About Morgan

Morgan is all about a dream.  A dream to make it easy for anyone in South Africa, or anywhere else in the world to build a 3D printer without needing exceedingly expensive materials, hard to find components, stuff that has to be shipped at sometimes more than the cost of the components, requiring advanced tools.

Bespoke components should be reasonably priced, and consumables available and affordable.

Morgan is to be a tool for creation, not a toy or end product.  It should be used in education and must be affordable and safe enough for school kids to use.

It is codenamed after Thomas Hunt Morgan, a biologist and geneticist known for his extensive research on the Drosophila melanogaster (common fruit fly).  He found that two very average looking flies could, through the propagation of latent genes, spawn many unusually looking offspring.  This is exactly what Morgan aspires to be.  The unusually looking offspring of the RepRAPs before it, drawing from the best of what is currently available but presenting it in a fresh efficient way.

2013 is the birth year of Morgan. And what a Year.

Morgan won 1st place in the interim Uplift prize for personal manufacturing and received incubation funding from the Gauteng Acceleration Program (GAP) for 2014.

2014 marked furious development in the Smoothie firmware, as well as a short collaboration with Robobeast 3D printers.  Quentin helped implement Smoothieware to their machines and facilitated the move to a local variant of the Smoothieboard.

2015 saw the Morgan factory at H4H finally put into commission. Laser-cut versions, and of course the new concept, Lilian Morgan.

Since then Lilian has grown up.  The Morgan Pro 2 is based on this concept and has gone from strength to strength.  We have one of our first Pro 2’s in the workshop, still printing parts for new morgans every day.

2019 is the year of the development of the new concept, codenamed Isabel.  Isabel Morgan was the daughter of Thomas and Lilian and a scientist in her own right.  She did most of the initial work towards the Polio vaccine before she got married and retired from the scientific world.

2022 brought us back to the beginning.  The commercial workshop in South Africa may be closed down, but Morgan is and always will be open source.  I will continue to develop the system for my own enjoyment.  Thank you for your support.

Quentin Harley

93 Replies to “About Morgan”

  1. Hi Quentin,

    I would like to find out how far you have come with your Morgan program. Myself and my brothers are very interested in buying a RepRap Prusa Mendel for our own prototypes. We are looking at a fully imported price of maybe R7000.

    What have you achieved so far? I think what you are attempting is great.

    Good luck and all the best,
    Konrad Boshoff

    1. I am pretty sure that my printer will cost me a lot more than R7000… Prusa is a good printer, and I am sure that you will enjoy using it.

      As you can see, my progress is slow, but I love reinventing the wheel, for the sake of inventing it (again)


  2. Hi Quentin

    This is a great initiative I would love to see the progress. Agreed – why should 3D printing be expensive! I play with the 3D printing idea myself but have not invested yet. Do you know where I should look in South Africa to buy a machine, and where do I get material for the machine from?

    Do I really have to import it?


  3. Hi Quentin

    I spent a long time researching the whole RepRap idea and looked at all the machines out there, I know you are trying to build something affordable for the South African market but I thought I may share my experience. I eventually settled on the SUMPOD Ali. Richard Sum has put together what I beleive is the most versatile Reprap machine at a very good price (Mine cost around R9000). I have had mine a few months and its the only machine I have found rigid enough to do both light milling and 3dprinting (can even bolt on a laser for cutting.) Apart from his struggle to deliver timeously and a few other minor issues he has put together a fine product. I am mainly using ABS and am busy with a few projects and my printer prints almost every second evening, it just works really well, does not take tea breaks and mostly I wake up in the morning to magic new parts. The Sumpod is Arduino based with Ramps (so I can fiddle with the software) and all Reprap kit it uses a very sturdy frame and geared racks,so can be set up to be very accurate and is very repeatable. What a lot of people do not understand is that to get involved in 3d printing a little plastic knowledge goes along way to helping produce a quality output, if you looking at RepRap stuff you need to be fairly mechanical and electrical/electronic and software familiar. I would be happy to share my experiences.

    1. Hi Les,

      It is nice when you find something that works for you. R9000 is a bit pricey for most Africans given that it is almost 2 months’ salary for some. For students (the people that really needs this) it is too expensive.

      Happy printing!

  4. i would love to biuld my own 3d printer,but where do you start and where is a south african site that you can slowly start biulding your own,

    cheers leon

    1. Hi Leon,

      It depends where you are. H4H is spreading now, and you would be able to of hold of a couple of guys with printers that might help you out.

  5. Would love to see this as a kit or assembly.. Looks like its a true reprap!.. What percentage of the parts are printed?

    1. Loads…

      Let’s see, Apart from the electronics, bits of metal (motors, screws, bearings, rods, pipe), the PVC pipes and the two pieces of wood, everything is printed.

      There is a kit in the pipeline! Watch this space…

  6. Hi, Yeah I expect to be getting a 3D Printer complete soon. And would also like to stand behind making these empowering tools available across SA.
    Well done and Keep on Creating!

    1. Hi Earl,

      I only managed to send the initial BOM to my supply partner a day ago, and he needs to do what agents do to ensure the best price, at an acceptable lead time…
      Should not be long before we can start taking preorders.

      Keep checking back for more!

  7. It’s an amazing printer. I am a Ultimaker printer user, and I really want to build a Reprap Morgan. I have read the assembly guide, and I think I can finish the job. But I have no idea that, what slicer and firmware should I use, and can I run the Morgan as simple as the Ultimaker?
    Waiting for your reply!

    1. Morgan will accept any slicer you like. I use slic3r, and I will post some working profiles together with the firmware calibration instructions soon.

      The firmware is my own custom rolled Marlin, and you can find it on my github profile: qharley/marlin

      I am currently improving the firmware, so check back regularly.


      1. Thanks Quentin.
        I’m printing the STL models, and I will assemble them together soon. It will be easier for beginner like me if you put some pics or viedeos in the assembly guide.
        I find there are so many differences between Morgan and Ultimaker in their firmwares, so, can I upload the Morgan’s Marlin to my Ultimaker’s electronic board directly? Because I don’t want to buy an elctronic board more…

        1. The electronics comes from the same heredity, so it will probably work fine. Just research the installation of Marlin on the ultimaker, and make sure you select the right board options in the config header before programming.

          If it does not work you can always flash it back to ultimaker…

  8. Hello, just found this a few days ago, I’m building a 3-d printer ins chool next year and think the Morgan is perfect, I was just wondering if you had a total BOM that includes electronics, I couldn’t seem to find them anywhere. Thank you very much

    1. The new BOM is on the assembly instructions page.

      I recommend using RAMPS, but other Marlin capable electronics should work fine as well.

      1. I haven’t looked up all the prices yet but this is still under $100? Or is that the end goal? Thank you

        1. End goal… Some of the components are still very overpriced because of the mark-ups everyone adds to make a commission.

          It should be clear that you will pay more for a kit than the material cost. You will definitely pay more for an assembled machine, ready to go.

          Should be your choice how much you want to pay.

  9. I’m currently building a 3D printer based off the Morgan, although I’m using a lot of wood because I don’t have a 3D printer. However, I’ve made a few modifications to the design which actually removes the need for the copper tubing on the drive shaft and may reduce the amount of flex that the print arms have at full extension. Would you be interested in seeing my design?

    1. Please share. This is the great thing about open source. The designs belongs to all of us, and you are only limited by your own imagination

  10. Hi, just another interest in a kit. Would love to build my own from your designs, but I have very limited time and cannot afford (as in Rand) learning mistakes by buying the wrong parts or incorrectly assembling them.

  11. Hi Quentin,

    Last week I printed all your objects using my 2 year old Ultimaker.
    This week-end the parts have been put together using material in my scrap-box.
    The construction in effect is the same as yours.
    Let me have your email adress and I will send you some pictures.
    That does not work for me via reprap.

    Thank you for this interesting design.


  12. Hi Quentin,
    It’s me again…and I’m trying to build a Morgan. I have printed the arms and drive wheels. I updated the Marlin-armlevel to my Ultimaker’s board, I it will work fine.
    But I don’t know the specification of synchronous wheels,which will be added onto the motors. Could you tell me the number of teeth of the synchronous wheel? I want to know the drive ratio between motor and drive wheel.
    And if you could send me some pictures to show the detail of Morgan, it will be a big helping hand for me.
    Thank you!

  13. Hi

    I might have missed the link, but if we are planning to print out the printable parts for the morgan ourselves, where do I find the files?

    1. Never mind i found it.

      BTW would love to see one of these Repraps converted into a Lazer cutter, I think the morgan would make an awesome lazer cutter or engraver of some kind.

      1. I’ll make it sticky to the front page, just in case…

        Morgan with a Laser! Now there is a vision straight out of 1960s robot horror movie…


  14. Hi Quentin
    Could you tell me the drive ratio of X and Y axis?
    I have some synchronous wheels which belong to my Ultimaker before, their specification are 20-MXL, the number of teeth is 20, can I add them to Morgan directly?
    And the X and Y motor of Morgan is 0.9 deg, right?
    Thank you

      1. Thanks!
        But if I make the drive ratio larger, will the firmware still work fine?
        Is there any connections between the ration and the firmware? If so, what do I need to calibrate?
        PS. I have updated Marlin-armlevel to my board.

        1. Steps per “degree” is set with M92. I will write up a comprehensive calibration guide tonight.

  15. Quentin,

    Is there a forum, mailing list, or some other public collaboration tool for asking questions or discussions about the Morgan? I can’t seem to find any contact info for anyone either, so I’m resorting to this post on a random article in the hopes you’ll see it:

    Do your modifications to the firmware prevent it from running on non-RAMPS boards? Phrased another way: will your branch still work for the other Marlin supported boards (Gen6, utilimaker, and Sangiuno). I want to build a Morgan and would like to use my existing Sanguinololo.

    I looked through the commits and didn’t see anything glaring, but wanted to be sure.

    1. Hi Jason,

      No there is nothing that will prevent in from running on non-RAMPS. As a matter of fact, we will supply the kits with a modified sanguionololu board.

      I should get a forum running…

  16. I really would like to see more pictures of the Morgan machine showing details of build and the like as well as more pictures of things you and others have built with it. Would it be really difficult to add a photo gallery section to this website? Also, are DXF or 3D model data available anywhere?

    1. Not difficult at all. Time is a factor, but this week I am on leave, and will have time to build a machine on Thursday and Friday, with full photo documentation.

  17. Hi great work. Can you please let me know what you use to heat the print surface and where to buy/order from? I just need the little heating element thing and then my printer will work nicely!

  18. Hi Quentin.
    Great job!!!
    Any chance you (or a distributor) will be offering (just) a set of the printed parts for sale?

  19. Quentin! This is an awesome thing you’ve done!

    I’m a member of Makelab Charleston (South Carolina USA) and we’re planning on using the Morgan as the basis for a series of ‘Make you own 3D Printer’ classes. With it’s low cost, the Morgan makes this affordable so we’re hoping to help a lot of people build their own printer for a reasonable cost.

    It appears that you have all the STL files available, but it would be AWESOME if you could post the source files for all of them. Any chance of you posting these, or emailing them to me?

    I see a few dxf & scad files (LibreCAD & OScad I assume) but it doesn’t look like it’s enough files to cover all the parts.

    Thanks much!

    1. Hi Randy,

      The dxfs covers the top and bottom platforms and the build platform, and the OpenSCAD file actually contain the source off all of the printed parts, except of course the extruder, that you can get from thingiverse.

      The machine is completely open source, and everything you need is in the Git resource.


  20. HI Q, (007-ish)
    Just a stupid question from me. When I purchase the kit, is that absolutely every thing that I need, (besides ABS) to build a Morgan. Like I said before, I intend to build it and then after testing it I plan to sell it and start another build, hopefully a few more.
    Will the kits be ready end July or is there stock now.

    Sunny Morgan
    082 727 9940

    1. We have decided to attempt to get the parts for each kit together as soon as possible for each buyer.

      Yes, everything you need, except the filament will be included in the kit. Filament is not expensive though, and you can order a roll with your order.

  21. Have you considered moving the coaxial inner threaded rod’s operations to a top-end mounted motor driving a bearing attached directly to the second extruder assembly arm? That would save the cost of the inner bearings but will place more weight at the top of the structure. I suppose you could balance the bowden drive motor with the second axial motor to at least achieve more lateral distribution of weight.

    1. The 608 bearings are cheap, so I am not to concerned about using less. The drive shaft as it is only use three 608 bearings and a 6805 which is about as low as you can go for two independent driven arms anyway.

      While weight is a consideration the drive wheel at the top of the structure could be achieved by placing the whole mechanism under the top platform plate. This could also remove the need for one of the 6805 bearings currently holding the copper pipe.

      The main reason why I did not use this method is that threaded rod is never very straight, and by holding the mechanism by the two ends of the rod would cause the shafts to wobble around the shaft. The current mechanism minimizes the wobble by holding the critical end by the copper pipe.

      I am playing with some ideas for a new generation scara-like 3d printer. Placement of the motors is one of the things I will play around with.

    1. It is a very pretty design.

      We will see how it really works when it is actually made, but it is certainly all doable.

      Seems that Morgan opened the door for great things to come

  22. Greetings,

    Morgan will cost more than Prusa? I thought this design would cost less. What is the advanatage of this design?


    1. It is not supposed to.

      Anyway, as with all Reprap machines, the main draw would be that you like the design, and want one.

      I am currently putting the whole design on a low polycarbonate diet, and will cut on the more expensive metals as well.

      Hope it as answers your question 😉

    2. It is also worth noting that Morgan is indeed cheaper than Prusa Mendel here in South Africa. Our problem is that everything is much more expensive here compared to the very progressive pricing the rest of the developed world enjoys. If you want to build a Morgan is is probably best sourced locally. It is very uneconomical to import building blocks all the way from China, and then back to Europe, USA etc.

      Besides, lets think of the earth…

  23. Hi Harley,

    I was put onto you by RichRap. I have been in touch with him as I am starting out a build of one of his 3dr designs and he mentioned I should get in touch with you. I have starting a blog and I was hoping you might be able to check it out? I am still a student and looking for donations to fund my build so if you could please share my blog page I would apprectiate that greatly.



  24. Hi Quentin,
    We met at the alradus school in Feb 2014 at your reprep morgan stand.As indicated i am keen on building your 3 d printer.
    I logged into your site to purchase the plastic parts that you were selling but found the shop was empty.??Prior to this you were selling yhe plastic parts and some hardware.
    Will you let me know when it will be available.In the mean time i will purchase the laser cut board and the nuts and bolts from openhardware.
    As indicated i would like to build it under your supervision at house 4 hacks if that is okay with you.I am a retired anaesthetist with a minimal bacground in electronics.I quqlified as a HAM in 76 , but never got into it serously.Thanks.

    1. Hi Solly,

      You can go ahead and order from the site. Orders are going on a short backorder at the moment until I can get the parts production ramped up. You can also come to h4h this following Tuesday. The guys from Binaryspace will have their very interesting uMotio Motion tracking project there, with a talk and a demo, and I will be there as well.

      1. Hi Quentin,
        Thanks for your prompt reply.I will place the order tomorrow.and make the trip on tuesday.What time does it start ??

  25. Dear Quentin Harley,

    My name is Inke Arns, I am the Artistic Director of Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) in Dortmund, Germany.

    Together with my colleague Anne Bergner, professor of design at Hochschule Coburg, Germany, we are working on a research project entitled “Afro-Tech and the Future of Re-invention” which looks at the use, the adaptation and (re-)invention of (new) technologies in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

    In the context of this project we are interested in interesting, experimental, weird stuff: New approaches to using, adapting and (re-) inventing (new) technologies in those three countries. We would love to meet “people doing strange things with technology / electricity / software”. Those who are not contending themselves with corporate solutions designed for the global North and who, out of this dissatisfaction, are starting to develop their own solutions. These can help solving everyday problems or deal with highly specialized issues. In short: We are looking for advanced – in the sense of inventiveness and vision – approaches that expand the path to a truly diverse and rich global (computer) culture beyond the horizon of prefabricated products.

    Let me give you some concrete examples: We’re interested in what’s happening, e.g., at the Maker Faire Africa (Lagos 2012), at FabLabs, Hardware Hacking Garages, Robotics Labs. We read about a porridge making machine by a Malawian inventor, triggered by an SMS, about the Urine Powered Generator invented by four Nigerian teenage girls („1 liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity“), about the Flying Donkey Challenge (a contest for transport drones happening at the end of 2014 around Mount Kenya), and about Ushahidi’s BRCK back up generator for the Internet. And much more …

    We will be travelling to Jo-burg from 13 – 17 April. As we are currently putting together a list of people we would like to meet, it would be great if you could suggest crucial topics to look at and/or people to meet in Johannesburg: creative hackers, subversive innovators & inventors, critical artists, amazing tinkerers and designers.

    And of course we would be very happy to meet you!

    Please find the Afro-Tech FAQs here: http://hmkv-dortmund.blogspot.de/

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    all the best,

    Inke Arns


    Afro-Tech and the Future of Re-invention. Alternative Technological Energies and Intelligences in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

    The technological imperative is a false Western construction. The form of technology we have come to know and be dependent on is not a given. It is just one of many possibilities. And while operating systems, devices, and applications with more and more impressive features are introduced daily, they rarely challenge the assumptions, politics, and aesthetics of earlier versions. They are in essence just new versions of the same logic, expressing the same basic cultural ideas centred around office life and creative industries. Companies and users alike are satisfied with this progress of thing. No questions asked. The market thrives on. However, it is a process of development that prevents radical and visionary invention or rather re-invention of contemporary technology from other cultural perspectives of non-Western origin. This is a missed opportunity, a forgotten potential.

    As a machine of global communication the computer is also becoming a machine of globalisation, enforcing standards on a multiplicity of cultures. The One Laptop per Child programme teaches children computer use through operating systems of the same mold as the ones used by Westerns. Why not use the opportunity to develop an operating system based on the vocabularies, knowledge, and perceptions of the cultures who uses the computer? As anthropologist Wade Davis has pointed out the world is becoming intellectually poorer every day as original languages disappear. The argument could be made that the computer world is also becoming poorer because we are not integrating other languages than the Western ones in our hardware and software solutions. The Italian artist jaromil has created an entire operating system based on Rastafarian philosophy and the project indirectly suggest that other “philosophies” be used to develop other operating systems and technologies.

    With Afro-Tech, we want to turn to three countries on the African continent to explore how artists and cultural producers are developing and using technology through other cultural ideas than those of the West. It is an attempt to discover a different approach to technology that while it might not be as high-tech in the conventional sense it is nevertheless advanced in sense of inventiveness and vision and expanded path to a truly diverse and rich global computer culture beyond the horizon of prefabricated products.

    Dr. Inke Arns
    Artistic Director
    Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) at the Dortmunder U
    Leonie-Reygers-Terrasse, 44137 Dortmund
    Office: Hoher Wall 15, 44137 Dortmund, Germany
    T + 49 – 231 – 496642-0 (direct line -11)
    F + 49 – 231 – 496642-29
    M + 49 – 176 – 430 627 93

    World of Matter
    Mabe Bethonico, Ursula Biemann, Elaine Gan, Uwe H. Martin & Frauke Huber, Peter Mörtenböck & Helge Mooshammer, Emily Eliza Scott, Paulo Tavares, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan
    1 March – 22 June 2014

    HMKV Video des Monats
    Christian von Borries: IPHONECHINA (2014)
    1 – 30 April 2014

    10 – 24 April 2014

    1. Dr. Inke Arns,

      You should definitely come to House4Hack on Tuesday night 15 April. It is the weekly meet of our local hacker community, and there are lots of interesting people that show up at these events.

      I will send you an email with more information.

    1. Soon. I need to find a way to fill demand, as well as ship it… Suddenly I feel like a kickstarter, but without the kick start!


  26. Hello,

    Can someone please let me know where I can purchase a RepRap Morgan in South Africa. The link for OpenHardware (http://secure-www.openhardware.co.za/cart/index.php?id_product=31&controller=product) isn’t working. When I searched the store itself the product was not there, is the reason because you are still setting up the factory and if so when can we expect the product to be in production and sale.

    What are the dimensions in ‘mm’ that the RepRap Morgan can print in. When I do purchase one should I buy ABS or PLA

    Thank You

    1. Morgan is traditionally 200x200x200mm, but the halfmoon bed of 200x380x200 is usable for longer pieces. PLA is my material of choice. ABS requires a hotplate, and even then warp is a problem on larger pieces. Nylon can be used with blue tape on the cold bed

  27. I am trying to get info on purchasing one of your Morgan 3D printers. I have contacted robobeast several times and not gotten any response. This is going on over a month now, if somebody could just let me know if it’s possible or how to go about getting one, I’d REALLY appreciate it. I am from the United States, but I’d of course pay for shipping if it was possible. Even if it was just in kit form, I have most of the pieces already printed, but I’d like to have one of the ones being sold.

    Thank you

  28. Dear Quentin,
    Calibrating our Scara gives some troubles.
    The calibration itself is not the problem, but a straight line is not straight!!
    As an example, if we go from x0,y0 to x200,y0, we get a curved line. Any idea what this could be?

    1. Hi Harry,

      SCARA is very dependent on the physical size of the components to function correctly. Please check that the arms are all the same length, and that this length is configured correctly in the config.h file. The processor will take this into account when performing the inverse kinematics.

  29. Dear Quentin,

    We are building 3 scara’s with different dimensions, but all have the same problem. I don’t think that the armlength causes the problem, but I will check this tomorrow.
    As mentioned, if we go from X0Y0 to X200Y0, we get a curved line, but the distance is ~200mm. If the armlength was not accurate, this distance would be different isn’t it?
    We also checked the difference between the use of G0 and G1: No difference.

  30. Hi. Im sure you have been asked this question a thousand times but is there a kit available and at what price? All the parts seem so intimidating.lol

    1. Not too intimidating I hope…

      I do not have kits at the moment but that may all change in the not so distant future. I will let you know


  31. Hello Quentin,
    I tried registering for the builders forum, but after verifing, that I am human I did’t recieve an email with the password even after a week. Do you have an idea what I could be doing wrong? (I tried twice)

    1. Just tried it and it worked.

      Please check your spam inbox for the mail… Mine arrived within 5 minutes from registering.
      Let me see if I can send you a mail manually.

  32. Thank you Quentin,

    I recieved the email from you and I logged in without a problem 🙂

    But I didn’t recieve the automated email from worldpress. And I did check my spam inbox. I also tried registering for an account directly at worldpress.org which worked normaly, but I couldn’t login or register with the same login data here. It’s weird…

  33. Hi Quentin. When will the full kit be available to purchase and build? What will it cost once available, so that I know if I should rather buy something else in the meantime. Any other printer you would recommend that is now available. I would really like to get into 3D printing asap, and would have preferred the Morgan. Please assist. Thanks.

    1. Hi Dirk,

      I never intended to sell any Morgan kits again, but the recent numer of requests made me look at ways to do that again. I am currently buying in stock, and should be ready by the second week of Feb 2015

  34. Hi Quentin, I’m doing research on 3DP in SA and would love to get in touch with you for an interview! I have been guided to you by several people I have interviewed already, how can I get in touch with you to send more information? Best Märtha

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