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Thread: 3D Printers

  1. #1
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    3D Printers

    Anyone tempted to purchase one of these yet? I see them generally available for R15K - R50K for domestic and light commercial models. Here's a video I came across today on one of my UK suppiers sites.

    I've been keeping an eye on these things for the last few years and they're now at the stage where they're available even for the domestic user. I have a feeling these things will revolutionise the way we live in the next decade or two. I can see so many ways these things would be beneficial.....maybe it's just me but I think this could be as big a revolution as PC's were in the 90's.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Those cheapies are ultra k@k. Their resolution is terrible and their build quality isn't very good either. The machine is simply a glorified glue gun. Think about it, the machine has to build an object using a 1,7mm filament extruded to say 0.2mm. Imagine how long it would take to build anything. Not only does the machine raster at 0.2mm in the Y plane it also does so in the X plane.

    The most efficient machines work a bit differently. They have a bath of UV activated resin. Two lasers are fired at the liquid and the resin sets at those points. So, the lasers raser across a slide 0.1mm thick, then the resin bath is shifted vertically and the process is repeated. This way one can ensure that the object is better cured together than havingmillions of filaments lined up in rows and rows. Of course the problem with this technology is the huge number of movements that the laser has to do but I do think that they would be able to figure out more efficlent ways to target the lasers. The software could fire one laser and beam split it to hit hundreds of targwt points simultaneously.

    I think that 3D printers should be hybrid machines that emply the best build strategy for the task, building large flat surfaces require different techniques to building long thin vertical structures. I am yet to see a 3D printer out perform a 6 axis cnc milling machine. Cnc mills are vet fast, very accurate and are able to create production ready hard wearing parts. The nice thing about cnc machines is that they are not rocket science to construct. You would be able to build a 5-6 axis machines fairly cheaply. All you need is a bit of software called Mach3, an old pc, a breakout board, a couple of Ghecko stepped drives and a box full of second hand wide carriege printers. Heavy duty printers normally have nice fat stepper motors and their gears, belts and shafts are ideal.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    It doesn't surprise me the domestic type 3D printers are kak, I haven't investigated their capabilities because they're a rapidly developing product which has been out of reach for the mass market. To be honest I didn't even realise they were using extrusion techniques, the printers I've heard about all used sprayed plastics that are built up in layers.

    The thing that peaked my interest in them again a few weeks ago was an article I read about several designs of firearms that were sucessfully transmitted and remotely constructed on a printer and were actually functional as a firearm. Here's a more recent article. And here's the actual plans.

    I guess the point is although they may have some way to go in the developement they're at the stage where they can produce usable and functional items and it won't be long before the 'You wouldn't download a car' campaign turns out to be more ironic than anyone would have ever thought ;|)

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Idon't get the issue with printing the gun. Plans for guns have been available for a very long time. One could machine a gun on a cnc mill without a problem. Each part would be useable without much more treatment. One would have to harden the barrel but thats about it.

    My brother says he thinks its because the average joe could print a gunright off the net. This isn't true though because one cannot print the barrel nor the springs.

    I think that the whole issue has been exaggerated by the media.
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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    In conclusion you do get 3D printers that can print in metals like titanium like the once used by NASA. They used this technology to print rocket parts. Now considering you can build your own rockets I wouldn’t worry too much about guns anymore.

    Having the ability to print long range missiles is far more scary then a person running around with a homemade gun. However for space exploration this is a must have technology because you can print any part you need and soon will be able to recycle all your old parts.

    Imagine taking your car recycle it and print a new model every few months. No more tons of scrap? But 3D printers are pass this stage now. It is possible to print a house! Or a building! Again the possibilities are endless.

    A giant 3D printer builds a livable house
    NASA 3D prints rocket parts — with steel, not plastic

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    Last edited by tec0; 19-Sep-13 at 08:36 AM.
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Here is a store in Chicago where you can be scanned and get your self printed Scan and print
    With these glue gun printers how would they print hanging fruit from a tree as there is no support from the bottom and is connected from the top of the fruit.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanF View Post
    Here is a store in Chicago where you can be scanned and get your self printed Scan and print
    With these glue gun printers how would they print hanging fruit from a tree as there is no support from the bottom and is connected from the top of the fruit.
    I know that there are developments on the AI for these devices. They will be able to improvise but for now they will need the human mind to figure that out.
    peace is a state of mind
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    There has to be a better way to do 3D printing
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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