Monthly Archives: February 2012


Another addition to the RepRap Library

Continuing the recent series of RepRap books, Forrest Higgs has kindly agreed to allow his blog posts from and to be collated and made available in eBook format.

Diary of a Technocratic Anarchist.pdf (26MB)

Diary of a Technocratic Anarchist.epub  (25MB)



A History of RepRap Development

Whilst putting together the Hydraraptor eBook I realised that a similar treatment to other RepRap development blogs would be useful, in particular the one from the core developers at  Modifying the scripts and a bit of hacking produced the following 1758 page(!) history of the early days of the project.  Essential reading for any budding RepRap developer!

A History of RepRap Development.pdf  (40MB)

A History of RepRap Development.epub  (37MB)

A couple of interesting side notes:

  • Several image links in the original posts are dead, particularly the early stuff.  However, a little sleuthing on Google  found some of them, and so this version is technically more complete than the original blogs!
  • With agreement from Forrest Higgs I pulled in the content of his contributions (which were links to his own blogs) into the book, which means a more complete, smoother reading experience.
  • A couple of people suggested that offering the book in ePub format would be a good idea and so both this book and the Hydraraptor book are also available in both PDF and ePub versions.  In producing the ePub version I learnt a bit more about the format (a zip file of html and images) and found, unsurprisingly, that the resulting book has fewer formatting issues as the PDF version. To generate the ePub book I simply told the script to output one huge html file and then converted this using the Calibre eBook management tool.

A note about the formatting: because the blog has many collaborators the html of the posts varies greatly, consequently the layout of some entries may be a little off. I have attempted to correct this with various hacks, and I believe the result is acceptable, but the task can be a real time-sink. If any pages are completely unreadable please let me know, however small layout issues will probably not be fixed.

The books have a dedicated page on this blog (RepRap Developer Bookshelf), and will be  are mirrored in the RepRap Wiki.


Learning from Hydraraptor

A common variant of a George Santayana quote is:

Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

Sometimes it is worthwhile repeating mistakes in order to really learn more about the problem, but most of the time we are happy to learn from the work of others, and build onwards with this knowledge in mind.

I mention all this because I recently spent a weekend reading the entirety of Nophead’s Hydraraptor blog. Since starting on the RepRap project I have read many of his posts, but for some reason never actually sat down to consume the whole thing. This was a mistake because reading through the posts in chronological order gives an excellent insight into the thought processes, trials, pitfalls and successes that one comes across whilst developing a 3D printer. One also develops a greater appreciation of how the current state of the project came to be.

While online access is today mostly ubiquitous I found that reading the entire site through a browser was sub-optimal, and so I decided to create an offline version that I could have on my eBook reader or tablet, or read whilst having no internet connection. As I did this I realised that such a document would be useful for others, and so, with Nophead’s permission, I am making the pdf available to all.

HydraRaptor – The story so far.pdf (30MB)

HydraRaptor – The story so far.epub (27MB)

A few notes:

  • The copyright of the posts belongs to Nophead and so any further reuse of the material requires permission from him.
  • Comments are not included. Whilst several did in fact add to the original discussion, the majority did not, and so they can be found online should the reader wish to dig through them.
  • Several images are missing and are highlighted as such. This draws attention to the preservation benefit of the pdf!
  • The document was generated from a script which parsed archive pages of the blog, formatted as necessary, and then generated the pdf. This process may have introduced inconsistencies and errors. Should you find any problems, and wish to report them, please send an email to me here.