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(Kickstarter)   Brilliant: Copy makerbot part for part and call it something new. Start kickstarter to raise capital. Take capital and pay Chinese firm to build your knock-off so you can sell it for two-thirds the price. Isn't open source awesome?   (kickstarter.com) divider line 59
    More: Interesting, makerbot, TangiBot, CAD, P L A, open source, plywood, professional engineer  
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5021 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Aug 2012 at 10:54 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-13 06:21:36 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: ProfessorOhki: Silkscreening isn't hard at all. There's huge numbers of people who do it at home . Mostly for t-shirts and such, but silkscreening is silkscreening. The other two I'll give you; they're possible, but the chemicals can be a pain in the ass.

It's still an extra step, extra materials, extra space. It's still easier, better and faster to get them made. You can get lines down to 4-5 mils now, can you do that at home?


Don't know; I don't see any reason why not if you can find a mesh with a fine enough spacing. The thing is, if you make a lot of variations of 1 sided PCBs and they're all one-offs, it's going to be cheaper to do it at home. If you need more than 5 of something, SMD, multilayer, etc., you'd obviously be better off farming it out to someone with the right equipment.

Look at it this way, a home 3d printer costs you what, $1.2k or so? Ignoring materials, 1 hour on that machine costs you $1.2k. 100k hours on that machine costs you $1.2k If you're able to produce things at home to the specs you need, it's going to be cheaper than farming it out due to cost of shipping alone. If you need more exotic materials, better resolution, structures that require you to use something besides fused deposition, etc., you're going to farm it out. Of course, for mass production, 3d printing of any kind is still sort of cost inefficient.

Processes are like tools, the right one depends on the job. If I'm messing around with something on my desk and go "hey, I need an odd shaped bracket and ABS is fine," printing one out in 40 min is preferred to Shapeways (they have a 2 week plastic backlog at the moment + shipping time) , and it's waaaaaay preferred to having custom tooling done for casting or vacuum forming :)

Smidge204: ProfessorOhki: This. If this kickstarter guy does this and people people buy his machine... then immediately use it to make their own clones of/parts for this very machine, Bre will be seen smiling smugly to himself. I always got the sense he was in it for the idealism, not to turn a profit.

The Makerbot is not designed to be replicated, though. It uses mostly lasercut plywood parts instead of the mostly plastic (and printable) parts. Very little of a Makerbot is producible on a Makerbot.

Also, I'm pretty sure the "ecosystem" he had in mind was regarding the designs, not the machines. Pretty sure they want to actually sell the machines since that's their only revenue stream. Adrian Bowyer probably has a more favorable opinion, though...


Well, it obviously wasn't designed to be self-replicable, but all the designs are provided and people have made versions out of acrylic before. Besides, most the wood parts are for structure/show and could be easily replaced by something more minimalist. Reprap, on the other hand, had self-replication as a goal at the beginning so it obviously lends itself to it. My guess is that as long as these guys keep the open-sourced bits open source, I doubt anyone will be crying foul.
 
2012-08-13 06:40:52 PM

Beowoolfie: Quantum Apostrophe: Marine1: You put in the medium (the "ink") you want to make an object in, load up the design into memory, and begin printing.

Except you arguably aren't making an object, you're making a shape, poorly, out of one material. Just because you print out a shape of a cell phone, doesn't make it a cell phone.

It's a way to make very expensive trinkets, slowly and poorly.

Yep, too expensive, too slow, and quality is not great...this year. But just look at recent history:
1977: I buy my first computer, a TRS-80. Not a single person I meet outside of the computer club has any clue what it does or why I'd want one.
1984: The Personal Computer is Time Magazine's "Person of the year". They're everywhere in offices, and already in maybe 20% of homes.

1985: Apple releases the first personal laser printer, at $6995.
1989: I buy my first laser printer, twice as fast and with better specs, at $995.

Things change fast at this stage of the new-technology curve. Look for the same sort of explosive growth this decade in other robot-related fields, too. (3D printers are just a specialized type of robot).


Software is exactly the way material objects aren't. Besides that, good analogy.
 
2012-08-13 06:47:43 PM
So, can it make little plastic Space Marines and infuriate Games Workshop?
 
2012-08-13 07:19:22 PM

Beowoolfie: Henry Ford would be turning in his grave, if his corpse wasn't exhausted from all your predecessors.


Ford designed his own car. Nobody else was building that car. The guy did not design his own printer. He's simply taking the publicly available design documents and exporting the labor to reduce cost The only thing he did was take their name off of it. The people who actually did all the work making the product possible get jack squat.

If this guy had designed and built his own machine - even if that design relied heavily on Makerbot's design - it would be a different story. But this is a verbatim copy.

To put this into non-physical terms: Would you say that taking a recently published, in-print novel and distributing photocopies of it for 2/3rds the price is helping the author, or advancing the art of literature? (For the sake of the analogy, pretend that it would otherwise be perfectly legal to do so)


roc6783: Would it still be a good idea if I had no engineering or other mechanical background? Or is the learning curve/base knowledge required too much for someone to pick it up without a huge time investment?


As t3knomanser suggested, there certainly is a bit of a knack to it. If you go with a boxed solution there is less mechanical knack required - a kit will require you to assemble and square a frame, linear motion parts, belts and pulleys, as well as wire everything up (or even do your own reflow soldering depending on kit level).

But aside from that, if you're handy with a 3D modeling tool you stand a good chance of being able to make workable prints. Damn near anything can export to STL format (or to a format that is easily converted) which is then converted in to movement commands by a slicer. Here's a page you might find useful

The hardest part is designing within the capabilities of the machine. A good designer will need to keep in mind how the object will be produced and what the limitations of that production method will be. 3D printing with FDM means you can't print in mid-air, so you will want to try for a part where each horizontal cross-section is the same outline or smaller than the layer below it. You can do overhangs and bridges but these require a well-tuned machine, tweaked print settings and a lot of patience 'cause they go wrong easily. You can also use support (loosely bound layers of extra material) which must be manually cut away.

I try to design everything to avoid all these. Consider the shape of the part and how it will be oriented to minimize print trouble. Here's a good example of one of my own projects, including a picture of the parts on the printing bed.

There's also a guy in the #reprap chat who prints MLP figures whom I'll use as a good example of complex shapes:

Freshly printed with support
Same model, support removed
Model painted

Judging by the size of the "grain" and knowing he uses a 0.35mm nozzle, that figure is about 1 to 1.25 inched high. He really ought to have sanded it before painting, too!
=Smidge=
/He also cheats and uses an inkjet printer to print eyes that he glues on...
 
2012-08-13 07:24:07 PM

Smidge204: There's also a guy in the #reprap chat who prints MLP figures whom I'll use as a good example of complex shapes:



Not to be a complete cock or anything, but that is probably the worst craftsmanship I've seen on anything, ever.
 
2012-08-13 08:38:55 PM

gunther_bumpass: Not to be a complete cock or anything, but that is probably the worst craftsmanship I've seen on anything, ever.


Take a look at the frame of the solidoodle.

/ tack weld goes where?
// anywhere.
 
2012-08-14 12:59:09 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: ProfessorOhki: Silkscreening isn't hard at all. There's huge numbers of people who do it at home . Mostly for t-shirts and such, but silkscreening is silkscreening. The other two I'll give you; they're possible, but the chemicals can be a pain in the ass.

It's still an extra step, extra materials, extra space. It's still easier, better and faster to get them made. You can get lines down to 4-5 mils now, can you do that at home?


Yes. It isn't that difficult if you know what you are doing.
 
2012-08-14 11:39:42 AM

Smidge204:
The hardest part is designing within the capabilities of the machine. A good designer will need to keep in mind how the object will be produced and what the limitations of that production method will be. 3D printing .../i>

So... 500 bucks plus supplies and after hours of work I can maybe print out one fragile poor rendition of a My Little Pony per day that needs sanding as long as it isn't a funny shape and I have to trim the flash off it? Sign me up!

 
2012-08-14 03:25:32 PM

Beowoolfie: Quantum Apostrophe: Marine1: You put in the medium (the "ink") you want to make an object in, load up the design into memory, and begin printing.

Except you arguably aren't making an object, you're making a shape, poorly, out of one material. Just because you print out a shape of a cell phone, doesn't make it a cell phone.

It's a way to make very expensive trinkets, slowly and poorly.

Yep, too expensive, too slow, and quality is not great...this year. But just look at recent history:
1977: I buy my first computer, a TRS-80. Not a single person I meet outside of the computer club has any clue what it does or why I'd want one.
1984: The Personal Computer is Time Magazine's "Person of the year". They're everywhere in offices, and already in maybe 20% of homes.

1985: Apple releases the first personal laser printer, at $6995.
1989: I buy my first laser printer, twice as fast and with better specs, at $995.

Things change fast at this stage of the new-technology curve. Look for the same sort of explosive growth this decade in other robot-related fields, too. (3D printers are just a specialized type of robot).



Yep I'm excited. the technology isn't all that snazzy yet and useful, but it will change the world at some point. Any new tech looks crappy and meh but it improves and becomes vital. I picture you'll have a basic one at home for simple items and a mass fab store close by.

Order a part online and send it to the mass fab store. They have complex machines to create some complex things using multiple materials and larger sizes. When it's done they call/email/txt you it's ready to be picked up. The bill is in 3 parts design, material, and machine time.

They won't replace everything, but hot many of the items do we buy made of simple materials such as plastic, rubber, metal, wood pulp, and concrete. Also since bakeries can use them as well it could be you upload your design for a cake and it prints one for you.
 
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