Author Topic: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?  (Read 1869 times)

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Online xrunner

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2020, 12:25:12 am »
Yea that's really cool - but I was talking about pyramids ... I don't think they will tackle this is the near future -

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Online Cerebus

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2020, 01:16:52 am »
Yea that's really cool - but I was talking about pyramids ... I don't think they will tackle this is the near future -


Like I said, I think they (experimental archaeologists in general) would if they thought they could get away with it. "Excuse me Mr Mayor of Cairo, you're not actually using this bit of desert just in front of the Giza plateau are you?" You've seen the sorts that turn up on "Time Team"; chunky jumpers, pipes ("Are you sure that this is tobacco, sir?"), real ale, hats you could grow potatoes in... Mad as cheese, the lot of them.  :)
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Online vk6zgo

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2020, 01:18:29 am »
One reason was that the existing methods were highly developed & efficient for mass production.

My Dad's old job of Engineering Patternmaker, which was a complex thing, combining the skills of a sculptor, woodworker, & machinist, along with good mathematical abilities was just about gone by then with the advent of CNC, where a machine could be used to produce a pattern quickly, without any  such skills required, where the pattern was used in the time-honoured way to produce a mould, & so on.

Or

To machine the mould directly, with the "inverse" shape of the ultimate product
The same could be done for the dies used in forging.

Or

To machine the complete product from a billet of solid metal

Most of the above applies to plastics, too.
Plastic stuff was cheap as dirt to mould or extrude, or whatever, so factories really didn't stand to benefit much from 3D printing.

3D printing doesn't really seem to offer much advantage to large scale manufacturers, even now, despite all the hype.
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2020, 01:40:45 am »
A good mate of mine still in the Patternmaking business uses a mix of CNC, handwork, resin and metal that is the nature of progress. Strict handwork only patternmaking is more or less gone.

Re 3D printing you need to get out and look more at what industry is actually doing be it Aerospace building rocket motors or limited run special body trim for Automotive or just pre production prototyping or limited run performance parts. This doesn't necessarily apply to FDM consumer printers which is what I guess this topic is about but more so SLS, Resin and some of the higher end industrial process machines.

https://metal3d.com.au/automotive-industry/

It won't ever be the Star Trek replicator or replace Diecasting or Injection molding but in some cases it now makes sense.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 01:42:21 am by beanflying »
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Online langwadt

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2020, 02:08:30 am »
A good mate of mine still in the Patternmaking business uses a mix of CNC, handwork, resin and metal that is the nature of progress. Strict handwork only patternmaking is more or less gone.

Re 3D printing you need to get out and look more at what industry is actually doing be it Aerospace building rocket motors or limited run special body trim for Automotive or just pre production prototyping or limited run performance parts. This doesn't necessarily apply to FDM consumer printers which is what I guess this topic is about but more so SLS, Resin and some of the higher end industrial process machines.

https://metal3d.com.au/automotive-industry/

It won't ever be the Star Trek replicator or replace Diecasting or Injection molding but in some cases it now makes sense.

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Offline c64

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2020, 07:40:15 am »
Simple 3d design software was already available in late 80s.

G-code for something simple like enclosure for your PCB or "simple tool stand" mentioned in this thread can be generated without any 3d editor. I myself tried to generate g-code manually and it's nothing complicated, just time consuming.

Simplest hobbyist 3d printer just requires few stepper motors and computer like c64 or ZX Spectrum. ZX Spectrum was around 100£, steppers can be controlled directly from it. No need for any microcontrollers. And if you make it yourself, you just don't care about patents.

It was probably no plastic on the spool available for sale, but it can be also done at home, there are stories of people recycling their plastic.

 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2020, 08:02:10 am »
As I typed a few posts ago you don't need 3D software to generate Gcode we do it now because it is easy and it makes sense.

Do you actually have any idea how large the Gcode file is even for a simple shape? Anything relying on a Cassette Tape for storage isn't an option.

Draw yourself a simple cube and then convert it into GCode and you are talking Mb file sizes. Simple 50x50x50mm cube with a 0.2mm layer is 275,000 lines of Gcode and over 8Mb off a modern slicer. Just ran a 20x20x20mm cube 640kB and over 20,000 lines of Gcode.

I don't have the time to look an more at it currently but even playing with it manually the file down in size I doubt you will get near a toy computer to process and keep up with a 3D printer from tape.

ABS and a lot of common plastics were available on rolls it they would work reliably or be consistent is a bit moot but if there was a market I am sure technically it could be done for a price.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 08:07:13 am by beanflying »
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2020, 08:48:57 am »
There is nothing complicated in the construction of a cheap 3d printer. Electronics is simple as well. We could already make them easily in the late 80s. Why?

I was just watching The-8-bit-guy's latest video today where he cooks up a couple of key stands for the C64.

He pulled the file off the web and sent it to the printer and walla.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2020, 08:50:42 am »
Yea that's really cool - but I was talking about pyramids ... I don't think they will tackle this is the near future -



I have been to those there pyramids. I have only one word: Aliens.

 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2020, 01:16:04 pm »
Quote
3D printing has been around for about 30 years, which means that some of the earliest patents in this space are fond memories. From 2002 to 2014, about 225 early 3D printing patents expired. About 16 key patents relating to 3D printing processes called Material Extrusion, Powder Bed Fusion, and Vat Photopolymerization expired in 2013-14. This means that 3D printing technology that is at least 20 years old is now available for anyone to use.
In other words, an expired 3D printing patent gives only the right to use that specific 20-year-old technology.
https://www.finnegan.com/en/insights/how-patents-die-expiring-3d-printing-patents.html

Another link:
https://reprap.org/wiki/Patents
IP lawyer firm says you need an IP lawyer.  ::)
 

Online xrunner

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2020, 01:16:31 pm »
I have been to those there pyramids. I have only one word: Aliens.

Yea dude - they must have had help from ... aliens!



G-code for something simple like enclosure for your PCB or "simple tool stand" mentioned in this thread can be generated without any 3d editor. I myself tried to generate g-code manually and it's nothing complicated, just time consuming.

Right, right, and making a Giza pyramid is simple just tiime-consuming. In fact almost anything can be done, why it's just a simple matter of time right?

Even if you wanted to try and make a 3D printed object coding it by hand, you will make mistakes - so many mistakes. I make mistakes just using the tools we have now. Sometimes hours are lost due to these mistakes. LOL and where you see the mistake in the finished model how are you going to pinpoint the exact line of gcode that caused it?  :wtf:

And you are going to code up by hand over 82,000 lines of gcode to make an item like this blade holder I printed yesterday. And you are not going to make a mistake - you will make many, very many my friend, and have to trudge through 82,000 lines to find it and do it again and again. Make all the move, extrude, retract, etc. all those calculations by hand for files that can be up to hundreds of thousands of lines?

Oh, but it's simply a matter of time ...

Give me a break.  :palm:

« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 04:49:45 pm by xrunner »
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2020, 01:17:21 pm »
I was just watching The-8-bit-guy's latest video today where he cooks up a couple of key stands for the C64.

He pulled the file off the web and sent it to the printer and walla.
Where's walla?
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2020, 03:50:42 pm »
There is nothing complicated in the construction of a cheap 3d printer. Electronics is simple as well. We could already make them easily in the late 80s. Why?
You're young, aren't you?


It's been covered above, but here's my 2 cents' worth:

Looking at someone having their own personal setup.......
Speed: If you just look at the trend expressed by Moore's Law, in 1980, you were getting around 50,000 transistors on a chip.  Today it's around 50,000,000,000.  That's a factor of 1,000,000.  Assuming this translates into an equivalent effect in processing speed, something that would take you 1 second today would take more than 11 days back then.  A single "oops" you would think nothing of today and undo in another second could set you back weeks.  Manual scrutiny of code and actions was much more necessary in those days.

(For reference - the IBM 370 mainframe I was working on in 1980 had 256KB of core memory, with an OS on one 70MB hard drive and the company files on another, with a third as a sort work area.  This was a company with branches all around Australia.)

Cost:  All this is assuming you had the supporting resources such as memory (which was measured in KB) and storage (a 5MB HDD cost thousands of 1980 dollar$)

Awareness:  Back in those days, you did not have the instant communication channels you have today.  It was magazines and who you knew - and those circles were usually very geographically limited.  You could have someone 20 miles away who had a great idea, but you would never hear of it unless it made publication somewhere - and you got to see that.  Today, someone could have an idea (good, bad or indifferent) and the whole world could know about it within minutes.  In 1980, 3D printing as a concept would not have had the exposure, so there would not have been the interest and, thus, development by interested hobbyists - and even if there was, it would more likely be by individuals working in isolation or, at best, in a very small group.  This sort of tech in schools was unheard of.

These factors were less of an issue for industrial and commercial organisations because of their very nature.


To put it another way ... Could a single human being build one of the pyramids?  Given the knowledge of how, the physical stamina and living longer than Methuselah - yes.  So grab your chisel and get started....  You can do it!!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 03:52:49 pm by Brumby »
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2020, 03:56:28 pm »
Oh - and I haven't even touched on the cost of the parts to even build a 3D printer back then.
 

Online MadTux

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2020, 04:17:21 pm »
Because CNC controllers from 1980 could hardly do circular interpolation. CNC from 1985-1995 could do 2-1/2D, but got really slow doing real 3d contouring with fine step sizes.

Furthermore apart from expensive sintered metal printers, there isn't a good use for 3D printers in industry.
Need 1 to a few parts, manually turn/mill it, maybe use a CNC if conventional machining isn't possible.
Need 10 to maybe 1000 parts, set up a production CNC with barstock feeder/toolchanger/pallet changer to do it automatically.
Need 100000 parts, set up an plastic/zink/aluminium injection molding machine or use pressed metal powder stuff.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2020, 04:33:13 pm »
Funny how the Pyramids were listed as an early example of additive manufacturing. That was featured in a video that just came up about the history of consumer 3D printing.

But weren't the Pyramids built by carving stones and then assembling them? I would say an early example of purely additive manufacturing would be adobe buildings.
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Online langwadt

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2020, 04:39:19 pm »
Because CNC controllers from 1980 could hardly do circular interpolation. CNC from 1985-1995 could do 2-1/2D, but got really slow doing real 3d contouring with fine step sizes.

doesn't most 3d printers do everything in layers so it only needs 2.5D?

 

Online MadTux

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2020, 04:43:36 pm »
With buildings, about everything apart from digging tunnels uses additive manufacturing techniques. But additive manufacturing technique != 3d printing. Otherwise you could consider welding, casting, pouring concrete, assembling a device and whatnot as 3d printing, since material is added in some way.

3D printing: Work head that moves and dispenses a liquid that solidifies and forms the final object. Maybe antique pottery with sausage laying method is closest to that:
 

Online MadTux

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2020, 04:46:10 pm »
doesn't most 3d printers do everything in layers so it only needs 2.5D?
If enough layers are used, probably yes. Leaves steps though. No steps, 3d toolpath.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2020, 04:48:15 pm »
1) Processing power was expensive
2) Open Source wasn't a thing, so what 3D software there was, was expensive
3) Mechanical parts like stepper motors were expensive
4) The electronics were expensive, both for production and development
5) Patents
6) no internet so no community wanting 3D printing, sharing models etc.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2020, 05:23:23 pm »
One reason was that the existing methods were highly developed & efficient for mass production.

My Dad's old job of Engineering Patternmaker, which was a complex thing, combining the skills of a sculptor, woodworker, & machinist, along with good mathematical abilities was just about gone by then with the advent of CNC, where a machine could be used to produce a pattern quickly, without any  such skills required, where the pattern was used in the time-honoured way to produce a mould, & so on.

Or

To machine the mould directly, with the "inverse" shape of the ultimate product
The same could be done for the dies used in forging.

Or

To machine the complete product from a billet of solid metal

Most of the above applies to plastics, too.
Plastic stuff was cheap as dirt to mould or extrude, or whatever, so factories really didn't stand to benefit much from 3D printing.

3D printing doesn't really seem to offer much advantage to large scale manufacturers, even now, despite all the hype.
Thinking 3D printing is supposed to replace large scale manufacturing is a classic mistake. Instead it offers flexible and fast manufacturing which means quick design iterations and cheap small scale or custom products. It can also be used to speed up traditional processes in the shape of providing molds. Especially hybrid processes tend to be both practical and allowing for much more flexibility. We need to get rid of the notion of 3D printing as a magic product making solution and start thinking of it as another useful tool in the box which interacts with existing tools.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2020, 05:55:35 pm »
One reason was that the existing methods were highly developed & efficient for mass production.

My Dad's old job of Engineering Patternmaker, which was a complex thing, combining the skills of a sculptor, woodworker, & machinist, along with good mathematical abilities was just about gone by then with the advent of CNC, where a machine could be used to produce a pattern quickly, without any  such skills required, where the pattern was used in the time-honoured way to produce a mould, & so on.

Or

To machine the mould directly, with the "inverse" shape of the ultimate product
The same could be done for the dies used in forging.

Or

To machine the complete product from a billet of solid metal

Most of the above applies to plastics, too.
Plastic stuff was cheap as dirt to mould or extrude, or whatever, so factories really didn't stand to benefit much from 3D printing.

3D printing doesn't really seem to offer much advantage to large scale manufacturers, even now, despite all the hype.
Thinking 3D printing is supposed to replace large scale manufacturing is a classic mistake. Instead it offers flexible and fast manufacturing which means quick design iterations and cheap small scale or custom products. It can also be used to speed up traditional processes in the shape of providing molds. Especially hybrid processes tend to be both practical and allowing for much more flexibility. We need to get rid of the notion of 3D printing as a magic product making solution and start thinking of it as another useful tool in the box which interacts with existing tools.

yeh, the only thing "magic" about 3d printing is the can make part that are impossible to make with any other method

 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2020, 06:57:50 pm »
...
2) Open Source wasn't a thing, ...

Oh it very much was, various user's groups such as DECUS, IBM User Group and others circulated open source software back as far as the 60s. It just didn't get called "open source" until later.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2020, 07:17:33 pm »
The primary reason consumer grade 3D printers were not available earlier is the patents.  Immediately after they ran out, desktop 3D printers became available.

And with no printers, there was no reason to develop the CAD and CAM software for them.  Computer performance was more than enough with early 16 and 32 bit processors.  There was plenty of CAD and CAM software on the 8086 and 68000.

Speed: If you just look at the trend expressed by Moore's Law, in 1980, you were getting around 50,000 transistors on a chip.  Today it's around 50,000,000,000.  That's a factor of 1,000,000.  Assuming this translates into an equivalent effect in processing speed, something that would take you 1 second today would take more than 11 days back then.  A single "oops" you would think nothing of today and undo in another second could set you back weeks.  Manual scrutiny of code and actions was much more necessary in those days.

Having used CAD/CAM back then and now, most of the increase in processing power has been wasted.  The biggest difference is the much better visualization which is available now.  Preprocessing would have taken longer, like generating Gerber files, but that would be insignificant compared to printing time.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2020, 03:52:32 am »
I was just watching The-8-bit-guy's lateswayt video today where he cooks up a couple of key stands for the C64.

He pulled the file off the web and sent it to the printer and walla.
Where's walla?

It's probably what people in "Walla Walla Washington" call their hometown, in the same  way  that the inhabitants of "Wagga Wagga" often call their town just "Wagga".

All you need to do is mentally add the other "Walla" & "voila!"------you have it. ;D
 


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