do you keep the silicon mould in a box and inject the resin somehow?
What type of resin are you exactly using?

If on the cheap you can mold these using silicone from the Tube. Buy at the depot or Lowe's or other hardware store. Get the gun and squirt away. Your mold exterior may need support and not be pretty on the outside but - It is what is on the inside that counts.

If you use a filler for the epoxy parts your mileage will increase. It will not take from the strength you need and be cheaper than pure epoxy. It may even give your parts a nice feel/finish. Don't ask me what fillers - fiberglass, sand, ??? There are many and I am not an expert. I just know that will work.

got a copy of these from Ace Monster Toys at the 2011 Maker Faire. I'll be working on putting it together with SAE fasteners starting today... Anyone else used SAE/imperial parts with these parts?

Here at Metrix our shop Clonedel is SAE. Drill out your parts with SAE size bits and it's fairly straightforward.

Several people have had trouble with EndStops and XMotor. I uploaded them to NetFabb Beta to fix them. I have uploaded _Fixed versions. Please let me know if these files are better.

I have printed out almost all the plates on my makerbot but will have to custom mold the footed vertices and the wades body because they are too long. I had to turn the xclamps and the xmotor 90 degrees to print on my makerbot using a trick. I cant seem to get the endstops to skein though. Anybody else have this issue?

thanks for the plates. I am playing around with oogoo(homemade sugru substitute) and it seems really promising to make the molds cheap.

I can't get the endstops or the xmotor to process, there is open surfaces in there and I have no way of editing the stl to close them up. anyone have a fix for that?

use netfabb or MeshLab. They fix quit a few problems.

Great idea for increasing production, could you tell me how much silicone is required for the moulds and how much resin for a set of parts?

Currently it takes about 620 grams of resin for the parts (using the old SOLID vertex shapes as shown in the top photo). However, our team has a goal of trimming out 100 grams which will allow you to pour 10 sets in the 2 gallon pack of resin (as it's about 6.5 kg of resin). The vertex molds posted which are NOT SOLID go a long way towards this goal.

As for silicone RTV, I can't give you that exact of a number but rather a guess. I would guess that one could get at least two complete sets of molds out of a 2 gallon silicone kit. It depends if you are willing to pour some molds twice. We created enough molds to create a Clonedel in a single
pour of polyurethane.

Does anyone know of any software that will take a design and create the 'negative' of it? This seems to be a hole in the design/manufacturing process begging to be filled.

SolidWorks has mold tools...

For molds as simple as this (just a drag), it might be overkill.

If you need to do a cope and drag, cores, etc. SolidWorks figures out a lot of the details for you (and can add draft where needed).

I wonder... Instead of drilling out - you could use an in-mold tube insert. That is, the mold has
an indent that accepts a tube on either end (plugging it) - the tube is sealed (inside the mold indent) and the ID of the tube is the appropriate diameter. The resin will then flow around the tube, locking it in place - you just need to peel back the mold and trim the excess tube.

6' of acrylic tub
e is $3.08 - McMaster 8532K13.

What material can you use in a 3D printer that would be suitable as a mold directly? If you used ABS or PLA it would only work if you planned on using the mold once and destroying it (there's no other way to get the parts out, there's lots of holes parallel to the plane of the mold face)... and if you do that, why not just print the parts and use them? Heh.

ScribbleJ, I would strap a Frostruder onto the Bot and start printing in GE bathtub caulk. I first saw the GE bathtub caulk as a print material on a Fab-at-Home bot. If you visit Fab-at-Home, look under
gt; for a list of Frostrude-able materials (including electrically conductive).

As for holes, 90% of the holes have been plugged and replaced by a conical indent. Cheers

I guess even these require you to go back afterwards and drill out all those holes, huh? Fun times.

It is not too crazy and having you drill the holes ends the SAE - Metric war. You drill what you want. We've been running SAE threaded with ground/polished 8mm drill rods for smooth. Crazy no :)

You can do this in Blender. Import your STL, add a cube, size the cube to be larger than the object, select both then hit 'w' for the boolean menu to do a difference.

I've done the block cut approach in OpenScad as well.

I guess the key here is designing for molding. Like you've had to alter the designs here such that they could be easily moldable.

that's food for thought. I often want to take my designs and produce molds for them. This gives me some inspiration to actually try.

Sure, any solid modeling package can do exactly what you ask. Take the part and cut it from a block. Now, the tricky part is, how many can do it with an STL file? I only know of one and that Rhino.

Works fine in OpenSCAD, IFF the STL is not broken, which is rare.

Using blender, remove doubles, fill holes, then invert normals and combine with an object with normals facing outwards.