Monday, April 30, 2018

Reviving an old Bits from Bytes Rapman

It's been a long time since I posted here, unfortunately no more time to write lengthy articles... Maybe someday.

For those landing here when looking for information on the since long deprecated Bits from Bytes (BfB) Rapman that we used as the 3d printer to bootstrap our first ceramic 3d printers from, here's some info on how to revive those machines. We still use them today since they were included in some of our installations like l'Artisan Électronique from 2010. This installation is still continuously exhibited and now even part of the Centre national des arts plastiques, (CNAP, the national art collection in France).

Since we feel the look of the machine is an integral part of the installation, we keep on maintaining it using original parts. But we also updated one machine to modern electronics and firmware. I've never had the time to do a good writeup of that but fortunately enough, others did. Here's a good blog (still updated) by Alvaro Salgado documenting the process, the most recent post is about replacing the extruder. Most posts also have a Spanish version besides the English posts:

There's also still an OpenBFB Google Group that I setup when BfB pulled the plug on their support forum, not very active but good information is hosted there:!forum/openbfb

And here are 3D files that I extracted form the BfB tutorial PDF that can be used for reverse engineering purposes: