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(Alaska Dispatch News)   If we can put a man on the moon, why not a 3D printer in every home?   ( ) divider line 10
    More: Spiffy, Dick Cavett, makerbot, real image, Thingiverse, Last Falling, protozoa, printer ink, key chain  
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2569 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Feb 2013 at 3:04 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-02-24 11:59:52 PM  
1 vote:

loser0: Me, I'd settle for one that can print in chocolate.

They've had 3D chocolate printers for at least a year now.  For chocolate and frosting, the temperatures are lower than for the various plastics.  On the higher temperature ranges, they're starting to handle nylon, and someone recently demonstrated a 3D printer that uses solar power to melt glass and use that in a 3D printer.
2013-02-24 07:30:40 PM  
1 vote:
You can own one that prints cheap plastic at a crap resolution, or send your .stl to someone with a decent machine :
Even then, 99% of people will just make ugly iPhone cases.
2013-02-24 07:25:29 PM  
1 vote:

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.

Nah...the Shuttle was the most expensive means of lofting stuff into orbit, and it *only* cost about $10,000 a pound. (Source) NASA biggest current project is funding all these non-governmental rockets in an effort to lower that cost by 100-fold, down to $100/lb by 2025. That's when we can start building an ISS-2 that spins for gravity and will allow years-long space exploration projects. It will be built by 3D printers at least in part, too. The next 100 years in space are going to be awesome, and the best is yet to come.
2013-02-24 06:41:16 PM  
1 vote:

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.

I'm not keen on the kind of delusion drivel like you posted. 25 years ago we were all supposed to have nanotechnological assemblers in every home. Now we just call finely ground powder "nano". Yay. Fifteen years ago we were all supposed to wear 3D goggles and all live in cyberspace. Now we are supposed to have this magical device in every home that's just like a Star Trek replicator.

The common thread here is that engineering and manufacturing are pretty mature and very complex fields of study that don't lend themselves well to vast improvements anymore. We've looked into it already.

The 3D printer you are looking for is called an "urban garden". You compost your organic waste, shovel it into the garden and plant seeds.

Biology is several orders of magnitude ahead of us in "3D printing". Self-assembling, self-replicating perpetual patterns encoded in matter, driven by sunlight, called "seeds".

It's a lot less glamorous than that leaky 50$ Yoda coffee cup you just "made" with your 1500$ glue gun, but there you have my position on the whole 3D printing mass delusion.
2013-02-24 06:35:47 PM  
1 vote:

bukketmaster: Am I missing something with this idea about these being the biggest thing ever? I mean, they basically make plastic molds.

The expensive ones can print metal, glass, ceramic, etc. Take a look at sometime, you can design stuff and they print it.

Me, I'd settle for one that can print in chocolate.
2013-02-24 06:20:42 PM  
1 vote:
Am I missing something with this idea about these being the biggest thing ever?  I mean, they basically make plastic molds. The article talks about people making replacement caps for their shampoo bottles like it's some kind of life-altering experience.

It's cool and all, but I sort of feel like the ability to make low-grade plastic crap out of your home is not going to be as staggeringly awesome as it's being made out to be.
2013-02-24 04:20:34 PM  
1 vote:

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

Additive manufacturing solves a different class of problem than subtractive manufacturing. As for "not practical", it's exceedingly practical for one-off production, especially when you look at the laser sintering machines. I have an FDM machine, and you're right- it's not really practical for anything. I'd get better build quality if I loaded it up with PLA instead of ABS, but I'd still be printing cheap plastic parts.

Iplaybass: Even if they did, they wouldn't know how to use it.

They wouldn't, but the mass market companies that want to sell them shiat would. Imagine if Apple and Disney formed an unholy merger. They could build a supply-chain directly into your house. Your brat watches the latest episode of Hanna Montana on Apple's iBox, and decides they absolutely have to have some branded HM merchandise. They check out in the Apple store, the iBox downloads a set of 3D models, and fifteen minutes later, they've got cheap plastic crap. This is so much better for Disney than shipping it from China- they've gotten  you to pay for the raw material, the electricity, and the time.

If you don't think there's a business model there, you're a sucker. Now, 3D printing  isn't technologically at that level... yet. But I built my 3D printer two years ago. The printers out there today blow it away on both price and build quality. A desktop stereolithographic machine was a fantasy back then. Now it's about $1K.

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.

The real issue is this: people who don't understand manufacturing think 3D printers are magic boxes where 3D models go in, and anything you like comes out. They don't work that way. They're just another manufacturing tool.
2013-02-24 03:48:46 PM  
1 vote:
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-24 03:47:32 PM  
1 vote:
Maybe because everyone has all the worthless plastic disposable crap that they need want can use have room for.
2013-02-24 09:16:55 AM  
1 vote:
Scott Adams said it best:

"The Evolution of Idiots - I blame sex and paper for most of our current problems. Here's my logic: Only one person in a million is smart enough to invent a printing press. So, when society consisted of only a few hundred apelike people living in caves, the odds of one of them being a genius was fairly low. But people kept having sex, wand with the every moron added to the population, the odds of a deviant smarty-pants slipping through the genetic net got higher and higher. When you've got several million people running around having sex all willy-nilly the odds are fairly good that some pregnant ape-mom is going to squat in a field someday and pinch out a printing-press making deviant. Once we had printing presses, we were pretty much doomed. Because then, every time a new smart deviant came up with a good idea, it would get written down and shared. Every good idea could be built upon. Civilization exploded. Technology was born. The complexity of life increased geometrically. Everything got bigger and better. Except our brains. All the technology that surrounds us, all the management theories, the economic models that predict and guide our behavior, the science that helps us live to 80 - it's all created by a tiny percentage of deviant smart people. The rest of us are treading water as fast as we can. The world is too complex for us. Evolution didn't keep up. Thanks to the printing press, the deviant smart people managed to capture their genius and communicate it without having to pass it on genetically. Evolution was short-circuited. We got knowledge and technology before we got intelligence. We're a planet of nearly 6 billion ninnies living in a civilization that was designed by a few thousand amazingly smart deviants. "
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