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3-D Printers: Hot plastic or hot air? Poll

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by edpal, Jun 3, 2014.


  1. Sounds great, I want one now.

    63.0%
  2. Sounds waaaay too complicated - Maytag Man where are you!!??

    11.1%
  3. Can I print a friend?

    11.1%
  4. Carrots

    14.8%
  5. Can I print carrots?

    14.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    I personally consider the 3-D printing that some claim to be the next big thing, "one in every garage" a massive amount of over-hype. I think the average person is too stupid to take measurements off of existing items to do this. Anyway, your thoughts.
     
  2. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Since I own one, my option is not on the poll. I love it, though I definitely have to regulate how much I model and print... it can get a little spendy. Luckily, there's plenty of markets for models to buy/print, and (affordable, small) 3D printers are likely not too far off either. Thankfully I'm decent at 3D modeling, so I can usually make what I'm after, though I have bought and printed various other designs along the way too.
     
  3. I'd like to have one, but I'm probably too dumb to operate, and I have no idea what I'd do with it.
     
    skychief likes this.
  4. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
  5. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    It's a great idea, but will require some user friendly packaging to make it accessible to the general public, which has been the case with pretty much every new technology.
     
    DwaynieAD likes this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    As of now, more hot air than real use.
     
  7. dafuq do you do with them?
     
  8. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
  9. Can do much more than print with plastic. Space X printed large chunk of their Dragon 2 engines with a special 3D printer that they built.

    lowsound
     
  10. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I don't expect to see these in Wal*Mart or anything anytime soon. Even Fry's or MicroCenter will likely be a few years until they stock them. The local Microsoft store here has one, though, that you can play with (usually someone else already has a print going, so you can just play with the software and look at current process).
     
  11. They are getting cheaper (not too long back the cheapest was 10s of thousands).

    The average user wouldn't need to make measurements of design 3D CAD files, you'll be able to download a lot of things.

    Granted, I don't think it's something everyone will want or need in their home. We've had use of them for rapid prototyping, but not something everyone wants to do. Materials are still expensive too.
     
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Back in the day I worked for a place that got to try one of the first working examples of a color inkjet printer. It required rolls of clay coated paper and each of the 4 colors had to be loaded with a little dropper like device. If you left ink in the thing overnight it would clog up and require a couple hours of fiddling and a ton of wasted ink and paper to get it back up and running. on top of all that it had a list price north of 2K.

    I recently picked up a color inkjet for my nephew and it takes two cartridges of ink, takes maybe 30 seconds to change both, works with plain paper, and cost me all of $79.00

    We also got to try one of the very first PC based CAD systems. It was on an IBM PC AT with a hotrod math chip and was only good for landscaping and home plans with crude wireframes and no color. The software was 20K and the "custom" PC was 4K. Wifey's kindle has more features and is more powerful than that AT.

    When I think of the time I've spent programming and producing prototypes from wax or machineable plastic and compare that to the time it takes to go from drawing to finished piece with a rapid prototype printer, I would have LOVED to have had a 3D printer back then.

    Point being, electronics for mass consumption, especially something with some actual for profit business utility will evolve at a very rapid pace and the price will drop as the product evolves, so I'm going out on a limb and saying the 3D printer is more than a flash in the pan.

    I know a guy who uses a 3d printer to do molds for bronze busts and small statues. He said even with the touchup work it's still so much faster than traditional sculpting. He's been experimenting with creating 3d maps from photos and loading those into the printer. Haven't talked with him in a while so I don't know how that's working out, but given that's just a matter of writing code to make it happen, I don't think it will be too much trouble to convert it from idea to daily practice.
     
  13. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    So, who is going to do the 3-D scans of these product parts we need - certainly not the OEM manufacturers. I'm approaching this from a standpoint of - I was a toolmaker for 11 years, I've seen how badly experienced people can screw things up with a blueprint. I'm thinking even a math, measurement and tech-svvy user is going to have some problems on all but the most basic parts, if they can't be 3-D scanned. Which many things can't. But I'll get one once they get a little cheaper, I could put one to good use, even just printing plastic items.
     
  14. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    It doesn't need to be scanned. It can be directly modeled in software and printed. This is something a lot of people already do (myself, my brother-in-law and thousands more juding by the models in the store and online). It's not like we're at the point where we'll be printing complex systems as a whole yet - just part by part. Look at the cat whose modeled firearms that are (somewhat) functional - they're limited by the material, not the design. If you can see if, you can model it and therefore, print it.
    And, 3D scanners are coming as well, just lagging quite a bit. Even with them, I imagine they'll just create the model and tweaking will need done in software before printing.
     
  15. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    You can't model something until you know the dimensions. In my case I want to replicate plastic parts that were made 40 years ago - molded parts with multiple internal steps/ledges. That have to fit within a few thousandths of an inch with other parts.

    The guy in you example (the gun) isn't limited by other parts his parts must fit into, they only have to fit each other. If you have an item with 8 parts and want to replace just one that is surrounded by the others you are f***ed without some good dimensions.

    3-D scanners are almost useless for interior contours.
     
  16. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Well, without that part to measure/model/scan, you just have your traditional means to model it. Building a new one on a CNC machine (or similar) isn't so different than building the model. If you build one from scratch entirely, say from clay, then you could measure that and print it.

    At the same time, these are (presently) meant for rapid prototyping, not so much actual tooling and final production. I wouldn't accept the resolution on these in that case, nor the material used in most cases.

    I see your point, but I think that's a very narrow focus on the ability of this technology.
     
  17. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I don't see it being that far removed from record companies shifting from selling CD's to selling iTunes you download. Manufacturers would license you a name brand version of their CAD schematics that you download to your device and print it out at your convenience.

    The cost for most is in R&D and marketing, right? Cutting out the lability of having to manufacture, transport, and fight for shelf space at retailers is just shifting their profit margins higher.
     
  18. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Apr 13, 2010
    UK
    Inkjet printers were supposed to be a revolution in that you could just download a book and print it. In reality mass printing books is still cheaper but an inkjet is fine for printing out set lists. I suspect 3D printers will be similar in that they will be good for one-off or special items, but mass production will still be cheaper for an awful lot of things. Much like commerical printers are good for limited runs (gig flyers) there will be 3D printer shops that can do things you can't affordably do at home.

    The irony with books is that they are now being supplanted by non-physical product, but you can't replace that knob on a 1961 amp by gaffa taping a kindle to it.
     
  19. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    We all know you just want to print beej-es
     
  20. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Apr 13, 2010
    UK
    That makes sense, as it is a new way to make tools, to then mass produce.
     

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