When I first gave a talk about RepRap (TEDxPrague2010 and TEDxVienna2010) I thought it would be wonderful idea to give every visitor some small printed thing. I love simple whistles, they print quickly and show that RepRap prints are functional. As simple the idea sounds the actual execution was hard. Back then I was printing one whistle roughly 30 minutes and the conference had 500 visitors! Do the math. I was printing them for almost two weeks on two printers
But when you think about it, it is not really using the potential of 3D printing. Making 500 instances of same objects is a job for injection moulding. Back then I started to play with idea that every guest should get whistle with his own initials. Printer does not care what initials it puts on whistle, it will take same time. Since that time, two years passed. I designed Prusa Mendel, probably the most build RepRap ever, I sped up the printers to print one whistle under 8 minutes and learned some more coding.
Only thing I was waiting for, was right conference with not too wild number of visitors and actual list of visitors. Fortunately guys making INFOTRENDY conference in Bratislava wanted me to talk about RepRap. I had great time there, even met Adrian Bowyer there.
Conference had only 150 visitors and full list of them one week before. I freed some of my time from writing my Getting Started with RepRap book and coded small python script generating plates of whistles to print.
Well and it worked! I printed all 150 on my Prusa Mendel the day before I left for conference. Everyone was happy to get custom made gift and it was much easier to show them the versatility of 3D printing! No-one has to give out boring prints anymore!!
You should check out sample chapter of my Getting Started with RepRap book! The book will help you choose right breed of RepRap to build, build it, configure it and design for it. Sample: How RepRap prints.