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Feedback Needed - 3D Printers - Any Interest?

Discussion in '3D Printers & 3D Printing' started by Nifty, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Sep 11, 2014
    by2sell

    by2sell Newbie to Printing

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    I am interested in all things that moves our ability to create our ideas and thoughts into our physical reality. I still print my pdf manuals that I intend to work from because I like the feel of paper and ink, it connects me more to the project. My teenage daughters have never needed to use a printer unless the teacher required a physical copy of the work to be turned in. And then they only printed the finished copy never the drafts.
    The future holds a 3-D printer in every household just like fax machines, personal computers and microwaves. The first fax machine I saw was in Popular Mechanics and cost $4000 when I brought home $500 a month. A 3-D printer for $1500 in todays diluted currency is crazy cheap. Still what do you do with them for now. In 5-10 years will we remember what it was like to NOT have one?
    So bring it on. Let's see where this goes.
     
    Łukasz likes this.
  2. Sep 13, 2014
    Oak Man

    Oak Man Newbie to Printing

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    3-D printers will help phase out traditional retail stores. Manufacturing will no longer be done in China, but in our homes. The products will be the designs, the ideas. You will be able to pull them out of the cloud and replicate them instantly. (Replicator--wasn't that a name from Star Trek?). Creativity and uniqueness will be expansive, and no one will ever have to have the same thing as someone else (but kids will anyway.) You might not be able to print a forged crankshaft, but you will be able to make the locomotion device that will make crankshafts obsolete. Will I be able to make a digital copy of myself? And send the spec file at the speed of light to another planet? And print me out over there?
     
  3. Oct 21, 2014
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    I’ve had a rethink about this and maybe Rob is right about these 3D printers, they are becoming more popular because they’re starting to get a lot cheaper, maybe not this Christmas but they’ll come.

    Now here’s a question for all you guys to ponder.
    What’s the first thing you’d make (Output) if you had a 3D printer, given to you right now ? :th
     
  4. Oct 22, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    ooohhh great question!!!

    I think the random little plastic parts that are a pain to get would be awesome.

    Ideally I see a world where I can take a picture of a missing plastic piece (like the battery compartment holder on a toy) and the amazing cloud internet processing power of the world will figure out exactly what I need and print a perfect fit. That's not a question of IF but WHEN that will be possible!
     
    The Hat likes this.
  5. Oct 22, 2014
    3dogs

    3dogs Printer Master

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    Another 3D printer?
     
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  6. Oct 22, 2014
    RogerB

    RogerB Print Addict

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    Much as I would like to share your view of the future, I am rather more doubtful about the impact of 3D printers. As I sit at my computer and look around me I wonder how many of the products that I see could be made on one of these machines. Sadly, the answer is very few. A plastic ruler; a waste-paper bin; a coaster for my coffee mug, but not the coffee mug itself.

    The fact is that most of the products that we buy use a range of technologies, and a limited number of these technologies are compatible with 3D printing. At present a 3D printer is at best a substitute for a plastic moulding machine. Great for making the little replacement parts that we all need from time to time or for making enclosures for electronic assemblies. But even then, someone has to produce the computer models for these components. Who will do that? Product development is expensive, and the only justification for doing it is so that the company can manufacture the product and sell it at a profit. Will they sell their designs for home printing instead?

    The other factor of course is that people are not really interested in making things themselves. Most people have cooking facilities in their homes and yet sales of ready meals increase year on year. And closer to this forum's home, did the introduction of the 2D home printer kill off commercial photo labs? Sure, the number of printed photos is declining fast, but commercial labs still print far more than home printers. The smartphone and the internet will kill photo labs, not home printers.

    Yes, 3D printers are useful and interesting. For companies developing and manufacturing products they are becoming essential. But in the domestic environment I suspect they will have as much impact on manufacturing industry as the home bread-maker has had on the processed food industry.

    Now, before anyone accuses me of being a Luddite or a reactionary, let me say that in my professional life I first made use of 3D printers around 15 years ago and was instrumental in installing them in my company. As rapid prototyping aids they helped enormously in our product development, but only alongside a team of electronic engineers, software engineers, optical designers etc etc.
     
    Nifty and 3dogs like this.
  7. Nov 5, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    @RogerB I think you've got some excellent points! Even if 3D printers get really cheap and easy to use (like a regular printer) they are going to be relatively limited in what they can... or even should be expected to do.
     
  8. Nov 5, 2014
    3dogs

    3dogs Printer Master

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    Talking to a co-worker a couple of days ago, his son suddenly out of the blue asked if he could get an electric train set for Christmas so the pair of them could work on a project together.

    That got me thinking, and I suggested 3D and CAD. Now the plan is to build modules for the base with hills and cuttings etc, then fit them all together. Once completed it can then be demounted and stored if needed.........
    Suggested that he get his lad to pick up a basic CAD from the internet and draw up a plan... that has now been picked up and they have started the process of getting it all together.

    Pretty neat idea yes?
     
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  9. Nov 25, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Wow @3dogs that's cool!

    I have a friend who just built a 3D printer and is using it to build his own clock. He's doing it all from scratch including figuring out the gears, ratios, etc. and then prints the gears and mechanisms himself.
     
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  10. Nov 25, 2014
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    That’s very interesting Rob, could you find out from him what type of material he is using to build the gear cogs with ?
     

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