The implications of consumer 3d printing

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:15 pm UTC

liveboy21 wrote:I don't know much about 3d printing and I don't know what level of detail 3d printing can have but I think that there are some areas where its use could be interesting.


Detail is...somewhat more subjective than you'd think. For instance, I've determined that mine has very good fine detail, but has noticeable plastic expansion which I compensate for in design. Warpage is also an issue, albeit one mostly solved by adhesives and a heated print bed. So, in certain respects, I can pull off single layer detail that's a fraction of a millimeter, sometimes the overall design will place other constraints on what I can practically do.

How about bowls or plates? There are cheap bowls and there are expensive bowls but if you can print bowls based on a known design, does the price difference between the two matter anymore?


That's going to be based primarily on material usage(power is also an issue, but it's cheaper, and tends to scale roughly with material used anyway). Design will presumably be something that will be sold...so a given design may command a higher price. Piracy definitely comes into play, though.

Trasvi wrote:I believe Pirate Bay already hosts 3D models, awaiting just this thing.
However, there are a few issues with this.
1) 3D printers are quite small. Most printers I've seen would be able to print something as big as a shoe. To print a designer chair, you need a production area within the printer at least as big as the chair, and I don't think people will be rushing out to buy fridge-sized printers. I don't think there is any technology limiting the size of printers; but there is a lack of desire for them.


Well, they're bloody expensive, and unless you add additional tech(further inflating the price), increasing print size dramatically inflates printing time. So yeah, chairs are probably a rough thing to duplicate.

That said, printing pieces individually and connecting them up is certainly possible. I know I already made a simple interlocking connector system to do just that...wasn't terribly hard. That does place some minor constraints on the design, certainly, but for some things, this is no hardship.

Trasvi wrote:I also think that stocking the materials is going to be a seriously limiting factor in getting 3D printing into the home. There is no universal material to print with (unlike blank white paper) because every different thing in your life is made from different materials. You can't print a hammer and a shot glass and a shoe from the same materials. Combine this with increased difficulty in colouring (you'll require much larger amounts of dye and in more colours than for paper printing) and you're requiring people to retain significant amounts of materials to print anything - which they probably won't have, and at that point its easier just to go down to the shops and buy whatever you need.


My model currently only does single color jobs...multi-color is definitely a thing, but it costs additional, of course. Typically, it's done via additional nozzles running the other colors(this does have possible speed boosting implications, though!). I suppose dying as an additional stage is a possibility, but it opens up complications. More likely people will just do what I did...order spools of plastic in a variety of colors, and just swap as needed. A great many current plastic things are already mono-colored or painted anyway, so there's not much of a difference there.

I've considered carbon fiber doping as a means of selectively changing material properties, and it seems entirely practical...merely expensive, and not something supported by much current modeling/printing software.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby idobox » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:14 pm UTC

I've seen a sintering machine with a 2d printing head to color the white material. It was sintering a layer, printing ink where needed, adding more power, and repeating. I don't see why that kind of technology couldn't be adapted to extrusion 3D printers.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:32 pm UTC

idobox wrote:I've seen a sintering machine with a 2d printing head to color the white material. It was sintering a layer, printing ink where needed, adding more power, and repeating. I don't see why that kind of technology couldn't be adapted to extrusion 3D printers.


It probably can be...but the additional time and complexity is probably pretty intense. Adding additional heads also adds complexity, true, but they give you a shorter print time instead of a longer one, so it's probably not ideal unless space is a critical issue(multiple plastic spindles could rapidly get bulky).

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Azrael » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

idobox wrote:I've seen a sintering machine with a 2d printing head to color the white material. It was sintering a layer, printing ink where needed, adding more power, and repeating. I don't see why that kind of technology couldn't be adapted to extrusion 3D printers.

Those machines don't produce a finished product with any structural strength. The limiting factor is the ability to bond between layers as there is no real cross-linking available to the polymer.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

Uses a different type of machine, right? http://www.shapeways.com/themes/full_color

But I see no reason why colour could not be "injected" into a colourless material, the same way as it is onto paper right now. :P

Expense is still the main limiting factor.

But the idea is a very simple one. :P http://youtu.be/ptUj8JRAYu8
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:20 pm UTC

Think bigger. The world is not built of polymers.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Azrael » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:18 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Uses a different type of machine, right? http://www.shapeways.com/themes/full_color

Which produces parts made of tinted sand grains glued together. Again, not structural.

Expense is not the limiting factor, material science is the limiting factor. There's a reason that structural systems are not currently built out of bonded slices, which is what the vast majority of 3D printing does. A 3D printed object can only be as strong as the method used to bond the layers -- you're bounded by the molecular interactions. There are plenty of high strength materials (Ultem is frequently used in 3D industrial printing) but until there's a fundamental change in the technology that allows previously laid layers to link to the new layer in the same manner they do when in liquid phase, you'll always have a weaker part.

Furthermore, all coloring agents are additions that have to get mixed into a base. So while you might be able to add an RGB injector system, the ability to tint the part is going to depend heavily on the extrusion material. For example: house paint has various different bases that pigments are added to, they don't just start with one. Plus, you're going to have to color upstream of the depositing, so you'll have extra which would need to be ejected before the next color is laid. Not a huge problem, but very process intensive.

It's not at all analogous to 2D printing where you're either laying colors down on top of each other, or intermingling them as tiny dots. Those methods work explicitly because they have a single viewing side. The 3D version of your home printer is the sandstone printer, and the material flaws (enormous boundary areas) are inherent to the process.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

To follow on to Azrael's post, consider the potential example of carbon fiber doping I mentioned...you can increase strength to some degree with this, but it's going to be almost entirely within a single strand of plastic. This is useful in some ways...but depending on how you're stressing the printed material, it may not be useful at all(layer separation, should not notably change, for instance).

Hell, even with current technology, you can get somewhat different material properties of the final piece just by changing orientation. The lines of plastic can behave a bit akin to the texture in wood...in some mediums, like certain plastics, it can result in increased strength, I'm told. In some, like sintered metal, it's not a plus at all, and overall strength is notably less than more traditional manufacturing.

We've got a ways to go, that's for sure.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:07 pm UTC

Sorry Azrael, was not commenting on the structural bit, just the colour bit. Mainly for decoration. For example if made small enough, who cares if there is colour bleed? The is in all forms of printing, it's just about making it small enough to not be visible. Or, you could make the colour a outside layer or paint.

I agree with the general method being weak if your layering things. Hopefully build and design techniques will progress.

But I don't see why a similar system could not be used with something more structural. Not sure if there is a structural "printing" system yet. Some CNCing machines. any metal casting ones?
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:06 pm UTC

I pointed you to a link where they can print with concrete. IMO as interesting as this is, and I have given thought to buying one, I never could come up with a use that would reward my investment. But they are a sweet toy. I'd love to see something on slightly larger scale that could mill plastic, wood, or foam.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Trasvi » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:13 am UTC

idobox wrote:I don't know about you, but in my home, the printer arrived as a tool for homework, and is still used mostly for that kind of application. Sure, there is plane ticket or map from time to time, but we stopped using it almost totally when I got out of high school, and could use the University printing facility.

Exactly my experience. The printer was a major boon for homework and assignments but is rarely used outside of that. Convenient to have, but used perhaps once a month. I think a 3D printer

Find an application, and it will flow. I think kids and young adults are an especially good target, because they buy toys, and might be interested in custom/collectible ones. Custom Lego bricks, complete toys, figurines...In France, we also have a lot of "magazines" that come with a collectible figurine, or a part of a model. If you're ready to spend hundreds of euros a year to have a collection of cute cat figurines, or all the parts of a WWII battleship model, you're a good target audience for 3d printers.

3D printers can't print custom lego blocks to any appreciable quality. You'll get the approximate shape, but a Lego block is actually a highly engineered construct to get exactly the right level of clicking together. Trust me, i've tried. You are right that those will be the target markets, but its still falling in the category of 'very specialised hobby tool' as opposed to 'something in the majority of households'.

And how many of you have ever thought something along the lines of "if only there was something like Warhammer, but in a steam punk universe"? I know I have, and I've never even ever played Warhammer. I suppose the people buying that kind of things would be very interested and would create open source universes. Companies would see their products pirated, and would probably have to move to a different business model, with subscriptions and downloadable figurines, further fueling the machine.

You mean, steampunk games like Dystopian Wars? Or their new, 28mm game Dystopian Legions? =D.
Which is interesting, because Spartan Games (the producers of the above games) sculpt their models entirely digitally, print the masters from a very high quality printer, and cast resin moulds of the 3D prints. And even though the quality of the printer is far far above anything that will be available for consumers within the next 5 years, striations between layers are visible when painted.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:58 am UTC

Trasvi wrote:3D printers can't print custom lego blocks to any appreciable quality. You'll get the approximate shape, but a Lego block is actually a highly engineered construct to get exactly the right level of clicking together. Trust me, i've tried. You are right that those will be the target markets, but its still falling in the category of 'very specialised hobby tool' as opposed to 'something in the majority of households'.


Nooooo! Please tell me it is not true. Well, can you do it with laser based resin versions? I'm considering trying it out for a custom Lego part. I need 0.5mm or so accuracy and detail though. :/

Ah, it seems it is accurate enough. http://www.3dprint-uk.co.uk/3d_printing ... hines.html

Cost would be prohibitive for a large set, but it's only to trial and would be a single/double block to supplement normal Lego anyhow.

I'd agree the tech is too expensive, needs a lot of development, and not particle right now. It's a great start though.

Basically, who goes to a "printers" to get a letter printed out now? You email or print it from home. The same could happen for just about any small plastic toy/item/gadget. Why go to the store for the new mobile phone? Especially if circuit boards are printed too!
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby idobox » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:12 am UTC

Trasvi wrote:3D printers can't print custom lego blocks to any appreciable quality. You'll get the approximate shape, but a Lego block is actually a highly engineered construct to get exactly the right level of clicking together. Trust me, i've tried. You are right that those will be the target markets, but its still falling in the category of 'very specialised hobby tool' as opposed to 'something in the majority of households'.

Printers at home still aren't ubiquitous, and were even less in the 90s. As 3D printers become more common, and more precise, new usages will appear. If the material is reusable, it might even become a way to "test" the ergonomy of objects before buying them on internet. You don't know which expensive gaming mouse you prefer? print them to find the one that fits the best, then buy it.
Toy making. Today, it's very difficult to produce small lines of toys targeted for niche markets, because of capital costs and logistics, but with this kind of technology, you can sell whatever you want to the 20 people in the world that might be interested. You will also be able to customize toys to a high degree.
And I'm not talking about the hobbyist market, I'm talking of everybody with a kid who want something they can't find. Non sexist dolls, non violent action figures, toy soldiers with more diversity, Robot something but from the one episode where it has the special gizmo strapped... I can't imagine everything myself, but people will find applications.
Oh, and custom sex toys. They're popular, and I imagine a lot of people would prefer theirs to be a little more this, a little less that, but don't relish the idea of being to specific with the shopkeeper. The striation might be a problem though.

And I'm very sad to hear I won't be able to print custom Legos, but I'm seriously thinking of casting copies. This things are expensive!

Trasvi wrote:You mean, steampunk games like Dystopian Wars? Or their new, 28mm game Dystopian Legions? =D.
Which is interesting, because Spartan Games (the producers of the above games) sculpt their models entirely digitally, print the masters from a very high quality printer, and cast resin moulds of the 3D prints. And even though the quality of the printer is far far above anything that will be available for consumers within the next 5 years, striations between layers are visible when painted.

That's cool, but the idea is, whatever exists, there will be people who want something else.

Azrael wrote:Expense is not the limiting factor, material science is the limiting factor. There's a reason that structural systems are not currently built out of bonded slices, which is what the vast majority of 3D printing does. A 3D printed object can only be as strong as the method used to bond the layers -- you're bounded by the molecular interactions. There are plenty of high strength materials (Ultem is frequently used in 3D industrial printing) but until there's a fundamental change in the technology that allows previously laid layers to link to the new layer in the same manner they do when in liquid phase, you'll always have a weaker part.

I was under the impression extrusion made pretty strong objects, since the layers are fused.
Sintered objects don't appear to be very strong, because no one in the industry really cares, at least not enough to switch to stronger materials. You could easily use solvent instead of a bonding agent, and the grains would fuse, rather than be glued together. Of course, you would have less precision. And I'm sure material scientists have other solutions up their sleeve.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Trasvi » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:27 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Nooooo! Please tell me it is not true. Well, can you do it with laser based resin versions? I'm considering trying it out for a custom Lego part. I need 0.5mm or so accuracy and detail though. :/
Ah, it seems it is accurate enough. http://www.3dprint-uk.co.uk/3d_printing ... hines.html
Cost would be prohibitive for a large set, but it's only to trial and would be a single/double block to supplement normal Lego anyhow.
I'd agree the tech is too expensive, needs a lot of development, and not particle right now. It's a great start though.
Basically, who goes to a "printers" to get a letter printed out now? You email or print it from home. The same could happen for just about any small plastic toy/item/gadget. Why go to the store for the new mobile phone? Especially if circuit boards are printed too!


Printers such as Shapeways can get you stuff at ~ 0.1mm precision. Which is pretty good detail, and the block will fit in just fine with whatever you're making, but it won't have the clicky properties that real blocks have. It will be like putting megablox with lego: sure they fit, but you can always tell that they're not the real thing.
(In my experience with 3D and 2D printers) you only carry on hand a few different materials. I have spools of blue, red, yellow and green plastic. Which is cool, because I print toys and stuff in plastic. But then if you want to print a phone, you somehow need to be printing silicon, aluminum, gold, rubber, glass... all of which you need to have at home, before you start printing. I know mobile phones is a slightly facetious example, but I think it will be unlikely for you to have the materials on hand to print off anything much besides plastic toys...

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:39 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:
Trasvi wrote:3D printers can't print custom lego blocks to any appreciable quality. You'll get the approximate shape, but a Lego block is actually a highly engineered construct to get exactly the right level of clicking together. Trust me, i've tried. You are right that those will be the target markets, but its still falling in the category of 'very specialised hobby tool' as opposed to 'something in the majority of households'.


Nooooo! Please tell me it is not true. Well, can you do it with laser based resin versions? I'm considering trying it out for a custom Lego part. I need 0.5mm or so accuracy and detail though. :/

Ah, it seems it is accurate enough. http://www.3dprint-uk.co.uk/3d_printing ... hines.html

Cost would be prohibitive for a large set, but it's only to trial and would be a single/double block to supplement normal Lego anyhow.

I'd agree the tech is too expensive, needs a lot of development, and not particle right now. It's a great start though.

Basically, who goes to a "printers" to get a letter printed out now? You email or print it from home. The same could happen for just about any small plastic toy/item/gadget. Why go to the store for the new mobile phone? Especially if circuit boards are printed too!


You can do certain lego pieces to some degree. A custom weapon, for instance, isn't bad at all. I can definitely get a weapon within tolerances that a lego minifig will hold it normally. That said, the accuracy that lego has is pretty amazing. Home printing can't currently get close to what they have. Hell, the vast majority of manufacturer's can't get close to what they have. So, there's some niche potential here, but you're not going to simply print all legos instead of buying them. The tolerances for that kind of connector are just too tight for consumer grade 3d printing.

Something I might dabble in later is 144 scale model ship building. I've dabbled in the RC warship combat hobby, which is...not extremely popular, and frankly, wood working to make scale model stuff is often tedious. I'd much rather model a turret once and print out a bunch of copies.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:47 pm UTC

Well, home wafer baking is a long way off, but when that's done, the other materials a pretty basic, even if multiple types, right? Printing off a new phone would just be a matter of having all the "colours". ;)

This seems relevant though. http://blog.ponoko.com/2012/08/21/is-3d ... ver-hyped/ (links further to a Gartner article I think).

As long as UV resin curing will give the tight fit needed for a prototype Lego block, I'm happy. It's that or laser cut acrylic, and I'm not sure if that can be shaped in the way I want (laser cutting is along one plane only. :( ).
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:52 pm UTC

While that link had an interesting graph, I don't know if he really justified positions for his plots very well. I mean, how do we know that 3d printing IS at the peak of hype? Additionally, Betteridge's Law of Headlines would indicate that the answer to his title of "Is 3d printing over-hyped?" is no.

Sure, the publicity for it probably makes it sound better than it is, but hey, that's advertising. Happens for everything, and it's not like many people are intimately familiar with manufacturing processes.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:As long as UV resin curing will give the tight fit needed for a prototype Lego block, I'm happy. It's that or laser cut acrylic, and I'm not sure if that can be shaped in the way I want (laser cutting is along one plane only. :( ).


I've mad working Lego blocks on a (mostly stock) makerbot Replicator, and I've seen it done on on a (heavily modded) RepRap Prusa. So UV Resin is certainly not necessary, current gen 'hobbyist/consumer' extrusion printers have that accuracy/precision.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby philsov » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:59 pm UTC

Relevant article?

Five-foot aircraft flies with 3-D printed wing

Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys fabricated and flew a 62-in. wingspan aircraft with a wing composed entirely of additive manufactured components. The wing was designed by Aurora and manufactured by Stratasys using their Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3-D printers.

...

“In the aerospace industry, additive manufacturing has the benefits of reducing material usage, doing away with tooling, reducing part count, and simplifying assembly,” said Bill Macy, Application Development Lead at Stratasys. “These benefits allow the manufacture of a low quantity of products at lower cost, in less time, with competitive performance.”
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Zamfir » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:25 pm UTC

Yeah, there's not much doubt about the usefulness of printers in industry. We actually use them for aircraft parts as well at work. But there's a lot of hype about direct printing to end consumers, which has both a lot of potential, but also special challenges.

In industry, you can combine the process with others when you reach it limits. To get higher strength, or better movement, or a drive, or electronics, or surface properties, etc. For end consumers, the high (but possibly elusive) promise is more to approach a one-step digital-to-tangible process, with at best a bit of IKEAing involved. So that designs can spread the way software does, or pdfs.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby idobox » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

We should remember that the first use of 3D printers in the industry is to make mock-ups and moulds.
They are not designed to make injection grade product, because they will always be less efficient for mass production, but as the market develops, people will start seriously studying how to make sturdy prints. 2D printers have come a long way since dot matrix printers, and I don't see why we couldn't expect a similar evolution over the course of a few decades.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Moose Anus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:13 pm UTC

Somebody please invent this:
A machine that replaces a consumer dishwasher. It 3D prints dishes, silverware, cups, mixing bowls, etc. based on user selections. People eat off of them or whatever, then place them back into the top rack. There they get melted or regrinded or whatever is needed to recycle the material and clean off the food debris. They make their selections for the next day and it prints again overnight.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Sero » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

Moose Anus wrote:Somebody please invent this:
A machine that replaces a consumer dishwasher. It 3D prints dishes, silverware, cups, mixing bowls, etc. based on user selections. People eat off of them or whatever, then place them back into the top rack. There they get melted or regrinded or whatever is needed to recycle the material and clean off the food debris. They make their selections for the next day and it prints again overnight.


Okay, there are a couple of problems with this: The first, more serious one is, this would be incredibly inefficient. I mean, just the energy costs alone of remaking the same plates and cups and forks and spoons, every day, anew, plus the energy cost of recycling the materials, the potential degradation of materials due to excessive re-use and reworking...

The second, more trivial, and yet more 'Wait, why is this a good idea again?'-ish problem, is that, to recycle the material, it'd still need to function as a dishwasher to get the food off before melting it down or whatnot.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Byrel » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:56 pm UTC

idobox wrote:I was under the impression extrusion made pretty strong objects, since the layers are fused.


Extrusion is a continuous, die-based shaping process. Basically, you make a die with the cross-section you want and drive hot, soft material through it. This deforms the material crystals along the extruded object, which makes it quite strong to shear. Basically, this process prevents the grains from forming layers at all.

idobox wrote:Sintered objects don't appear to be very strong, because no one in the industry really cares, at least not enough to switch to stronger materials. You could easily use solvent instead of a bonding agent, and the grains would fuse, rather than be glued together. Of course, you would have less precision. And I'm sure material scientists have other solutions up their sleeve.


Actually, powder metallurgy is used occasionally for mass production. It will work with many alloys that are too hard for typical machining processes, or with geometries that would be much more expensive to produce. Most tooling for cutting metal is also sintered: either from tungsten carbide or high-speed steel. Materials engineers do care about sintering, as it lets them actually use materials and shapes that are impossible to cast or machine.

Proper sintering doesn't actually use an adhesive. Sintering relies on actually bonding the grains, usually by atomic diffusion at high temperatures. They may use an adhesive to hold the grains together during shaping, but it will usually disintegrate during the actual sintering.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Moose Anus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

Sero wrote:Okay, there are a couple of problems with this: The first, more serious one is, this would be incredibly inefficient. I mean, just the energy costs alone of remaking the same plates and cups and forks and spoons, every day, anew, plus the energy cost of recycling the materials, the potential degradation of materials due to excessive re-use and reworking...

The second, more trivial, and yet more 'Wait, why is this a good idea again?'-ish problem, is that, to recycle the material, it'd still need to function as a dishwasher to get the food off before melting it down or whatnot.

Oh, I didn't realize that it would be a huge energy hog. I think keeping the dishwasher function would be ok, because you'd need so few dishes on a daily basis, and if you were dealing with huge bowls or something you can just cut it down to an easily washable size and shape.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:31 pm UTC

This is close to what I was thinking the current tech can do. http://objet.com//3d-printers/connex/objet260-connex

It's still lacking the likes of metal parts though. :P
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Zamfir » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

That's their budget product, but still a low 6 figures machine. Not exactly consumer grade

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

Nope. In all honesty nature beats us to it. Want to 3d print a bookcase? Make it out of that extruded and constructed material called "wood". ;)
Well, on the materials side of things, perhaps not on the speed!
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby elasto » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:40 pm UTC

That might well be the endgame: Want a table? Fire up your laptop and sketch out your design. Then the software genetically engineers a bacteria that will multiply until it forms a solid colony of the exact size and shape required. Might take a few weeks to get there, but it sometimes takes that long to get stuff manufactured and delivered anyhow - especially if made to order :)

Then you just have to worry about the trolls that order up a bacteria that will make itself into a giant penis and then leave it on your lawn!

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Technical Ben » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:22 am UTC

Their called mushrooms, right?
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby morriswalters » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:09 am UTC

Ran across this, and thought it might be interesting. 3D printing of ceramics.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Red Hal » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:33 pm UTC

The implications of consumer printing are a whole new level of action by industry against the consumer. They will seek to stigmatise those who own 3d printers saying that they are used for pirating designs; there will be calls for licencing and DRM to be added to commerically available printers to prevent the reproduction of well-known designs. Those who make their own printers will be hounded and marginalised. Torrent sites containing commercial files will spring up and be targetted by the manufacturing sector. Patent battles and targetted legislation will ensue.

In short, everything you have seen happen over digital music and movies will happen again when 3D printers go mainstream.
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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:58 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:Torrent sites containing commercial files will spring up and be targetted by the manufacturing sector.


This, at a minimum, is already coming true. The pirate bay already has a section for 3d models(it's terrible).

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Bobby Lin » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:11 pm UTC

You are definitely right that the "3D printed handguns" and other articles about "the dangers of 3D printing" are mostly serious media hype. It is much cheaper and easier for a criminal to purchase a gun anywhere else than to build a 3D model, buy a 3D printer and the materials, and 3D print a functional handgun.

Instead, 3D printing opens tons of opportunities for businesses and consumers. Both can 3D print customized objects (consumers can buy customized mugs, pens, pins, etc. and businesses can print out customized business cards, staplers, etc.). Plus, companies like My Local 3D Printing are making 3D printing available to everyone, even those who don't know how to use the software or don't own a 3D printer.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby elasto » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:37 am UTC

Bobby Lin wrote:You are definitely right that the "3D printed handguns" and other articles about "the dangers of 3D printing" are mostly serious media hype. It is much cheaper and easier for a criminal to purchase a gun anywhere else than to build a 3D model, buy a 3D printer and the materials, and 3D print a functional handgun.

In the US perhaps. In countries with sensible gun control laws it could become a very serious issue when people can effectively print guns on a whim. Doubly so if they are not detectable by metal detectors.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Chen » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:39 pm UTC

elasto wrote:In the US perhaps. In countries with sensible gun control laws it could become a very serious issue when people can effectively print guns on a whim. Doubly so if they are not detectable by metal detectors.


I think the machines will still need to drop significantly in price. Even in countries with stricter gun laws (like Canada) getting access to firearms illegally is not terribly difficult.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:46 pm UTC

Oh, sweet jesus, this thread is back from the dead.

No, 3d printing handguns won't be a big deal. Not because you can't do it, you certainly can(and I have), but because 3d printing is still sorta expensive/fiddly, and making guns otherwise is not. Flip up youtube and grab a channel about making your own firearms. Royal Nonesuch should provide adequate examples.

3d printing is really cool for prototyping, but frankly, I swapped over to an injection molder for when I need a lot of copies. It's waaay faster and cheaper. There's a lotta hardware out there on the production side of things, and while every advancement is really nifty, at-home manufacturing is still sorta niche. The average person isn't very close to building their own stuff instead of driving to walmart.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby ijuin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

The big issue on printed guns isn't about "wow, you can make a gun out of plastic easily", or even "oh no, people are killing the firearms industry by making their own rip-offs of commercial guns". Rather, it is the fact that the printed gun has no serial number or other registry, and thus no paper trail for law enforcement to trace if such a gun gets used in a crime.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:37 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:The big issue on printed guns isn't about "wow, you can make a gun out of plastic easily", or even "oh no, people are killing the firearms industry by making their own rip-offs of commercial guns". Rather, it is the fact that the printed gun has no serial number or other registry, and thus no paper trail for law enforcement to trace if such a gun gets used in a crime.


Yes but, as already stated, there are far, far easier ways to do that exact thing.

Nobody is serial numbering a length of pipe from the hardware store, so you're pretty much good.

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Re: The implications of consumer 3d printing

Postby slinches » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:34 am UTC

I have access to a 3D printer which is used to make production quality metal parts for aerospace applications. Even on that, the parts all need a substantial amount of clean-up and processing. Based on my experience with those, I doubt it will ever be easier to print a gun rather than mill one. If I were concerned about it at all (which I'm not), I'd be more concerned about access to cheap multi-axis CNC mills than 3D printers.


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