In the works The Wally and Simpson printer designs of Nicholas Seward shows how effective open-source, rapid prototyping can be. Within a month of introducing his experimental delta design on the RepRap forums  the design had been discussed, modified and improved into a working machine already able to produce very respectable prints. With a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, which is soon to be complemented with a Master of Arts in Physics, Nicholas is no stranger to mechanical design. However the feedback and positive critique via the forums helped define and develop the designs, a fact he happily relates: “the RepRap community has drastically changed the direction of these projects multiple times. I can not take full responsibility for the Wally or Simpson. They truly belong to the community.”
Nicholas’ motivation drew from early experiences with his first printer, an LC Printbot, which he received as a birthday gift from his wife. Whilst admitting that the Printbot is “great”, he immediately recognised ways in which he would have designed it differently. Once the machine was running he slowly started tweaking the printer to remedy the various issues he encountered, resulting in a machine quite different to the original. This process, of tackling problems and tailoring the design to meet his own needs, was instrumental in driving him to go on to produce his later work, he says, “In retrospect, without the initial problems I probably wouldn’t have been as motivated to take on all that I have.”
Simpson after initial prints
The third issue of RepRap Magazine. Interview with Nicholas Seward, Paste Extrusion, Hot-Ends, and much more.