3d Printing Technology

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by geezer466, May 8, 2013.

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  1. 3D printing: the new, bottom-up industrial revolution - Telegraph

    It's not just manufacturers that need to worry, it's innovators too. We will be able to 'rip' physical things like we did music. iPhones and computers will get printed illegals on mass. It will upset many industries. The new technique is to use spray on metals that builds components more robustly than they could be made by being screwed together. The real king on the hill will be the firm that owns the stuff that make the brave new world.

    China can't like the look of what's coming.
  2. Don't you worry about China my old China.They are a spent force.
  3. There are still many who fondly believe China will become the master of the universe.

    Be interesting to see the internal explosion if the Chinese manufacturing economy takes a massive dump putting umpteen gazillion Chinese out of work.
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  4. I imagine that Bob Geldof will be doing a TV stint showing starving chinese kids and then kicking off Aid for China.
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  5. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    Printing a doll with your face on it or the components for a shoddy plastic handgun is a long way from printing microelectronics. Until those things can regularly produce high-quality processors with millions of atomic-level transistors on a centimeter silicon chip I don't imagine mobile phone manufacturers will be worrying.

    On the weapons thing: I've heard it said on here numerous times that the availability of guns isn't the problem - it's the availability of ammunition. Can these things print gunpowder? I doubt it. Anyone with an ounce of engineering skill and a lathe can put together a 9mm steel tube with a nail and elastic band on one end so aside from aesthetics (i.e. it looks like a Beretta rather than something from a post-apocalyptic wasteland) I can't imagine it will be a major security issue.
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  6. Yes, because 3D printing technology isn't advancing at a truly mind boggling rate

    UI researchers developing 3D printer, 'bio-ink' to create human organs | Iowa Now - The University of Iowa
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  7. Friends of mine have just returned form a 3 week tour of China. They went all over out into the sticks and saw some of the biggest cities.

    Building boom is going on like Spain in the nineties/noughties on crack.

    Almost full employment, modern cars on the motorways and no evidence of poverty anywhere (although it must exist in some pockets).

    I can recall travelling in China in the early 70's when we went over for a fortnight from Singers. My old man was one of the last there when we pulled out our far eastern naval bases.

    It was not like anything in the description I have given above.

    When the world does grow tired of Chinese tat it will have a long way to fall.....
  8. Is this about 3d printing or another china thread?

    I can get any book on line and print it out on standard printer technology we have had for 20 years, but I still buy paper books and go to the library.

    Dont believe the hype!
  9. We had these printers 20 years ago to make detailed models which we cast to make wind tunnel models, it was called Rapid Prototyping, I remember an article someone in the us (Boeing??) were remaking AV8B parts via this process (it was an experiment).
    We tried to use the technology for a small aircraft production run but the problem was repeatability and inspection, without a drawing you couldn't inspect dimensions.

    You can probably now inspect via some sort of 3d scanner but there will be some sort of playoff between the cost of tooling, the production run and the 3d printed template which needs to be cast.

    I am sure one day we will be able to print titanium or aluminium or even beef, potato and pastry.
  10. Digital technology with the likes of Kindle and other ebook readers will eat away at the printed material market.

    Retailers in the US are now reporting that 22.5% of sales are in this format.

    Ebook sales accounted for 22.5 percent of book industry's revenue in 2012 - AfterDawn

    5 years ago it would have been practically nothing, 5 years from now that figure will probably be much higher although of course there will always be a place for the printed page.

    go back 20 years and whenever you wanted something printed you had to run off down prontaprint (remember them) or some other high street alternative. The home computing revolution did for them.

    Early days for 3d printing and the tech still has to evolve but we would be very foolish to write it off as irrelevant..

    For small cheap items this is important. For example buying some cheap tat like mugs and spoons and Argos. The cost in fuel of going to get them exceeds their real value.

    Even now, books and DVD's are not worth posting out, as the postage will often exceed the value. I've pulled a load of books off Amazon because after P&P its just not worth it, especially when these can be electronically distributed almost for free.

    I think cheap tat, small spare parts, even mobile phone covers, even car/bike parts could eventually be manufactured from 3D printers probably costing little more than a new TV or fridge freezer, so for simple items it could start having an effect pretty soon.

    More high value/complex will take longer obviously.
  11. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

  12. I very much doubt that the mandarins of industry are wailing and nashing their teeth just yet. Though 3D printing technology has matured considerably since I first saw it 10 years ago there are still a significant number of hurdles to overcome before we see 'Replicators' in every home:

    The Intellectual Property Debate: People assume that designs willl be ripped and available for free download in the same way that films and music have become. The difference is that the home is unlikely to have a 3D printer larger than, for comparison, an A3 paper printer. It's a question of size. Given that anything above this size would have to be produced via either an online order/delivery site or a High Street 'Click & Collect', it's unlikely that anybody whose livelihood is tied up in such a business would be willing to chance ripping off patented designs.

    Complicated Components: It's almost certainly true that the ability to 'print' all the components of, say, a TV or PC is around the corner. But the vast majority of the buying public have neither the skill or inclination to assemble such components. What people want is a TV or Smartphone they can take out of the box, plug in and operate straight away. Anybody who is manufacturing components in a commercially viable scale is likely to also need an assembly line. For that you need a reasonably skilled, cheap and compliant workforce. Sure as shit that's not in a distributed cottage industry in Staffordshire.

    Materials: I had a think about the last 20, or even 50, durable goods I've bought. I can't think of a one that was suitable for 3D printing. A new splitting Axe? My, admittedly limited, understanding is that hardened steel can't just be 'created' from powder and glue. A rugby shirt? Is printing more economical than a Vietnamese sweatshop? Coffee cups? Well only if I wanted some plastic beakers, but I don't, I want china and that's a natural material. I could go on but you get the drift.

    So yeah, while there may be a market for bespoke dolls or homemade plastic bowls I think we're at least a generation or two away from undoing the Industrial Revolution.
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  13. I am not trying to down play the technology or the obvious opportunities but reality bites, I can buy a power hose to wash my car, but I would rather pay someone else to do it, I don't enjoy it.

    I have had an ink printer for probably 20 years but I still handwritten letters home and post them and even at work where we have laser printers, we still use externals to print leaving photos, publications and advertisements.

    Its a great tech which will allow you to print a novelty chess set, but did you ever print a pack of cards?