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.