loser0: Me, I'd settle for one that can print in chocolate.
Fubini: t3knomanser: And that's before we look at the serious shiat, like laser sintering. That's not going to happen in the home (the home workshop maybe, but high energy lasers are dangerous tools). NASA is already producing certain classes of single-use items this way, because it provides finer control and higher build quality than conventional manufacturing.When I think of 3D printers I get really excited about space applications. We've known for a while now that really economic space travel isn't going to go anywhere until we're able to fabricate things in space with materials from space (i.e. captured asteroids or the moon). I think of trying to move something as simple as a machine shop into space and it seems impossible, but a team of 3D printers could fab a huge array parts. You could just shoot the superstructure and computers into space, and then fill in the rest of the ship with parts fabricated in space.It'd be a huge win, considering it's multiple tens of thousands of dollars to send a single pound of materiel into orbit, much less to escape velocity.
Slaxl: Vodka Zombie: Because I have absolutely no use for one?Not yet, but you'll need it to print the next generation of printers, which take waste matter and reconstitute it to form food. Hungry? No food in the house? Don't worry, there's a couple of unpaid bill demand letters, and an old sock you want to throw away. Stick it in the machine, select "pizza" and wait as it re-orients the atoms and molecules and builds you a hot, but probably quite small, pizza.I wonder if that will ever be possible in a home environment... I hope so. I also hope QA doesn't read this post. Something tells me he isn't keen on 3d printing.
bukketmaster: Am I missing something with this idea about these being the biggest thing ever? I mean, they basically make plastic molds.
traylor: I'd rather have a CNC milling machine before a 3D printer.3D printing is not practical for anything yet, and will remain so for long decades
Iplaybass: Even if they did, they wouldn't know how to use it.
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