Author Topic: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh  (Read 8604 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« on: January 21, 2014, 07:22:43 am »
Greetings EEVBees:

--Please see the blow link for yet another article about 3D printing being on the threshold of ubiquity.

http://mediaroom.marlinfinance.com/office-technology-equipment/3d-printers-increasingly-moving-toward-mainstream-office-adoption/#sthash.HD6VAm6M.dpuf

--The article says " ... toys, tea cups, iPhone cases, sculptures and even jewelry can all be developed in record time." Though not quite as fast as a lost wax production artizan with a knife.

--And now geodesic chocolates.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25647918

--Just the thing for chocolate woblies



"The language of experiment is more authoritative than any reasoning: facts can destroy our ratiocination—not vice versa."
Alessandro  Volta 1745 1827

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Offline Sigmoid

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 04:07:56 pm »
Are you dissing the media or 3d printing? :)
The former deserves it, the latter really doesn't.
 

Offline FJV

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 09:21:37 pm »
Even though, I've just bought one, I can somewhat agree.

People underestimate the difficulty of generating quality content for it in my opinion.

And there are quite significant limitations that are glossed over.

 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 10:06:33 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--I am all for 3D Printers. And if you can afford to play with one, good on ya. But, I must have read 10 articles about the new capabilities of 3D printers, only to find out there are no new capabilities. Now if you paired one with a 3D Scanner, they would be very useful for making one off plastic knobs and parts. That is if mechanically strong plastics can be used.

--Then of course there is the question of whether the Government and the Anti-Gun forces will ever allow high capability (metal) printers into private hands, even though one can make good firearms in a modest machine shop. In Peshawar they make them with little more than a file and hand held fly cutter.

“I’m going to print more printers. Lots more printers. One for everyone. That’s worth going to jail for. That’s worth anything.” [From Printcrime]
Cory Doctorow 1971 -
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 10:15:18 pm »
I don't like to be too sceptical, but when I hear of any technology with "3D" in the title, my mind says "Oh, here we go again".

Mass production works; it's been proven over many, many years. The time it takes to inject a mould with molten plastic, cool it and eject the form *cannot* be rivalled with a 3D printer yet, if it ever will be at all. I can see how making the odd thingy or two for a hobbyist is useful... but, as with many "revolutionary" products, the evangelists of said machinery tend to get a little carried away in their idealistic bubble (have you ever watched "Dragon's Den"? You'll know what I mean).

It doesn't help the already fragile, uncertain "revolution" (really? An X-Y-Z motor driven bed, onto which is squirted molten plastic through a nozzle? ... hmmm...) was pushed into the mass consciousness by "Makerbot"; one of the most ridiculous looking (and apparently flimsy) machines I've seen yet, and their pretentious ads on YouTube.

I experience life in 3D, and the rendition is wholly accurate and dependable - for now, that will do me ;)
 

Offline JoeyP

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 10:56:48 pm »
--I am all for 3D Printers. And if you can afford to play with one, good on ya. But, I must have read 10 articles about the new capabilities of 3D printers, only to find out there are no new capabilities...

I agree. It cracks me up how the media seems to think this "new technology" will revolutionize the world! 3D printing has been around and utilized since the 1980's. We still use it mostly for the same things now that we did then. Yes, quality has gotten better and the process cheaper, but it's talked about as if it were just invented last year (when the media apparently first heard of it)! Little do they know that the revolution already happened - quietly, and that all we're seeing these days is incremental improvements to something they just didn't happen to know about.
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 11:11:07 pm »
--I am all for 3D Printers. And if you can afford to play with one, good on ya. But, I must have read 10 articles about the new capabilities of 3D printers, only to find out there are no new capabilities...

I agree. It cracks me up how the media seems to think this "new technology" will revolutionize the world! 3D printing has been around and utilized since the 1980's. We still use it mostly for the same things now that we did then. Yes, quality has gotten better and the process cheaper, but it's talked about as if it were just invented last year (when the media apparently first heard of it)! Little do they know that the revolution already happened - quietly, and that all we're seeing these days is incremental improvements to something they just didn't happen to know about.

I'd like to see if any of these machines can print this, full scale:

 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 11:52:18 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--This just in. Excreted concrete buildings. Bryant Jordan pretty much transcribes Khoshnevis' heifer dust, mote for mote. I do not recommend the videos. Still the Navy has kicked in with probably 10 Mil, but possibly more. Commercial? Seems possible, but probably not for smaller homes. I rate this one's chances as better than Polywell.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/01/21/navy-helps-fund-3d-printing-buildings/

"In choosing a hypothesis there is no virtue in being timid. I clearly would have been burned at the stake in another age."
Thomas Gold 1920 - 2004

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Offline wilheldp

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 11:54:46 pm »
Mass production works; it's been proven over many, many years. The time it takes to inject a mould with molten plastic, cool it and eject the form *cannot* be rivalled with a 3D printer yet, if it ever will be at all.

3D printing is not an alternative to mass production.  It can be used for low-volume production, but where it really comes into its own is prototyping.  Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing, and produces a stronger part if done correctly.  But producing molds is expensive, and if you screw up one or two of them before you get it right, you've already paid for a very nice 3D printer.  Software can simulate a lot of prototypes, but it's hard to beat getting one in your hands to find potential flaws in the design.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 11:58:38 pm »
Mass production works; it's been proven over many, many years. The time it takes to inject a mould with molten plastic, cool it and eject the form *cannot* be rivalled with a 3D printer yet, if it ever will be at all.

3D printing is not an alternative to mass production.  It can be used for low-volume production, but where it really comes into its own is prototyping.  Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing, and produces a stronger part if done correctly.  But producing molds is expensive, and if you screw up one or two of them before you get it right, you've already paid for a very nice 3D printer.  Software can simulate a lot of prototypes, but it's hard to beat getting one in your hands to find potential flaws in the design.

3D printing is also painfully slow compared to mass-production molding.
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline wilheldp

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 12:01:56 am »
3D printing is not an alternative to mass production.  It can be used for low-volume production, but where it really comes into its own is prototyping.  Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing, and produces a stronger part if done correctly.  But producing molds is expensive, and if you screw up one or two of them before you get it right, you've already paid for a very nice 3D printer.  Software can simulate a lot of prototypes, but it's hard to beat getting one in your hands to find potential flaws in the design.

3D printing is also painfully slow compared to mass-production molding.
[/quote]

Um..yep...that's what I said.  "Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing."
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 12:21:09 am »
3D printing is not an alternative to mass production.  It can be used for low-volume production, but where it really comes into its own is prototyping.  Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing, and produces a stronger part if done correctly.  But producing molds is expensive, and if you screw up one or two of them before you get it right, you've already paid for a very nice 3D printer.  Software can simulate a lot of prototypes, but it's hard to beat getting one in your hands to find potential flaws in the design.

3D printing is also painfully slow compared to mass-production molding.

Um..yep...that's what I said.  "Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing."
[/quote]

must've missed it.
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline wilheldp

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 12:30:45 am »
No worries...it happens.
 

Offline lewis

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 12:31:49 am »
I think 3D printers are pointless and shit. But I said the same about the iPhone, the iPad and Lady Gaga. And I probably would have said the same about the internet if I was alive in 1981: http://www.wimp.com/theinternet/
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Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 12:35:43 am »
Mass production works; it's been proven over many, many years. The time it takes to inject a mould with molten plastic, cool it and eject the form *cannot* be rivalled with a 3D printer yet, if it ever will be at all.

3D printing is not an alternative to mass production.  It can be used for low-volume production, but where it really comes into its own is prototyping.  Injection molding is far and away quicker than 3D printing, and produces a stronger part if done correctly.  But producing molds is expensive, and if you screw up one or two of them before you get it right, you've already paid for a very nice 3D printer.  Software can simulate a lot of prototypes, but it's hard to beat getting one in your hands to find potential flaws in the design.

With respect, I'd got as far as working all that out; it wasn't too hard :)
 

Offline wilheldp

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2014, 12:38:07 am »
I think 3D printers are pointless and shit. But I said the same about the iPhone, the iPad and Lady Gaga. And I probably would have said the same about the internet if I was alive in 1981: http://www.wimp.com/theinternet/

LOL..."Richard Holloran: Owns Home Computer"  It would be a bigger subtext today if somebody DIDN'T own a home computer.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2014, 02:06:39 am »
The thing with 3D printers is that people who tout them as the future of production don't understand one part of production - and that part is manufacturing engineering. 

3D printed parts have (and always will have) their own specific properties and qualities.  Just like a forged part is more expensive than a cast part, but stronger... or an injection molded part is cheaper (per piece) than a machined part, but requires a large up front NRE expense... similarly 3D printed parts will always have their own unique characteristics in terms of quality, speed, cost, strength, capabilities, etc.  Some of those features will be superior to other manufacturing technologies, some won't be.  So 3D printers will find a niche in areas where their specific capabilities make them useful.  They will not find a home in areas where their shortcomings render them sub-par compared to existing technologies.

It may sound obvious, but the above is what 99% of the hypers, pundits and media people don't understand.  They think we will be 3D printing replacement car parts at home in 30 years, or that 3D printers will be like Star Trek replicator machines.  They won't be.

I remember the same things were said about CNC machining when CNC machines became mainstream - that everyone would have one in their home some day and you'd insert a piece of material and come back later and take out a finished widget.  In reality, CNC machines have become even more specialized over the years - the latest CNC machines are capable, but massively expensive and seriously difficult to program and use cost-effectively.
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Offline casinada

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2014, 04:18:43 am »
I remember When I saw the first HP Bublejet Printer more than 30 years ago, the technology is very mature now and printers very inexpensive but reliable. Heads don't clog up like they used to and they are fast and accurate enough to print pretty pictures in colors. The same thing happened with laser printers, they were very expensive, big, heavy, high maintenance and painfully slow. Today you can buy a decent Black and white printer for $100 and a color one for $300. I expect the same will happen to 3D printing.
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2014, 04:27:20 am »
I remember When I saw the first HP Bublejet Printer more than 30 years ago, the technology is very mature now and printers very inexpensive but reliable. Heads don't clog up like they used to and they are fast and accurate enough to print pretty pictures in colors. The same thing happened with laser printers, they were very expensive, big, heavy, high maintenance and painfully slow. Today you can buy a decent Black and white printer for $100 and a color one for $300. I expect the same will happen to 3D printing.

I hate to shatter the dream, but printers are STILL high maintenance; inkjet ink is a ripoff, they are always going wrong, compounded by the fact that they're made of cheap creaky plastic. Being able to buy one cheap and then buy ANOTHER one for the same price, is simple affirmation of this unreliablility. As for laser printers, yes - they're cheaper for some models, but FAR FAR from maintenance free - they're a royal pain still, toner STILL spills everywhere, they STILL jam up... but yeah - the printer is marginally better overall - the only useful improvement is speed.

PS: Laser printers are still rather heavy; I have a Konica Minolta 5430DL colour laser from 2004-2005, which is 42Kg and is the size of a medium sized copier. The supplier told me it was "a small laser printer" ...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 04:31:01 am by rolandpenplotter »
 

Offline Sigmoid

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2014, 05:46:56 am »
We aren't quite sure yet where 3d printing will go in the future. That said, I have some ideas. :)

Apparently NASA also did, as they are using laser sintering process to create "production" metal parts. Now this is still pretty expensive, but an existing technology that is being used to create not just rockets for NASA, but more private things, like custom designed aluminum bicycle parts and similar... (For a hefty premium of course, but it's an existing business.) And yes, metal printing is in private hands alright, it's just pretty damn expensive.

FDM printing (what we all know as 3d printing, courtesy of the RepRap project, Makerbot and co.) is actually one of the more interesting technologies. What we are most familiar with is the heated extrusion of thermoplastics, but in a very similar way, biotechnology researchers have demonstrated the viability of custom printing living replacement organs out of a mixture of cells and a suitable cement material.
Thermoplastic extrusion may not be as resilient or perfect as mold injection, but it's good enough for many applications. Actually, I think its worth is proven amply by the "self-replicating" printers out there, which can be built from industry standard metal parts, with all the stuff 3d printed that would "normally" be mold injected.

Photopolymerisation is a less known method, but there's a consumer-level "affordable" device on the market using it that is currently the closest to creating "professional looking" plastic objects. It's mainly aimed at artists and product designers.

So yea, while the technology itself may have been around since 1980, it has started to become a thing recently. Computers have been around since around 1946, and they only became a thing in 1980. (Actually, most people greeted computers "becoming a thing" in similar tones as people tend to view 3d printers.) As for CNC machines, I wouldn't bring them up as an example here - people don't have CNC machines in their homes, but neither did they usually have lathes or drill presses. And nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find a metalworking shop without a CNC machine or two, and most of the metal in your car, bike or Apple computer has been CNC'd - so CNC is actually a bloody huge success.
(As for empowerment, I know a former competitive cyclist who, thanks to the accessibility of CNC, became a designer of boutique keirin bicycle parts, he has his own brand, and is making a pretty penny out of it. Without CNC, I doubt he'd ever have managed to get his designs to market.)

And besides, 3d printing has already started to become a business. Just look at Shapeways. They really took off, haven't they? People are actually paying for getting one-off prints made from digital designs they create, and selling trinkets they designed... Apparently there is a real market for small-batch manufacturing after all.

What's new isn't the "capabilities" of 3d printers. It's not like suddenly they can sing opera and ask a cheerleader out for you. Most of the news is hype (it's what journalists do), but there IS innovation. Innovation, as in gradually finding new business and scientific opportunities based on this technology. 3d printers may get slightly better with time (better resolution, greater choice of materials, etc.), but the real development of the future will be new ways to make them useful.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 02:38:46 pm by Sigmoid »
 

Offline Sigmoid

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2014, 05:54:14 am »
As for laser printers, yes - they're cheaper for some models, but FAR FAR from maintenance free - they're a royal pain still, toner STILL spills everywhere, they STILL jam up... but yeah - the printer is marginally better overall - the only useful improvement is speed.
You were either hard pressed to make a point, or you've had ABYSMAL luck with your printers. Years ago I bought a used HP Laserjet 2200, a large office workhorse printer. I took it to a service to be cleaned out and to have the finishing film replaced, and it's been in use ever since. The maintenance? Zilch. Nada. It just keeps going like an Energizer bunny. :)

PS: Laser printers are still rather heavy; I have a Konica Minolta 5430DL colour laser from 2004-2005, which is 42Kg and is the size of a medium sized copier. The supplier told me it was "a small laser printer" ...
I'm starting to suspect that you're a time traveller from the past, or you just spent the last 10 years in a block of arctic ice.
http://www.amazon.com/Hewlett-Packard-1102W-Laserjet-Wireless/dp/B00847UWUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390371045&sr=8-1&keywords=hp+laserjet
Welcome to 2014, past-man. ;)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 06:12:25 am by Sigmoid »
 

Offline don.r

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2014, 04:37:20 am »
200 years ago it took 150 years for the accumulated knowledge of man to double. Today it takes 2 years. By 2020 it will double every 72 hours. I suspect 3d printers will look a whole lot different in 5 or 10 years than they do today.
 

Offline casinada

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Re: The Great 3D Printer Revolution - Feh
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2014, 07:47:18 am »
I work in the IT industry that is why I made the observations about Ink-Jet and Laser printers. If you buy Toner from the original manufacturer you'll seldom have toner leaks. The clients that don't listen to me and buy refurbished cartridges end up paying me much more to cleanup the mess.
If you are careful with the laser printer the only thing you have to replace is the rollers and or rubber parts, sometimes the clutch mechanism on the trays and of course the fuser unit but like in cars, some are made more durable than others and some parts must be changed every so many miles. :)
I'm cautiosly optimistic about 3D technology in general. :)
 
 


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