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The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help

 
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The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/4/2016 8:14:58 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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As some of you may know, I make most of my living working as a freelance researcher. I'm trying to put together an outline of a report on shifting trends in service delivery and the impact on traditional economies. Starting this led me to look also at the implications for manufacture. I'm ok about the debate around information sharing (that there remains a production cost but that sharing/consumption is now all but free) and the impact of 'sharing' services (Uber et al).

However, one possible theme is the way that new 3-D printers might really (or might really not) change manufacturing. For those not aware, the technology increasingly allies traditional CAD style IT with relatively small printers to make not just paper images but to cut plastics etc into shapes and 'print' out a complete unit - say a new printer. If you are interested this gives some ideas and this, slightly dated, speech/article I think captures the core of what the proponents hope will happen. As ever, with a possibly major technological change it is easy enough to find those claiming this dooms us all, or it will lead to a new glorious world, or that it is simply the latest technological shift and we'll adapt etc.

I'd be interested if anyone has either practical knowledge or just has read around these dynamics and have their own ideas etc. Either use the thread, pm or email me (contact is on my matrix page). At the moment I am doing a brief overview of what might become a substantial report. If so, and you are willing, I'd like to do an interview - should stress that by 'interview' I mean email a few broad questions. Would in turn be happy to include you in the acknowledgements section.

Have discussed this post with the forum moderators and they are happy it fits within the ethos of the general discussion section.

Many thanks

Roger

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/4/2016 1:03:19 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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One application is to the so-called Third World. Solar power is booming in Africa. If your village is 1,000 miles from a Walmart, just hook a 3-D printer up and make any replacement part for the essential item(s) you need. The same concept works just as well for a colony on Mars.

This requires sturdier construction material. Instead of spraying plastic that hardens into a 3-D shape, future printers might use a laser to fuse a super tough ceramic. Current ceramics can already be made as tough as steel. Raw material would be sold and mailed direct to the consumer for printing.

This also requires someone to iron out the proprietary rights. A sort of catalog might evolve where one could purchase the design of an entire item for downloading, a "Netflix for nuts and bolts". The specs for any item in a hardware store would probably be available at no cost as GP items.

Anyone who has purchased something innocently labeled "some assembly required" may see the obvious problem with printing a Learjet or Ferrari. However, in the not too distant future, it may be possible to first print a robotic arm that would then correctly assemble anything else that was printed.

Of course, evil minds may print an IED, or something even worse. Terror groups have used trucks, bombs and dinnerware. I'm still waiting for a criminal gang to hit a jewelry store with a squadron of weaponized drones and flying away with a kilo of diamond rings. Hopefully, 3-D printing and automation will grant endless materialism to a New World socialist paradise (blah, blah, blah).

< Message edited by Poopyhead -- 8/4/2016 1:26:18 PM >


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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/4/2016 3:09:43 PM   
wodin


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I do think 3D printing will have a huge effect in the future..cos many things that are sold now you'll just print yourself at home.

Probably end up being a black market for certain plans or what ever it is it uses as I'm sure many companies try and make sure you can't 3d print their product. Pretty much anything of a reasonable size made of plastic that's for sale now could well be doomed and those business disappear..

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/5/2016 1:19:36 AM   
Gilmer


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I think it's fascinating. I've known about this for at least 3-4 years, (I think).

The FBI or the DEA outlawed making guns from 3-D printers, but I know some people who downloaded "plans" from the internet before that happened.

Obviously, some good and some bad can come from this type of revolutionary technology and I hope it will be put to good use if it becomes as prevalent as some think it might.

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/5/2016 3:02:06 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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So how do we get there from here?

Industrial quality 3-D printing costs a few dollars per cubic inch of end product, so that needs some work. Right now, GM designs a car with CAD but the RW model needs some tweaking. They print a jig for the new parts with zero down time and it's off to the showroom. It's already possible to scan an amputee's remaining limb and then print a perfect fitting prosthetic for the lost arm or leg. As the number of high end uses increase, the costs go down for everyone. Kinko's is exploring the market as your local 3-D POC. Lost a one-of-a-kind steak knife to your grandmother's dinner set? No problem.

Say your High School shop class wants to restore a jalopy and sell it for charity. How about the whole school has a project to print the parts to a '76 Trans Am T-top instead? NASA is even working on a 3-D printer that churns out nutritious, edibles from simple fats and sugars. Worried about purchasing something that might have been built by a Third World child or a political prisoner in a sweatshop? With the right materials anyone in any country can compete with cheap imports and every country can become self-sufficient. DIY is about to explode

Raw materials' demand will boom. Plastics and ceramics will be replaced by printable carbon fibers and Buckytubes. Someone will make something better than anyone else and nations will do the same. The world economy will still hum along as the most ingenious items get traded for the most efficiently produced raw materials. The final step will be deconstructable items that can be "unprinted" and reused. When you change your clothes, you will literally change your clothes into today's latest fashion. A group on the other side of the planet might post a free redesign of your favorite whatever to the internet. A spider program finds it and your printer has your's remade and waiting with your morning coffee. Land fills get mined for their resources and waste becomes a thing of the 20th century.

Desert coasts become lush gardens with salt water greenhouses that provide the world with food and fresh water while moderating the climate. DIY 3-D printing can produce everything else from your favorite power source. I hope someone designs the world's best sunglasses, because the future's so bright, you're gonna need shades!

< Message edited by Poopyhead -- 8/5/2016 3:08:10 PM >


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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/5/2016 3:11:06 PM   
MrsWargamer


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While not earth shaking to society. but visit any decent hobby site and you will see that 3d printers are going to have a lot of impact on models for one example.

It is already hard for brick and mortar retail to compete with the online delivery method, but once the hobbyist can eliminate needing retail at all, it could be the same effect as digital on print.

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/5/2016 10:41:06 PM   
catwhoorg


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A primer

http://blog.gardeviance.org/2012/10/spolier-alert-3d-printing.html

That was written by a good friend in 2012.
If anything the change is happening faster than he discusses there.

I assume you have seen the 3D printed houses ?

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/5/2016 11:59:46 PM   
wodin


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Shapeways is a good site to see what can be done. Lots of people selling all kinds of things. I've been looking at the WW1 Bi Planes for Wings of Glory. You can also hire a designer to design whatever you fancy.

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/8/2016 11:25:34 PM   
CGGrognard


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3D printers would have been great onboard ships I served on. If you're not aware, most ships carry a limited supply of "spare parts" and usually have a machine shop onboard to make parts no longer available on the open market. The spare parts added weight to the ship and occupied a number of spaces onboard. A 3D printer could eliminate the need to carry "spare parts" and maybe even replace the machine shop. A ship could carry the raw material making the space needed onboard a ship more efficient.

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/8/2016 11:30:32 PM   
Aurelian

 

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http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a4354/4320759/

Jay Leno has a lot of old cars with a lot of obsolete parts. When he needs to replace these parts, he skips the error-prone machinist and goes to his rapid prototyping 3D printer. Simply scan, print and repeat.

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/10/2016 8:50:47 PM   
uncc


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3D printing even has off-worldly uses...

Space Station 3-D Printer Builds Ratchet Wrench

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/11/2016 7:57:28 AM   
loki100


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can I thank everyone who has commented (and for the PMs), its all incredibly helpful in getting my head around this.

I quite like sketching out diagrams etc when I'm trying to understand links, so using this material and some others I've come up with the idea below. Its grossly simplified and stylised but:






Attachment (1)

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RE: The impact of 3D printers ... a request for some help - 8/19/2016 10:25:22 AM   
VPaulus

 

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bump

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