Did you invent Replimat? Not exactly. I was introduced to this construction system in 2008 by Phil and Richard Jergenson and Joy Livingwell, and Ken Isaacs in their respective books. I, along with many others, have contributed advancements to the system, it’s component parts, tools, and techniques. I’ve also drawn each of them in Free and Open Source Software CAD tools, licensed them liberally, and conceptualized the core machinery to replicate the entire system.
Did you patent Replimat? No we did not. When something as basic as Replimat comes along, the best thing to do is to promote it’s use, not obstruct it. Simple math and common sense will tell you that no one individual could or should control an idea with such potential. This approach, we hope, will encourage a more open environment for participation. Also, because others have been using and selling it for more than 20 years, a patent is not possible.
Why drill all the holes if only some are needed? Several reasons. First, since the manufacture of Replimat is automated, it is far cheaper to drill all the holes, than to drill oddly placed ones. Second, without all the holes, components would have limited useful lifetime. Thirdly, it would be impossible to stock all the many different lengths and sizes of Replimat with only limited hole patterns to work with. After all, people come in all sizes and shapes. It only seems natural that our furniture and vehicles could also change to fit us by fine tuning the hole pattern. A partly drilled piece simply has less of a future.
This system looks expensive; is it? Replimat creates frameworks far more cheaply than a machine or welding shop can build a welded counterpart. Other considerations are it’s low maintenance finish which never needs paint. It’s lightweight, and stores in a small space.
Can I build things that I design? Yes and we encourage this kind of thinking. We believe that our modular, user-friendly, systems approach can help you make your dreams come true! Replimat now makes it easy to build your ideas quickly and without a mess. You can either build with our precut packages and adapt it to what you want, or design it from scratch. Replimat’s modular construction gives you the user, fantastic abilities to change it’s shape.
What about furniture? If it’s furniture you need, wooden Replimat allows you to build your system to fit the space. The warmth and character of wood make it the popular choice for indoor use. It’s adaptability is unparalleled. With Replimat, lofts and storage systems can be created using all the space in a room more efficiently from floor to ceiling. If you use your space three-dimensionally, you can double or triple the function of a given area. Imagine platforms, chairs, tables, shelves and work stations designed by you to fit your personal space.
What about building machines or even vehicles? If you’re planning to build something like a machine or a vehicle, you can choose many types of interchangeable components which mate up to Replimat. Electric motors, pillow blocks, shafts, and gear boxes can all be installed to create any kind of device. Because of the 90 degree angles and parallel mounting rails, Replimat is a natural for machine construction. Aluminum’s high strength to weight ration makes it the material of choice for electric vehicles.
What makes Replimat so strong? We believe the mechanical method of joining structural members is the reason. The steel bolts carry much of the load. Replimat has flat sides, which press together solidly when the bolts are tightened. This spreads the loads more evenly down the length of the frame. Three-axis joints in a frame system create additional strength and rock solid 90 degree angles. Since aluminum Replimat is a hollow tube, it has great torsional strength to resist twisting. Structural triangulation is rarely needed. When structural failures occur in aluminum, it is almost always at the welded connections. Replimat has no welds to crack or break. With Replimat, just take it apart and make your changes. If you need to make multiples of your projects, then you’re really in luck! After you’ve built your prototype, duplicate frames can be assembled in minutes. There’s no need for huge costly welded jigs or layout tables. Your projects can come to life while others get bogged down in tooling costs!
What kind of tools do I need to build with Replimat? Simple hand tools are all that’s needed. Just two 13mm wrenches will fit the 8mm nuts and bolts used to assemble Replimat frames. Nut drivers and electric wrenches are even faster. This can save a small fortune in equipment that doesn’t need to be purchased. Clean assembly and no waste are other good reasons to purchase Replimat.
Why don’t you use cross bracing for squareness? Cross bracing is rarely needed in Replimat constructions. The tri-joint creates all the stiffness and structural triangulation you need. The totally flat sides of Replimat allow structural skins such as plywood or sheet metal to be bolted on for added strength or shear when needed. Only on very large projects is bracing even considered.
How easy is Replimat to work with? Anyone can build with Replimat! The first thing that you notice is how quickly projects happen. This is because you don’t have to fight it. Projects are always square and you don’t need to ever feel trapped by a bad design as with welded projects. Do I need a shop to build with Replimat? No, not if you want to assemble projects with pre-made parts. We have done the dirty work for you. All you need is a standard wrench or two. Projects can be assembled in the living room, bedroom, shop or patio. No sawdust with modular pre-cut lengths.
Why do I need a modular building system? Without systems, modern life would be impossible. The systems approach is the reason computers are doing more for us every day. They’re not smart, just organized. The computer is now a necessary tool in thousands of fields of endeavor. A simple ruler is a modular system of measurement. Our homes and buildings are made with construction materials which are modular. A brick, a sheet of plywood and even framing materials are modules which are assembled with a systems approach. Good architects always util;ize these standards to save time, energy, materials, and money. Virtually all of our manufacturing methods today dictate that our building materials be shaped into straight lengths. Our architecture is the most dramatic example of this straight and linear approach. Replimat is merely an improvement on an existing shape (square beam) with the added enhancement of standardized holes and lengths.