The Anet Prusa i3 is a clone of the original Joseph Prusa RepRap 3D printer. RepRap is short for replicating rapid prototype. These printers are part of an initiative that was devised to develop a cost effective 3D printer that can also print all of its own components. The idea being that each Reprap printer can replicate itself, creating another 3d printer. With this ability to make its own parts, the hope is to create efficient RepRap units that can manufacture complex products without the need for extensive industrial infrastructure. The RepRaps 3D printer has the ability to create everyday common products that will ultimately make large manufacturing a thing of the past and provide savings to consumers.
There are currently hundreds of collaborators world wide who are improving and developing this printer.