Posting in Design
The age of 'personal manufacturing' has truly arrived, with 3D printers now priced close to document printers.
Until now, the most affordable 3D printers were as low as $1,200. Not bad-- considering 3D printers were running $8,000 and up just a year ago -- but still a bit pricey for everyday home use.
Now, the latest on the market is a 3D printer called Solidoodle, which retails for $499. The printer, which manufactures plastic items, includes a 6"x6"x6" build area.
Solidoodle is reportedly the brainchild of Samuel Cervantes, former COO of MakerBot, the leading low-end 3D printer company: "It does its printing much like the MakerBot did: by melting some plastic and extruding a fine line which it then uses to build the object, layer upon layer."
The printer accepts 3D files in STL format, which is the file format now supported by almost all 3D design packages. In addition, Solidoodle runs on open-source software that can be installed on any Windows, Mac, or Linux-compatible computer.
The barriers to entry for innovative new manufacturing concepts may now have fallen. Stay tuned.
Apr 27, 2012
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Yes, while the concept is promising, desktop 3D printers can't make functional finished products. But I still plan to buy one someday because I believe it could still be useful, for example, to make functional diy parts. Using the 3D printer would just be my first step in the process. It would take the initial work which I have neither the time nor talent to do freehand, and furnish me with my first step in the process: producing the exact shape and dimensions which I can then physically transfer to a mold. The mold, in turn, will be the crucible from which my final, useable, part would be formed. Sure, this is a little removed from the 'dream come true' being promised for desktop 3D printer technology. But hey, at the very least, it is one more potentially valuable tool in the workshop to select from.
Fashion, gadgets, and home decor including door handles described a little weirdly and in lower-case as: "a machine's perception lever 1" made of steel and bronze built up layer by layer in a 3D printing process. They cost 435 Euros. They're pretty, although you'd have to buy the print-out chairs ("print-out time 10-15 days"), terrific Ikea-y lamps, and fruit bowl (29Euros) too, so everyone would, you know, know. All and more at http://i.materialise.com
I like this 3D printing new technology but i think i have to wait when it's more cheaper and maybe when that time comes it will be almost obsolete model already.
Building a viable 3D mechanical object is more than just simply filling the space occupied by the design. What about mechanical forces? I am hoping someone can clarify for me how an object created by incremental deposition can possibly incorporate the kind of long-range structure required to handle significant stress and strain.
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At 1.7mm resolution, this is more of hobbyist device, which is what most FDM / ALM printers are. I want SLA printers to come down in price, or online services such as Ponoko and Shapeways to get cheaper.
an HP DeskJet cost me about $400 in 1992 dollars, which works out to about $650 in 2013 dollars. And all it did was print 300 DPI monochrome documents.
You get different types of parts, ornamental parts obviously does not need to be strong, but for aircraft parts on the other hand strength is ctirical. You use the correct manuf method according to the type of part required.
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Almost a decade ago, I worked for a company that made, among other things, control panels. We were making a new all-plastic control panel. Rapid Prototyping machines (i.e. 3D printers) were still in their infancy and a prototype panel made by a company with one would cost us over $1000 and take about 4 hours to make. It would have a resolution of about 1.7mm. We got the prototype in, took some fine grade sand paper and a couple of fine-toothed files to it and installed our circuit boards. And that is how we discovered a fatal flaw in the over-all design. Just because they make buttons 5mm wide, does not mean you can place them side by side and expect an average human to use them. It seems obvious now, but the buttons didn't seem that small when we held them in our hands as single components. A week later, we had a new set of circuit boards and a new prototype enclosure. And that allowed us to have a look at our new control panel and to try it out in the lab under more or less real conditions before we had a mold cast and went into production. So 1.7mm resolution is just fine for prototyping certain projects. And I would remind people that before they were called "3D printers", they were called "Rapid Prototyping Machines". Keep that in mind. They produce prototypes, not finished goods (yet).