I hope this is the right forum, and that this will be received well..
I'm currently working on a printable Reprap which has by far the most printable structural parts of any reprap currently known.
This design is focused on having as little vitamins as possible (less than a quarter of the amount of a prusa mendel), and to be built by my very untechnical wife with only a picture of the final design as reference, a screwdriver, a hammer and some basic tools like pliers etc.
If this works out, it should prove that my design is ready for release to the public, which will then be shared on Thingiverse and here.
The printer would also cost less, and all the individual parts should be printable on a 15x15x10 cm xyz grid. Among the features would be: Portable, easy to disassemble, PCB heatbed sized printable area with "unlimited" height
Downside is currently rigidity (especially Z) but of course that should be fixed before release.
Before i continue, i'm wondering if this has been done before (can't find anything about it) and if anyone would even be interested in something like this.
Another detail is that i have no engineering degree or anything of that magnitude, and that i will do this solo, plus whoever wants to test the design prior to being released.
I got my Prusa2 mainly to make parts for my other hobbys. But doing something like this was one of my goals to work towards over the next year. Power to ya, I wanted to do it to develop a lower cost printer. I think there would be people interested as long as it prints decent quality prints. I havent got around to my planning yet as I just got my Prusa up and running last week. There will definitely be some challenges and remember the first design might not work. But thats part of coming up with something new! Maybe someone else knows if its been done, I didnt see one when I was researching what printer to build.
I think that aiming to design a more reprapable printer will yield a lot of fun, and it certainly is in keeping with the primary directive of the RepRap project! I suspect a lot of people at least think about how to reduce the vitamin count as they are building their first RepRap (I know I sure did) but the drive kind of tails off once the printer is up and running and other challenges/projects take priority. I know that personally there was a moment when my drive to cut "costs" by reducing vitamins took a downward turn when I realised that a box of bolts really doesn't cost that much
In terms of work others have already done: I know that there is the Ronthomp Mendel (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14700) which has this as a goal. I think the Tantillus (http://reprap.org/wiki/Tantillus) has a printed body too. There's a list of printers I have collected here in case it helps...[reprap.development-tracker.info] The "reprapability" search only yields a few results at the moment because I have yet to go through and systematically categorise the entries, but it's on my todo list - [reprap.development-tracker.info]
I look forward to seeing your design! Best of luck.
At least i now know that my design is still not "taken"
I hope that this project will keep going the way it has been, as it has been a lot of fun thinking up new parts and pieces to make everything work better..
As it looks now, the rods will be screwless and most (if not all) of the design will be dovetailed.
My main reason for reducing vitamins is because i've spent a few hours in the hardware store finding 10 types of the same bolt, but different sizes and heads for one design printer.. this needs to be easier!
Also the fact that 80% of the body of a reprappable printer is threaded rod is kind of silly.
Hopefully that will change, but we'll see how far i get :-P
The only design that is close to this idea is the printable makerbot, I can't seem to find it on thingiverse... maybe it was removed.
Essentially they cut up all of the large structural sheets into puzzle pieces to fit on the build platform of a makerbot.
Other than that, I know that the community as a whole is constantly trying to improve on the design of the prusa to reduce it's vitamin count. Usually someone will redesign one part to operate with half of its vitamins. Someone has also tried printing all of the nuts and washers.
I don't know of anyone who has attempted to design a new reprap from scratch with the same limitations you have given yourself.