Author Topic: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?  (Read 1883 times)

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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2020, 04:23:42 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?
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!!

The pyramids are many orders of magnitude beyond the toys most people bulid with 3D printing, so I can't really see any connection between them.

As I tried to point out earlier, 3D printing  was a "solution in  search of a problem" back in the '80s.

No doubt, if the USA or USSR had a requirement which was "vital to their national defence", & which could only be addressed by 3D printing, they would have "moved heaven & earth" to do it.
It wouldn't have looked pretty, & would have cost the equivalent of the GDP of a small country, but it would have happened.

There was no such requirement, & industry was happy with their existing, very efficient, methods, so it had to wait till it was cheap enough

Answering  another Poster's not very serious comment, re aliens, I always wondered,why, if Von Daniken's mates were advanced enough for interstellar travel, why the pyramids aren't made of titanium or carbon fibre, rather,than plain old rock.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 08:35:38 am by vk6zgo »
 

Online Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2020, 04:30:09 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

It's correct because I can cite a source on the internet.

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Walla!
 

Offline c64

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #52 on: February 17, 2020, 06:44:12 am »
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.
I was talking about late 80s, most computers already had FDD. But yes, it's probably still not enough, unless g-code is sent directly to the printer, without generating the file.
 

Offline c64

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2020, 06:46:39 am »
OK, let's forget about 1980s. What about late 1990s? Most people have internet, computers are very powerful. 3d software very advanced.
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2020, 06:53:00 am »
OK, let's forget about 1980s. What about late 1990s? Most people have internet, computers are very powerful. 3d software very advanced.

And the Patents are still enforceable through the 90's limiting commercial development  :-- Makerbot was one of the first to market with a Plywood based frame that sort of worked in 2009 after they started to run out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MakerBot
Coffee, Food, R/C and electronics nerd in no particular order. Also CNC wannabe, 3D printer and Laser Cutter Junkie and just don't mention my TEA addiction....
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #55 on: February 17, 2020, 07:01:16 am »
What about late 1990s? Most people have internet, computers are very powerful. 3d software very advanced.
Not so much:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Internet_users_per_100_inhabitants_ITU.svg
Solid modelling just started coming down to desktop computers and "affordable" (read, unaffordable for individuals) software in the mid-late 90's:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_CAD_software
 

Offline jimdeane

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #56 on: February 18, 2020, 10:39:43 pm »
It seems to me that people are getting hung up on what it takes to print the kind of models we work with today using gcode.

I think in an alternate history, people might have instead used iterative mathematical formulas to make simpler, geometric shapes. Perhaps infill would have been baked into the software instead of being part of a build file. Maybe there would have been a limited Z height and we would have glued sections together to make simple objects with very geometrically simple pieces.

 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Why we didn't have 3d printers before?
« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2020, 04:53:49 pm »
Patents and especially  lack os accessible 3D CAD software.

What would you print in the 80ies without 3D CAD?

How would you model a 3D shape?

What about the STL format - there was not enough computing power to generate STL meshes. Note that the best computers for CAD in the 90ies were Silicon Graphics. The cheapest Indy was hardly affordable for hobby use.

Much of the math used in current kernals like Parasolid are fairly recent developments.

Regards,
Vitor

 I learned 3D CAD in 1988/89, an application that allowed you to draw natively in 3D, unlike the AutoCAD implementation of 3D which required a mode switch to a 3D mode to get a simulated 3D. The real time 3D program was CadKey.

 


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