The other day i was on irc #reprap and somehow we got onto the subject of steampunk. there were a bunch of ideas thrown around about punking a reprap but it got me thinking about doing a real steampunk reprap.
My design idea's are still in the rudimentary stage but here are the thoughts on it.
using two steam pistons at 90 deg from each other on a connected cam you can make a steam steper with 4 steps per revolution, connecting this to a hypocycloidal gearbox
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3736 with a 100:1 gear ratio makes it a 400 step per revolution steam stepper. by printing the parts in pla and doing lost pla casting of bronze or copper parts I believe i could print the entire printer to include the guide rods or a equivelent design. essentialy printing all the parts for the printer. It would require some post printing/casting machining but i dont believe it would be eccessive.
if i actualy get it built I will probably be testing it with reletivly standard electronics at first but the end desire is to have it print by being controled from either a player piano style reel or with punched or raised copper disks similar to a music box.
of course so far this is just in concept phase but i figured i would throw the idea out there and see if anyone else thought this idea was just too cool to pass up trying.