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Greatest thing since sliced bread! No really

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posted on May, 16 2004 @ 12:51 PM
Lets say you have kiddies that have toys made of plastic and can be broken. Wouldnt it be cool to Draw the part and print it in 3-D.

Well now you can for a small price of 40Gs. you can own a 3-D printer. The gel is 10 dollars per item you make.

The ZPrinter 310 System creates physical models directly from digital data in hours instead of days. The System is fast, versatile and simple, allowing engineers to produce a range of concept models and functional test parts quickly and inexpensively.

Z Corp. parts can be infiltrated with the Z-Max epoxy to dramatically increase their strength, temperature resistance and humidity resistance. The added strength of the parts gives them the ability to be machined, drilled and tapped allowing the parts to be assembled with manufactured parts.
What is special about the Dimension 3D Printer?
Most 3D printers build models from starch, wax or similar materials. The finished object looks the part, but can have little structural strength. The Dimension produces parts by extruding molten ABS plastic to give solid plastic objects that can be handled and used, eg., a camera or a calculator case can be as strong as the real object. The plastic is white as standard, but can also be supplied in a range of colours.

How easy is it to use in a school?
A simple answer - dead easy. The software supplied allows 3D .stl files (as produced in Pro/DESKTOP, for example) to be loaded and positioned, then it does the rest. The process is fully automatic. Multiple parts can be loaded and processed at the same time to reduce overall manufacturing times. Material handling is also straightforward. The raw materials are loaded in cartridges (just like in laser printers). This means that there are no messy powders to handle, and that the whole process is quick and clean.

What about the costs?
Well, this is sophisticated technology, so it is bound to cost a bit more than a few files and a hacksaw! However, this new machine really has provided a breakthrough in pricing to bring it within the reach of a number of schools and colleges. Of course there are also running costs, an item such as a mobile phone case might typically cost a few pounds to produce (remember, there is no waste material to be machined away, you only pay for the plastic you use). Also you have a finished object straight off the machine, no secondary processing such as casting is normally required.

Just as color printers are becoming status quo, a new technology may enable something morethree-dimensional desktop printers.
Three-dimensional printers use high-intensity lasers to harden extremely thin layers of liquid plastic or melt and fuse metal or plastic powders to build up three-dimensional forms, and are used in industry for both rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Lasers are relatively expensive components, however.

posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:21 PM
thats amazing. that has some real potential. i like the wing mirror idea.

posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:28 PM
Wow, that's amazing! $10 per item... that could be expensive for making little toys for a 6 year old! (The 40Gs is pocket change, though)

posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:36 PM
It will come down eventually. Hewlet Packard has its own 3d printer that they are working on that can print individual molecules on a flat surface. They use Nanotubes to do it i thnk. The US military is using a flatbed version to make spare parts on the battlefield as well. Pretty advanced stuff but they question is when will we have Replicators like on Star Trek!! Hopefully soon cuz we need it.

posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:38 PM
This has been posted before...

We agreed that it has little market potential since it is so expensive and can only make simple objects that can be bought cheaper than ten dollars... It is cool though.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 12:01 AM
should open up a shop at the mall and print out custom toys for 50 bucks a pop wouldnt take long to recoup the 40g

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 12:52 AM
Its not really for a consumer market, its more for Mechanical Cad Stuff, Think of a prototype you can print from a CAD drawing, saves 1,000s of dollars

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 07:34 AM
The program was On TechTV, They said with in 10 years there would be you in every home. We will see. To me it seems to be on the way of replcators.

The price will drop alot over the next 10 years or so, when they can find a way of mass marketing them.

posted on May, 17 2004 @ 08:08 AM
Imho these machines have enormous potential in the car modding scene, RC plane, boat and auto scenes and whatever else needs costom plastic parts.

The example of the car mirror they have on their site is very nice. you know how much those things cost in a tunning show? And with this kind of systems you can even give people costom parts with their own logo's and personal touches embedded, for litle money.

On another note about this machine.

A while back on National Geographic channel, there was a program where they had an AI construct on a computer that was given the task to design robots and improved versions of itself learning and evolving and creating parts as it saw was best and efficient to create everything. A printer like this was used to let the AI create these bots.

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