Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Review: 3D Printing with Rep Rap Cookbook

3D Printing with RepRap Cookbook was written by Richard Salinas for the reader who has a Rep Rap 3D printer and is ready to learn how to print better models.  The author guides the reader through numerous printing exercises involving calibration, flow rate and test models.  Numerous color photos show print results using ABS and PLA filaments.

Chapter one shows the reader how to take photos of an actual object and stitch them up with 123D Catch to make a 3D model.  I enjoyed reading chapter three which shows how to install a David Laserscanner using a webcam and a common laser to scan small objects.  I also found clear images of host interfaces like Repetier which you install on your computer to control your printer. The author also compares slicing programs Slic3r and Skeinforge interface as well photos of the printed results.

Richard describes 3D modeling with TopMod to create organic forms with carefully designed support meant to be strong and easier to remove from the printed model which is knowledge that can only be gained by experience.  He shows how to fix mesh problems with MeshLab for manifold issues, inverted mesh, as well as reducing the amount of polygons of dense models.  He adds textures to his lovely starfish model with meshmixer.  The author shows the lattice technique to prevent printed filament from curling up and distorting the model.  He also discusses trouble shooting the actual 3D printer and common issues like a loose heatsink.

You can find more information of this book by clicking on 3D Printing with Rep Rap Cookbook
as well as this link
You can find more information about Richard by visiting his website


  1. That sounds very interesting. I have been hearing a lot about 3D printers, but I only have a very vague idea of what they are and how they work. This books might answer some of those questions, if it is not so technical as to be inaccessible. What I have been wondering about is what sorts of materials 3D printers can make objects from? What is in the cartridge? Can it use organic materials as well as inorganic?

  2. Thank you Aya! These are very good questions.
    I think the book is highly descriptive for the reader who already has a Rep Rap 3D printer assembled and is ready to print with it. Filament which is on a spool gets extruded and melted at temperatures according to the material's specification since ABS, PLA, PET, nylon, TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), Laybrick (stone filament) vary.
    If by organic material you mean wood there is LAYwooD3 which is made of wood particles fused with polymers. I think ceramic polymers are interesting in that you print it before firing it a kiln just like regular ceramic.