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3D printing: "The next great technological disruption is brewing just out of sight."

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posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 03:51 PM
I did a search on 3D printing but I couldn't find any topics on ATS dealing with this matter yet. Apologies if it has been treated elswhere.

3D printing is a form of "home manufacturing." It has the ability to change manufacturing profoundly: Need an obscure part? No need to send off for it: just download the blueprints and your home printer will spit one out. It is cheap and getting more advanced every day. How will this technology impact the economy? How will it change the lives of normal people? Computers made pirating of information and intellectual property a hot topic, but this has the potential to take it to a whole new level. What will happen when you can "download" a new chair, or a new car engine, for that matter?

The description below will give you a general idea of the technology:

The next great technological disruption is brewing just out of sight. In small workshops, and faceless office parks, and garages, and basements, revolutionaries are tinkering with machines that can turn digital bits into physical atoms. The machines can download plans for a wrench from the Internet and print out a real, working wrench. Users design their own jewelry, gears, brackets, and toys with a computer program, and use their machines to create real jewelry, gears, brackets, and toys.

These machines, generically known as 3D printers, are not imported from the future or the stuff of science fiction. Home versions, imperfect but real, can be had for around $1,000. Every day they get better, and move closer to the mainstream.

More at source.

Also see the Overview from Wikipedia and the source article for the quote above, which is a lengthy exploration of intellectual property implications.

Here is a youtube clip showing one example:

edit on 11/11/10 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 03:56 PM
I'm really into 3d stuff, and was amazed that I could send my file in with my model then actually be able to hold it in my hand a few days later. There is a company, um let me find it.

I think they even print in silver and glass now too, its #ing amazing!!!

P.S. I never actually did it yet, but I have friends that have used that company and they said its awesome.

here's one that prints itself.

edit on 11-11-2010 by mayabong because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 03:58 PM
I've been looking into this for myself and found the cheapest printer is about $1300.00, but you have to build it yourself.

The potential behind this for people wanting to design their own stuff, pre patent is amazing, just as long as you are VERY good at CAD designing.

These things are scarey in their potential, I watched many videos on YouTube about this and feel exhilerated at the jump in technology for this in this next couple of years.

They still can't do clear printing though, imagine being able to print something to 0.0005 mm and being able to see the internal design..... it is only a couple of years away

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 04:06 PM
That was just awesome! I had no idea this kind of thing existed! Star and Flag

I can feel a bad case of futureshock coming on... Better call in sick tomorrow. Hope I don't get replaced by a robot.

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 04:23 PM
I saw this back in 04 before i stopped doing 3d work.. I thought it was awesome.. Its cool they added color now.. The one that i saw was only the clay color version.. It is really neat, I have been thinking about getting some of my 3d things done like that but I always forget..

It is neat tho..

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 04:24 PM
isn't it the same principle that's used to make these figureprints ? ;
edit on 11-11-2010 by digitalf because: change of link

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 04:30 PM
You guys don't even know...

Printing organs in hospitals.

Pirating clothes from online stores

The possibilities are almost unlimited. You'll see.

posted on Nov, 11 2010 @ 08:15 PM
How strange, I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago... I read an article in a uk tabloid about this machine which must of been about 10 years ago now. I wondered as I havent heard anything more of it, if it was an April fools joke or something. Now I see I was reading correctly, I didnt imagine it and wasn't being duped. Great link thanks

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 08:08 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

These printers have been around for years - our local copy shop has one.

It works by sprinkling cornflour, yes, cornflour, in a thin layer. then printing a 'slice' of the object (in colour). After each print pass it sprinkles another layer of flour and repeats the process.

If your part has gears/moving parts it can even create those too - and they will work!

The resultant object is extremely lightweight and is purely for visualisation only. You won't be cloning Louis Vitton handbags or Ralph Lauren clothing with it just yet.

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 08:40 AM
Well, this happens to be a topic I consider myself "near expert" in, due to the fact that I routinely operate a 3DS Sinterstation as part of my job as a mechanical designer.

Making mechanical parts in a 3d printer is one thing, and a real cool thing too. My machine can make parts out of nylon, glass reinforced nylon, an elastomer-like material (some proprietary material, not sure exactly what), and even certain metals. But any gadget, or other "product" one would wish to pirate and "print" themselves probably requires more than simply a pile of mechanical parts. PCB, for, electro-mechanical components such as solenoids and motors, too. Many parts require additional processes before they're ready for use, such as plating, polishing, machining, honing, etc.....again, not anything a 3d printer can do at this time.

It's an intriguing idea to consider the possibility of being able to print, or replicate a complex electro-mechanical machine, but even the latest 3D printing technology is nowhere near that level of capability, and I'm doubtful it can ever truly be what the OP and others are envisioning.

edit on 12-11-2010 by tjack because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 08:43 AM
reply to post by tjack

Cool man what software do you use? I got into rhino for a while, plan on getting back into it. I'd love to print some stuff.

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 09:13 AM
This looks amazing.

I would love to get one of these as the things you could do with would be incredible. Of course it's likely a tad outside of my traditional goods' price range. But still in a few years they might become the new laser printers in terms of availability.

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 09:28 AM
I guess I'm amazed manypeople never heard of the thing. We have at least 6 or 7 of them and they run 24-7 making prototype parts. Different kinds do different things. Sme water proof some super strong and some with a surface finish like glass. If you can make a 3D model in Pro E it can be made. Up to about 18" long with the ones we have.

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 09:33 AM
reply to post by mayabong

Solidworks, mostly.

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 10:09 AM
iseen this a week or 2 ago in the paper (metro).

They had a fully functioning car made from this way, it had a ridiculously low weight but one thing I had thought straight away was how unsafe you would be if it collided with something solid, seems like it would just crumple.

The people behind it were talking about making human organs ( that someone mentioned earlier ) but also actual buildings and any replacement parts needed for almost anything.

Incredible how this can be done, Im sure it could be abused in some ways we couldnt even imagine but the potential for good it could do is mindblowing.

posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 10:24 AM
I think it's a great technology that will put many manufacturers out of commission. Hopefully, one day they will become good enough, that they can create organic structures, molecules, atoms, and have such a variety of usable "inks" that they can do such things as, create things from the atomic and molecular level, such as nano-bots, and they will be using nano-technology to create nano-technological things. while this could be good for many people, it could be bad in the hands of terrorists, etc.

Imagine downloading a program from the net that contains the blueprints for creating somethings such as a quartz wrist watch, etc. The "ink" containing many properties and ingredients that would be able to do so, etc...

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