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 RepRaps and 3d Printing

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Axis

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PostSubject: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:53 am

reprap [dot] org (I cant post links yet apparently)

So, has anyone ever heard of 3d printing or RepRaps before? While not necessarily all that groundbreaking anymore, they could significantly effect the global economy and revolutionize how we get products. That is, depending on how easy they become to acquire. For example: if the the machines are able to print in say metal. How would you like to download a hammer rather than go buy one? Right now there are tones of schematics for things you can print in ABS (what lego is made of,) and you can also design and print anything, within the restrictions of the machine (size etc), that you can model on the computer. The developers are also working on is printing circuit boards to increase the replicating ability of the machine. While the technology is still obviously in infancy it is a decent leap towards some interesting tech.

Thoughts on self replicating robots and home mass fabrication?
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regedit
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:33 am

3D printing isn't that new, but i think we are far from having them at a consumer level.
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Çøßrå
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:43 am

i think it's just too expensive per unit made that its not really practical
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Axis

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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:16 pm

I am neither saying that it is inexpensive or that it is new. Rather, I wanted instead point out how it is one of those stepping stone technologies. While a RepRap or Makerbot, two of the competing open source versions of 3d printers, are not yet cheap, they cost about a grand fully assembled( far less with some dyi magic,) neither were computers inexpensive at conception. Originally computers were simply not cost-practical, now look. As for a consumer level they already exist (id post you links were you could buy one, but can't on this board) so if the demand goes up sufficiently they will scarcely cost more than a normal printer. Especially if once you bought one you could "print" your friend a new one.

I guess why I bring this up is I'm a little confused as to why the idea is not more fully developed (inciting?). It is not that far ahead of its time, and in our consumer society the idea of being able to print anything you need seems pretty amazing. For example, one guy posted that he needed to go ref his daughters soccer game; needed a whistle, couldn't find one. So instead of rushing to the store, he sat down, made a 3d model, and printed a working whistle in under an hour. Now the model is online and open source along with thousands of other products. Wouldn't it be worth it to have a 3d print simply never to have to by another piece of plastic from china again?
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:27 pm

So basically- you can buy things online and have them "printed" or materialized in your house instantly?
What would you do if the "printer" broke? You'd have no way to buy the new parts, lol.
YOUD HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE O.O NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! OH THE HUMANITY! lololol
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:04 pm

Our school's engineering department has a 3d printer

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Axis

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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:14 pm

Marshmellow wrote:
So basically- you can buy things online and have them "printed" or materialized in your house instantly?
What would you do if the "printer" broke? You'd have no way to buy the new parts, lol.
YOUD HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE O.O NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! OH THE HUMANITY! lololol

you win the sarcastic and missing the point prize dance5

meh i give up
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:54 pm

I was just making it a little less serious, and more fun. But I'll get serious now:
1) There's a small problem. If this became reality, it would jeopardize every company in the world. The only companies that would benefit from this would be the printing machine company and the ones that supply the materials for the printing machine, and chances are it's the same company.
Say your ipod breaks. Instead of buying one from apple, you could just materialize it. Apple gets screwed over.
2) You said you have to design what you want printed, im assuming either freehand or computer graphics. Does it have to be pinpoint accurate? If there's a small mistake, like in programming, would the whole device be shot? I wonder if there would be a company who would sell pre-made computer graphic designs of every object printable, and I wonder how much they'd be. Probably the same price as the product normally would be.
3) Are the materialized objects clean? By that, I mean, if you printed food, would it be sanitary? would it be nutritional? could it end world hunger? would you ever need to leave the house again? these are all hypothetical, but what extent could this end?
4) On a moral level, could you print a person piece by piece? Could doctors print a new lung for a patient with lung cancer? Could terrorists print a bomb piece by piece if the printer was portable?
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:49 pm

1) Yes it would jeopardize many companies, is this necessarily bad? I mean running with this implication is pretty theoretical, it would completely transform the distribution of wealth. However, suppliers of raw materials would indeed get rich. To be honest, I think that if you could make a 3d printer that builds ANYTHING (keep in mind current printers are like a sophisticated glue-gun strapped to a Cartesian coordinate robot,) you would essentially do away with consumerism. If one could literally recreate copies of something at the nano level, say with quantum assemblers, there is simply nothing one of a kind. Getting a bit science fiction-y it seems like doing away with consumerism would be a benefit to man kind in general.

2) For designing what you want printed you should really just watch a clip of the thing working. On current machines there is really no way you are going to fuck it up without simply doing something idiotic. Yes you could break a 3d printer if you tried to print something larger than it was capable. Or slammed the extruder into the drawing bead but, I mean, I just don't see how it matters. As for their being a database of printable objects... it exists! So yeah, look it up! Anyways would there be a model for everything? Probably not, would companies try and make people pay for them? Probably. Would it work? No. Just think about how hard companies are trying to stop people from pirating movies and songs.

3) Getting far beyond the technology out there, but in theory yes it would be edible and yes nutritional. I mean if we are talking atom to atom copy, why not? Would you leave the house? Someone will need to go and get the materials for you to build stuff with. The acquisition stage of raw materials is still an issue.

4) maybe? maybe? yes. If you are assuming extremely advanced atom copiers. It remains to be seen if you can build life from simply mimicking atomic structure. Honestly however, I don't see a reason why either of those would be impossible. For example, Stem cells can be synthesized in labs, stem cells can form to be like any cell in the human body. Will making synthetic humans fuck us over? probably. Then again we would be the first generation of a race of beings that would supersede us. And that is something, the moral concerns mostly arise from the assumption that humans are a complete form from an evolutionary standpoint. One can imagine in another two thousand years, or a millennium, some distant grandchild of ours will dig us up and examine us like we do Neanderthals. I doubt they will think we are so complicated or would think twice about mapping our genome, recreating one of us and prodding us with sticks before dissecting us.
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:53 am

I'm not so sure that a commercially-available three-dimensional printer could replicate microstructures on the atomic/molecular/nanotechnological scale. The problem lies in how (according to my understanding of the process, anyway, from articles I've read) is that you actually have nozzles dispensing drops of the substances out. This is going to cause some spreading and, IIRC, obtaining the finished product involves excising the exterior matrix (say, you print out a solid cube or cylinder or something in case anything juts out because the parts with an overhang need some sort of underlying matrix, else those droplets just fall to the lowest unimpeded levels closest to the ground state [possibly inclusive]). There's just no way you're going to be able to get a working hard drive out of that.

Plus the "ink" for a hard drive would probably end up costing more than the hard drive itself, what with all the iron and rare-earth elements involved.
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:00 am

ror, why does your avatar look like your in an airport?
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PostSubject: Re: RepRaps and 3d Printing   Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:26 am

Yes ror you are right there are limitations with the current extruder model of 3d printers. For anything on a nano level you need a new process, such as manipulating atoms through nanotechnology, which is a science in infancy. The model of 3d printers we have now is like the printing press compared with a laser printer. The sofistication, speed, aren't there yet, but the idea is.
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