Edit: Reposted for the normal, 9-to-5 crew.
Grr. Someone had a really good term for Opponauts... other than Opponauts, and I've forgotten it. Oh well.
Ever since I started working on the Seven GTR, I've been very interested in CNC. My ultimate goal is a 6'x12' gantry CNC router, so as to be able to shape car bodies out of large foam blocks. Particularly, the 962, and the 911 GT1. I have contact with someone that has tube-frame blueprints for the 962, rather than the aluminum-tubbed original chassis. However, there is no affordable source of 962 body parts.
Oh well. It costs between $1500-3000 to make, and that's down the road. I need a little more experience (although, I don't think it's going to take that much more than what I've been doing now, if not less), and a much larger garage to put it in.
For now, I am looking into building a RepRap. I want to start with a standard model, and then from there go to a 2x or larger scale version. I'd like to have a 2'x2'x2' build area, if not larger, eventually. However, from experience, the farther you try to go off the beaten path, the harder it is. It's always better to start with the proven, and go from there. It is going to be a lot like building the Seven, and the MegaSquirt III. All three are open-sourced, and the only major downfall of open-sourced projects is the lack of complete instructions and constant evolution. Like the Megasquirt—there are so many different instructions for a Miata, but you can't use a little here, a little there... you need to go from start to finish on one variant, otherwise you end up with a total headache. I know the RepRap will be the same. There are numerous variants, and I'd have to work very hard to find one complete build plan start-to-finish.
Anyone think it would be a good idea?
The only problem: Money. It costs between 300-400 to build one. Right now, where I'm working, I am making less than I did before I went back to school. I'm doing 50+ hours a week, which makes up for the money difference, but it takes up all of my time, and I'm still struggling to make ends meet. I have no extra cash for hobbies/interests.
So I thought of perhaps making a Kickstart for $500-600 to make a RepRap. That would leave enough extra for expendables and any spare parts needed. I figure $10-$50 donors would get build information and updates (although that'd be a hard sell—I assure you the build would be here, as well as two or three other forums), $50 or $75+ donors would receive a copy of the reproduced RepRap parts (all the plastic connector parts, gears, etc are reproduced from another RepRap.
I've seen people doing Kickstarts for less, (the Lambo guy comes to mind), and some companies use it as well. My only concern is that with two children, it will take a while to complete. I wouldn't be able to guarantee a fixed time frame, although it would definitely get completed. I am very interested in rapid prototyping, and 3D printing is definitely part of it, as well as part of the future. The experience of making and using my own would benefit in numerous ways.
Anyone think it would be a good idea? Has anyone made a Kickstart before?