Future of 3D Printers

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
23,458
@jpanhalt and I were having a discussion about 3D Printers where he had the thought that current gen. was similar to Dot matrix, lots of room for improvements. I thought this would be an ideal subject for open conversation and am picking it up here.
DMS (Dallas Maker Space,Google it) has aroun5d 5 ABS printers and one liquid polymer printer. The resolution on the ABS is about 5mm.More than good enough for many jobs.With this kind of printer you will never need to buy another electronics enclosure, or drill or machine one. Very seductive,I am no expert but I have used the ABS variety quite a bit,
 
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wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,498
My one and only exposure to 3D printing was frustrating because of the gap between hype and reality, specifically cost. If you're working on something where the alternative costs are high (prototyping jet engine parts or repairing military equipment in the field), or you just don't care too much about the cost, 3D printing is awesome. But it's WAY too expensive for most anything I would ever use it for. I'm not a fan of $20 paperweights.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,498
Thing is access to a machine can be hard to get, The actual process is dirt cheap.
That’s not my impression. The plastic “ink” is not cheap and certainly if you want metal parts you might as well hire a jeweler.

But yeah, having access to a printer makes it far more practical.
 

RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,270
That’s not my impression. The plastic “ink” is not cheap and certainly if you want metal parts you might as well hire a jeweler.

But yeah, having access to a printer makes it far more practical.
3-D printers have become amazingly inexpensive. Here are some examples. One is only $149!
http://www.microcenter.com/category/4294828445/3d-printers

The plastic filament is also not terribly expensive. Typically $13 per kilogram.
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?N=4294898920&myStore=true


Note: I have no connection to Micro Center. I just know they have a fair selection of 3-D printers and supplies in their store from my visits there.
 

RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,270
As an aside, I have been to the LulzBot factory during an open house. It is only about an hour's drive away.

What I found most interesting is that they have a room full of 3-D printers making parts for their 3-D printers. :D

Now, that is a company that *truly* believes in their product.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,243
@jpanhalt and I were having a discussion about 3D Printers where he had the thought that current gen. was similar to Dot matrix, lots of room for improvements. I thought this would be an ideal subject for open conversation and am picking it up here.
DMS (Dallas Maker Space,Google it) has aroun5d 5 ABS printers and one liquid polymer printer. The resolution on the ABS is about 5mm.More than good enough for many jobs.With this kind of printer you will never need to buy another electronics enclosure, or drill or machine one. Very seductive,I am no expert but I have used the ABS variety quite a bit,
Are you sure that the resolution is 5 mm? That seems less than useless to me. Even 0.5 mm seems pretty rough (~20 mils).
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,087
I think she meant somewhat less than that. It is easy to make gears, and the tolerance for them is quite small.

As an aside, I just recognized post #2. Printing a brain is currently science fiction and way off, but printing functional organs is far closer to reality. The alternative is to regenerate organs ("regenerative medicine"). I believe the first applications in humans will be a combination of the two, and that is not far off.
 

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
23,458
I believe the next big thing will be conductive and insulative plastics mixed to make fully functional circuits. You drop components in at time to make complete 3D circuits
 
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