It’s been a while since we caught up with Centurion’s Quentin Harley, creator of RepRap Morgan and winner of the Gada Prize for Innovation, but the former telecoms engineer-turned-3D-printer-manufacturer has just revealed his latest design: the ominously monikered Mega Morgan.
Standing 1.1m tall, Mega Morgan dwarfs its older sibling. RepRap Morgan Pro – the off-the-shelf design – is 700mm high and has a print bed that’s 380x220mm at its widest points. The Mega Morgan will ship with a 800x500mm print bed.
According to Harley, Mega Morgan was originally designed for a customer who wanted to create 3D prints slightly larger than a standard Morgan can handle – specifically for creating shop signage. Harley duly obliged by scaling up all the part sizes (Morgan is an open source design – you can download the plans and build one yourself) and was surprised when he found that for most part, the massive machine worked.
He’s now planning to add it to his existing product line, for around R40 000 (a standard Morgan currently costs R15 999).
Mega Morgan also has an interchangeable printhead so that owners can easily swap out the standard 0.4mm nozzle for a larger 1mm one that can print more quickly. Harley says that this means customers can choose between higher resolutions or speed when prototyping designs.
Another customer has apparently requested an even larger version of the machine for a specific purpose.
Morgan is unusual for a RepRap-style 3D printer in that it makes use of an extending Scara arm to control the print head, which extrudes plastic in the normal manner. Originally designed so that it could be almost completely 3D printed for little cost, Harley began manufacturing Morgans from his workshop at House4Hack in Centurion last year and tweaked the design to use laser cut parts that are quicker to manufacture and assemble, and have a professional finish 3D printed versions don’t.
“I think the market for DIY printers in South Africa is pretty saturated,” Harley says, “Anyone who wants to build one either already has or doesn’t have the skills.”
There’s still a large community of people building Morgans using his designs internationally, he added.
Want to see Mega Morgan in action? Check out the video below.