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Where is 3D Printing headed...

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

(OP)
In a few years I suspect that the number of things, and the amazing thing that they will be doing, that has been 3D printed will be absolutely astounding:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=13...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

The products my company produce often require small custom covers, mounts, clamps, etc, and not having our own manufacturing capability have been at the mercy of the local machine shops. Those parts were often of less than desirable form due to the limitations of using normal machine/fab shop techniques. They were also often too expensive for the purpose they served. We are now making most of those parts on our Makerbot and that has drastically eased the burden of design, cost & lead time for such parts.

As 3D printing technology & our expertise using it advances, I foresee more drastic & beneficial (for us) changes taking place. The down side effects may be felt by the local machine shops.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

(OP)
Here's another slant on the potential long term impact of inexpensive and easy to use 3D Printing:

http://machinedesign.com/editorial-comment/will-3d...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

(OP)
Now it appears that real 'rocket scientists' are using 3D Printing to actually 'print' rocket engines:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=13...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

The variations on laser sintering 3D printing appear to have so much potential - once the range of materials gets bigger and hopefully price falls (and possibly tolerances improve though I forget what they can hit currently) then it will have so many applications especially in lower volume manufacturing as well as development.

I'm still waiting for them to use it with Invar then we might have some applications (yes I've asked about it though not recently).

(Don't get me wrong the plastics versions are good too and getting better but 3D printing serious structural material catches my limited imagination more.)

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

(OP)
Now this is something I'll bet none of here has thought about before; linking a 3D Printer to an EEG with the idea of creating a physical representation of what it is that you're mind is 'seeing':

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=2659...

Can you imagine where this could lead idea

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

(OP)
This bring to mind the plot of the 1980 PBS TV production, 'The Lathe of Heaven', based on the book by the same title:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lathe_of_Heaven

In it there was this machine called an 'Augmentor' which added a biofeedback loop to an EEG machine, by which reality could be altered based on what a person 'dreamed'.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

#2 is the biggest, IMO. Mine was printing ovoids rather than circles when I first started working with it. After a few adjustments, I finally got great circles.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

(OP)
Here's an interesting item, it appears that even metal-based 3D printing is moving down market, price-wise:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=13...

Side note: Michigan Tech is my alma mater, but we never dreamed of anything like this when I was an undergrad there back in the late 60's winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

Let's be clear... the sub $100k (sub $10k?) metal printers use low melting point alloys, which are only good for basic prototyping of look/feel. They're not serviceable in most area you want metal for trials. Any cheap printer that can work with real metals (aluminum, titanium, etc.) and use some form of welding technology are not going to have a very high quality output (at least until they are able to get micron-level welding tips that last). Right now the only real game in town for metal printing uses lasers.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

Production metal printers are coming. Not only are the parts printed, the grain structure is controlled. Several years away from commercial use. Can't say here how I know this. winky smile
There are a couple companies today printing inconel for use on parts up to around 1000 deg F.

Chris, CSWA
SolidWorks 13
ctopher's home
SolidWorks Legion

RE: Where is 3D Printing headed...

at first I thought "ooooh, inconel, now I can have the high tem exhaust manifolds I need, at a more reasonable price!" but then I realized that 1000F is only 540C, and my conventional manifold materials already operate successfully in excess of that.

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