One of my biggest problems with reprap projects today is sourcing all the hardware for a build. Some project give you a text file some give a link to shared google doc, but I found a new service this morning that looks pretty promising KitBOM http://www.kitbom.com/
This has definitely been my biggest trouble with maintaining my machine. Not sourcing all parts, but just finding replacement parts. Sometimes it’s tough just to find the right specs for that one replacement resistor or coupling.
Having detailed BoMs is a great thing.
I’ve run into a few notable bad projects for this. Even difficult to read through BoMs are better than none at all. I just love those sorts of projects. Especially when they even have custom code associated with them that’s relatively well maintained. How is anyone supposed to make use of your work, or help contribute to it, if you don’t have a BoM for them get the necessary hardware?
Maybe they (McMaster, Boltdepot, etc) can be convinced to adopt a system like that of Digikey, which allows the creation and import of both parts lists and BOMs: https://ordering.digikey.com/help.aspx?WT.mc_id=BOMhelp&id=BOMHelp&site=US
inventables has a system where you can make a “kit” from parts on their site then let other people add the whole (or partial) kit to their cart at once. but you have to pay inventables markup on all of it
Boltdepot does seem to allow you to save an order, but no ability to share that with someone. I think the problem is compounded by having to source Vitamins from several suppliers Especially if you’re concerned with price. I dream of the day when there is a service that has a complete bill of materials, a list of supplier w/ costs. You checkbox the items you want and it batch process the orders and It takes you to suppliers site to pay. Any developers in the community.
As cool as this is what you really need is, as a printer is “proven” an investment needs to be made, it would further push costs down with quantity discounts of all the parts. Buy every thing needed at a number you can get a discount. Kit it out.
The quantity discount would probably give enough room to make a small amount while still passing on the deal. This has been done to some extent but more commercially. It would need to be more of an “Opensource warehouse” .
@Addidis_no Most people buying kits are willing to accept that there’s markup on the kit compared to self-sourcing. You’re buying the kit knowing that you’re paying a fee for someone else to go through that bother, and to get some kind of official support avenue if anything goes wrong.
But if self-sourcing were made extremely easy, then there wouldn’t be so much a need for that.
3D printing is all about a slightly higher per-unit price being the cost of vast degrees of convenience and customization.
@Miles_Wilford No doubt, and I understand. If your goal is making it easy/affordable and to get printers in more peoples hands it wouldnt hurt to have a place to order hw kits. You would still need a friend to print plastics. But a source for parts is what is missing. Perhaps a group order like oshpark is a fair compromise.