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VodkaPundit

The Future Just Got Closer

October 18th, 2013 - 2:19 pm

OBJECTS IN MIRROR

What to get to go with your 3D printer? A 3D laser scanner, of course.

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All Comments   (4)
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I've come to the belief that we will come out of this economic transitional period as a series of "Micro-manufacturing/Micro-service" industries for much of the population, relying on garage housed 3-D printers as they come down in cost and advance in materials used for production. At that point for large quantity of sales we will form co-operatives of independent makers.

Unless the big businesses use the govt decides to bring the hammer down on these groups to protect their market share via massive regulation before it hits critical mass.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If by '"Micro-manufacturing/Micro-service" industries' you mean scanning & producing cheap plastic gizmos, you may be correct.

Right now 3D printing is still at the novelty stage, and I suspect it will stay there for a very long time in the same way A.I. has been the wave of the future for (what?) 40 or 50 years now.

There are niches where 3d scanning & printing would prove very useful, especially if the output machinery was compatible with CAD/CAM output standards. That would be modeling. Right now it costs a LOT to produce a stytrene scale model. Why? Because one needs aluminum or steel models into which liquid plastic is injected to create parts. There's a huge up-front investment there.

Then there's resin kits. Easy to make, if you can build the master, but subject to bubbles & perfections, and most resin is both brittle and easy to over-sand. Not to mention the molds have a very short lifetime compared to in styrene plastic molds.

With 3D scanners & printers, it should relatively easy to either scan a larger item (say the throttle of an F-15 fighter) or build a CAD/CAM model of the item, then use the 3D printer to make it. Make as many as you want, since they are individually "printed" to order.

The only question is how well would current 3D printers do under "mass" production...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment

It depends on what you mean by "mass". Everybody's in the fat tail for one market or another. And don't forget, sintered-metal additive manufacturing is coming along. Anybody want a sintered titanium bust of Andrew Carnegie?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Plastic is cheaper. :)
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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