3D Printer Opinions

By on May 7, 2013 7:35:10 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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3D Printing seems to have crossed a major mile stone in that a start-up, called Defense Distributed, has used a 3D printer to create a working gun. It’s still mostly a curiosity since the cost to make such a gun and that it isn’t yet very robust still keeps it firmly in the early adopter era.

So here’s what I’ve found out so far :

No matter which printer you get, the materials for it are currently over $100 a pound. To me, that makes it fairly impractical for most uses. I could imagine taking a Galactic Civilizations ship design and letting it be printable, that might be interesting (and enough to…you know, justify buying one).

The cost of printers is coming down rapidly. The Makerbot Replicator goes for about $1800. The going rate for the higher end but still consumer models is around $2200.

So what do you think? Do you see 3D printing in your future?

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May 7, 2013 7:46:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

3D Printers are fun, useful and great to use, but that's only because I'm an architecture graduate. Making architecture models is kind of what early 3-D printers were designed to do, so no surprise there.

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May 7, 2013 8:04:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've got a Prusa Reprap (low end, very basic) 3D printer.  http://www.3dstuffmaker.com/buy-prusa/

 

It is fun to be able to print other people's designs, but I lack the time or commitment to learn CAD design myself.

The upside is the materials (polylactic acid, PLA) are fairly cheap.  About $25 a pound.

 

As for the future, I see 3D printing becoming very common for most industries.  Working in the medical research field, the ability to create small parts to either repair or enhance hardware, or create a low end alternative for a special technique, greatly expands the type of experiments I can do.

 

Even more so, the research being done on tissue printing and drug printing could potentially alter both medical and pharmaceutical fields.

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May 7, 2013 9:19:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The best case I've seen for 3D is in space exploration....3D printers would allow a crew to create tools or parts as needed as opposed to having full sets and multiple spare parts...

Sure, it's expensive, but so is everything when we're talking about space travel...of course you can't build everything with a 3D printer but the potential advantages as far as saving space or independence from supply chains is hard to ignore...

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May 7, 2013 10:30:11 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Basically, I agree with what other people have said: 3D printers are going to make manufacturing simpler and easier for existing manufacturing-sector companies/projects, but because the technology is expensive (and will be for some time, even if not quite as expensive) and making the models is hard work that isn't easily automated, they won't be revolutionary.

The university I work/study at has a few various models, exactly which I'm not sure (us CS majors tend to steer clear of the shops when we can), and they seem to be being used alongside conventional fabrication machines, as opposed to either being useless or replacing all other technology. I do know that some parts on our experimental robots are 3D printed by the lab's resident ME- mostly little plastic doodads to hold a circuit board in place or prop up an antenna. For most of the work, though, he uses various types of computerized cutting machine.

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May 7, 2013 11:28:15 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Eeek83,
Working in the medical research field, the ability to create small parts to either repair or enhance hardware, or create a low end alternative for a special technique, greatly expands the type of experiments I can do.

I deal with this on a daily basis in engineering land.

 

Also ... a mid-range 3D printer for metal (metal dust laser-sintered together with the power of a standard TIG weld) is equivalent in cost to a low-to-mid-range 4-axis CNC center these days and can hold increasingly tight tolerances ±.002". It is very exciting and useful stuff that often allows for the manufacture of otherwise difficult to create geometry.

 

To answer the OP: I have no problems with 3D printers in the homes of every day people or in the offices of corporations.

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May 7, 2013 11:42:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

Hell ya.......can't wait till I can print my own AK and UZI and actually BE just as badass as my avatar claims me to be!     

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May 8, 2013 5:07:11 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,

The best case I've seen for 3D is in space exploration....3D printers would allow a crew to create tools or parts as needed as opposed to having full sets and multiple spare parts...

Sure, it's expensive, but so is everything when we're talking about space travel...of course you can't build everything with a 3D printer but the potential advantages as far as saving space or independence from supply chains is hard to ignore...

I was thinking the same thing, creating custom tools for the job at hand. It's going to be very handy for space exploration and medical.

Just a quick note on the gun making, if it's the case then the technology might not be accessible to some. There are a lot of countries which has restrictions on weapon availability and making, can't see them allowing their people full access to 3D printers. Which would be a shame ...  was looking forward for the prices to come down and create some 3D jigsaw puzzles, I might not be able to have one down the track ...

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May 8, 2013 5:17:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think I'll be buying one for myself unless the cost comes down and it becomes very simple to use. Maybe if my kids get into miniature gaming, then I think it'd be very useful. I see it as a hobbyist thing to have in your home, anything you really want can realistically be ordered off the internet anyway. My opinion is that this would be true for >99% of the people, the way 3d printing is right now.

Although it would be neat to print out some 3d models I have made.

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May 8, 2013 6:44:33 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

from my own research on 3d printing, there are many choices (kit ones starting from $200 with all parts eg makibot (http://makibox.com/makibox-a6)) (built up ready to use from approx $1300) then there is the more 'professional' ones with more complete enclosures staring at $4000

as far as the msterials most of the cheaper units use either PLA (price range seen is $45 to $70/lb), ABS (lego type plastic) ($50-80/lb), PVA (water soluable very new to market only seen ing last couple of months) ($50-$80/lb), and typically print by extruding  the melted plastic with  the relitive accuracy of print improving with the increase of price (the cheaper printers only claim to use .3mm layers with the higher price ones getting down to .1mm

 and in the 'profeessional' types the printers can use a fair variety of materials although one of the more frequently mentioned material types is the light setting resins which can be set either by a laser OR a projected light path with a DLP type operation, but as other replies have mentioned there are even metal dust welding 3d printers that use high power lasers to do the welding.

and yes I am seriously looking at buying a lower price dual head plastic extruding 3d printer like this one http://www.3dprintersuperstore.com.au/collections/3d-printers/products/flashforge-creator-3d-printer-replicator-g#content

harpo

 

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May 8, 2013 7:49:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it will be a while before more than a few enthusiasts will have machines like this at home. But I do think that in the near future you will start seeing little print shops pop up where you could just walk in with your file, hire a printer for a few hours, and walk out with your object. There is a company near where I live that prints and delivers designs that you send them, but a walk-in shop would have a lower threshold I think.

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May 8, 2013 2:47:29 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

I have no doubt I'll be getting one eventually, but I'm still waiting for the technology to mature a bit more. I'm probably going to wait for some models with 2-3 print heads with different materials, and preferably the filament producing machines for recycling plastics back into usable materials.

As for that printable firearm... There's cheaper ways of producing much more reliable firearms... They're not a particularly advanced technology. A CNC machine would be a much better tool to use for such things, for example. A Lathe and CNC combined with a heavy duty press of some sort would give you pretty much all you need to produce much more useful firearms for similar prices to the high end 3d printers they're using for these things.

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May 9, 2013 7:03:26 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

      I want a puppy, a cubic zirconia, peace on earth, and an interview with Santa.   Can't wait. 

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May 9, 2013 7:09:26 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting IROKONESS,
A Lathe and CNC combined with a heavy duty press of some sort would give you pretty much all you need to produce much more useful firearms for similar prices to the high end 3d printers they're using for these things.

But....but...but...the 3D printer makes firearms in 3D......

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May 9, 2013 9:16:09 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

lol    Yeah, but not in color....      And where's my holideck... merry christmas indeed.     

 

{I want one... incredible stuff.}

 

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May 9, 2013 9:20:15 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I'm surprised nobody's done this yet... 3-D print phalli, I mean.

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May 9, 2013 9:43:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,

I'm surprised nobody's done this yet... 3-D print phalli, I mean.

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May 10, 2013 3:09:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I worked with an open source hardware development group that hoped to ultimately make a self-replicatable 3D printer as one of its machines -- that is, a '3D printer' capable of producing an identical 3D printer using an open source premise -- full plans for building your own 3D printer such that anyone with the tools can do it.

I think, like peer-to-peer, there is a lot of promise ... but, yes, the potential for abuse, too.  I wish more independent creators would use peer-to-peer to distribute their music, movies, games, etc. legitimately and stop letting the RIAA and MPAA make everyone think that P2P is for pirates and pirates only.  Similarly, I hope the open source 3D printer idea takes off.  I knew that would come with the cost of illegal weapon manufacturing and distribution, unfortunately ... but that shouldn't taint the notion of a 3D printer any more than the fact some people hire hit men to commit murder with cash make everyone associate cash with immoral, illegal and unethical activity.

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May 10, 2013 3:22:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

3D printers will become more and more common as time goes on. If you think back people questioned weather or not computers would be wide spread as the common household didn't have a need for it and the cost was so high. But time changes everything, eventually the costs of 3D printers will drop and the cost of the material will drop to slightly more then a ream of paper. Sure you might not see a huge need for it right now, but i've had a regular printer sitting on my desk at home for years and i use it maybe twice a year. 3D printers will allow people to actually make things that they can find online download and print out. Markets will be hurt, imagine the companies that make all those little green army men, i mean a 3D printer can print a platoon of those for when the grandson comes over, or some small tea cups or something for the granddaughter. The plastic silverware that we would use at parties and birthdays. It has a use not an everyday use, but then again most people don't use there home printer everyday either. Now you can buy a printer for like $30 when the same printer would cost you several hundred years ago.

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May 10, 2013 8:37:28 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Eventually the cost will go down. The question is whether that will happen rapidly. Too slow, and either an even better means of production will become available, or (if it takes a really long time) the demand for such fabrication will fall off.

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May 10, 2013 8:40:14 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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May 10, 2013 11:46:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

In an ideal world the prospect of being able to home-manufacture a fire-arm would TOTALLY prohibit the commercial release of ALL 3D printing/printers.

But of course that will never happen...not while the 'real world' includes the USA and its NRA et al.

Any minute now the Constitution is going to be yet again re-interpreted to say 'every American has the right to make his own guns....'

 

.....where are we going...and why are we in this handbasket?

 

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May 11, 2013 3:03:32 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Jafo,
In an ideal world the prospect of being able to home-manufacture a fire-arm would TOTALLY prohibit the commercial release of ALL 3D printing/printers.

I respectfully disagree; for under an estimated $10 (US) and a stop to any hardware store in the world you can likely make a zip gun that is equally as effective for a single shot, especially when compared to what has been created for an estimated $800 cost of materials via the 3D printer. Under this mentality it should "TOTALLY" prohibit the commercial sale of all metal tube-stock, cutting torches, die-grinders, and generic tool / ratchet sets, including but not limited to every single past or future sale of nails, screws, tacks, or industrial staples. Unless I am misunderstanding the statement? On this issue or others my perspective is that it seems to be an inevitably slippery slope on deciding when and how to prohibit things.

 

Quoting Jafo,
.....where are we going...and why are we in this handbasket?

I have no idea.

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May 11, 2013 4:20:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting boshimi336,
Under this mentality it should "TOTALLY" prohibit the commercial sale of all metal tube-stock, cutting torches, die-grinders, and generic tool / ratchet sets, including but not limited to every single past or future sale of nails, screws, tacks, or industrial staples.

You forgot PRESSURE COOKERS 

As far as the US is now concerned, anyone with with a pressure cooker in the kitchen and nails in the garage is storing 'weapons of mass destruction' and can be invaded without issue. Unless your a Mexican drug cartel, or a terrorist, then the US government gives you weapons.

Quoting Jafo,
Any minute now the Constitution is going to be yet again re-interpreted to say 'every American has the right to make his own guns....'

why?

"The right to bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED"

cant get much simpler then that


starts at 0:30 

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May 11, 2013 5:29:04 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting boshimi336,
Under this mentality it should "TOTALLY" prohibit the commercial sale of all metal tube-stock, cutting torches, die-grinders, and generic tool / ratchet sets, including but not limited to every single past or future sale of nails, screws, tacks, or industrial staples. Unless I am misunderstanding the statement? On this issue or others my perspective is that it seems to be an inevitably slippery slope on deciding when and how to prohibit things.

There is always an absurdist bullshit response.  It's guaranteed whenever that obscenity called 'gun control' is even hinted at.

As to the second part.....'where we are going'...it's an old phrase...."hell".

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May 11, 2013 5:31:02 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting myfist0,
You forgot PRESSURE COOKERS

No, you idiot...don't you know the inbred response is..."you forgot about cars...."

Damn it...I need a better class of debater....

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