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# 3d printers5

## 3d printers

(OP)
How will 3D printers change how we do our designs. And now with conductive plastics, there are fewer parts to assemble.

### RE: 3d printers

cranky, given that I work in the "large pieces of welded steel industy" I anticipate no changes.

Not to hijack, but Merry Christams and Happy New Year to all the Eng Tippers.

Regards,

Mike

### RE: 3d printers

We'll be able to design parts without as much consideration of how it'll machined.
The metal additive printers are really cool.

There is a commercial level 3D printer about 20 feet away from where I'm sitting. I get to play with it, it's really cool.

### RE: 3d printers

Maybe. I've not yet seen metal parts from 3D printers, but have used its predecessor process: PM parts in steel, bronze and stainless alloys. They are pretty uniformly lower in strength properties than their wrought counterparts, unless infiltrated (e.g. copper into steel/stainless alloys). The infiltration tends to alter the chemistry to the point that corrosion resistant parts are no longer quite so resistant. Similarly, plastics from additive machines do not perform as well as their molded counterparts in strength. For mockups, prototypes, or purely decorative features, ie. applications where the lower strength and brittle behavior can be managed to an acceptalbe level, they do ok. But people predicting a "print your own engine", or car, or gun, etc. are extrapolating to an endpoint I just can't see from here.

One of the smarter uses of the technology is to print forms in wax, which can then be used for an investment casting, with a bit of effort.

### RE: 3d printers

As a maker** of fine jewelry for a hobby, I foresee the demise of the true craftsman in small, intricate work. Solidworks and a 3-D printer shorten the idea-to-mold time by orders of magnitude. Mistakes, judgement errors, size changes, and trial prototypes that turn out just plain ugly are almost trivial in terms of wasted effort (and wasted gold or platinum).

I think this will apply to lots of other small work.

**Notice that I wrote "maker," not "creator." My wife and sister are the designers and sketchers. I wish I had that talent, but for now I'm happy being the one who gets to make the castings.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

### RE: 3d printers

Currently there are a good few 3D printed parts in Formula 1 cars, as basically parts can be produced that could not be made in any other way.

As has been mentioned it is becoming more common in producing max parts for the jewellery business and a big advantage is parts can be made in different parts of the world rather than relying on the skill and interpretation of the sculptor.

If and when it becomes a main stream way of making “budget” products I don’t know but it is hard to see that it won’t become more widely used as the technology develops and parts will be designed specifically to be 3D printed.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Does anyone know what the cost (materials only) is to make say a comb in one of these? Sort of interested in the comparison for something like a vending machine.

When I was younger, very young, there was a plastic molding machine at a dinsour exibit. One would put in your money, and the machine would mold and despence a plasitc dinsour. They looked simular to the dinsours that were roaming wild.

### RE: 3d printers

"When I was younger, very young, there was a plastic molding machine at a dinsour exibit. One would put in your money, and the machine would mold and despence a plasitc dinsour. They looked simular to the dinsours that were roaming wild."

Exactly HOW OLD are you?

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: 3d printers

(OP)
I could not resist the urge it insert a little humor. Although I'm not at retirement age yet.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Isen't there some kimd of trademark on most kids toys? Besides that, kids toys would be a good application in a vending application. I was thinking something like combs, ice scrapers, cell phone shells, and the like.

Another possible application might be plastic gears for power tools, copiers, and other power, and office machines.

If some one could do larger parts like air dams for cars, then it could reduce car parts inventorys.

### RE: 3d printers

I think one day in my lifetime, we'll see a printer in every home, right beside the microwave oven. Maybe not this decade, but probably the next. Need a baby toy? You grab design plans off the internet, plug them into the printer, and hit 'go.' I think they'll be quite common for simple items, such as an iPhone case.

Also of some interest to this forum:

http://www.wikihouse.cc/

Same concept, for small houses. Grab your free plans, send them the 3d printer or c&c shop, pick them up later.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Except you can't eat what it makes. Maybe that's the next step, some self hardening food goo, in which flavering can be added.

Does your morning egg taste funny?

### RE: 3d printers

One mod for printers like mine is a syringe-style extruder for making layer-by-layer edible confection designs (marzipan, etc). Seems like it could be a cool way to make custom cake toppers, but it might be even better if there were a semi-hard candy filament that could be printed by the usual method instead.

There are also wood/polymer composite materials on the market, if you want to make a "wooden" part. I haven't figured out why I'd want to do that yet.

### RE: 3d printers

Wood polymer composites are more about recycling and the appearance of being ecologically responsible, unless of course you consider plywood and chipboard as wood polymer composites.

Regards
Pat
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### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Neet, simulated wood carvings.

One thing about using wood is it might be easer to drill and cut after it is made. For something like a simulated wood handle for travel bags. All you would need is a grain look.

One application maybe wood dowls for between pieces of wood. The polymer would make it better for hammering into the drilled hole. And with them being printed, you don't need to keep so many sizes in stock. You could use the same printer to print drawer pulls, and polymer screws (for the pulls), as well as drawer slides, casters, etc.

There you go, furnish your home from a stack of lumber, wood saws, etc., a 3d printer, and wood glue.

### RE: 3d printers

I wouldn't think that printed dowel pins would ever be cost-competitive with mass-produced ones.

Woodgrain can be simulated with these plastic composites by varying the extruder temperature, and there are some software tools to help. It looks great in the marketing literature - the "real life" example I've seen looked more like a burnt crouton than a piece of wood.

### RE: 3d printers

Years ago thre was a rapid-prototyping (AKA, 3D Printing) technology called LOM (Laminated Object Manufacturing) which was based on laying down layers of paper and then laser-cutting the outline of each layer as well as cutting grids across the areas where there were voids in the final model. Afterwards you would 'punch' out the 'cubes' of material from the voids and the resulting model would have the texture and consistency of 'wood', particularly if you used sometime like kraft-paper as the 'media'.

While the original company has gone out-of-business, there are apparently some people still working on this technology as discussed at:

http://www.rapidtoday.com/mcor.html

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: 3d printers

John,
We had one of this type of machine at General Dynamics in the 19 90's. It got the job done, but it took for ever to cut and paste all of those layers of paper to produce a solid object. I recall it cut the paper contours, then indexed and glued them using breakout tabs .
B.E.

### RE: 3d printers

The paper layer method I believe was an attempt to kinda copy stereo lithography where liquid resin was cured by a UV laser in layer upon layer. In my opinion it mostly fell far short of the liquid resin UV laser method.

3D printing of course has greatly reduced costs of rapid prototyping and I think increased the number of viable materials.

The same resin laid down by 3D printing falls somewhat short of injection moulding re mechanical properties due to the lack of packing pressure during the moulding process.

Re the plastic wood thing.

Recycling wood as a filler in plastics or using plastic resin as a binder for wood are two different things and simulating wood with plastic is another entirely different thing.

Just adding volatiles before the moulding process along with a grain surface texture on the mould can give somewhat of a natural wood surface.

At this stage I don't see 3D printing as having the resolution to produce a sufficiently sharp edge to a thread on a screw for the screw to cut its own thread into anything but the softest wood.

Regards
Pat
See FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on use of eng-tips by professional engineers &
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### RE: 3d printers

Per the discussion on 'personal' 3D Printers, here's a couple of albeit 'commercial' items which might be of interest to some of you:

http://www.retrevo.com/content/blog/2013/01/3d-pri...

And for those of you who mentioned the possibility of creating confectionary or baked goods, please check out the video at the end of this item:

http://www.retrevo.com/content/blog/2013/01/comple...

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: 3d printers

If we had access to one of these machines we could give a client their grading plan in 3D. We have a client who has flown out a famous Japanese Architect for their project which they then made the topo out of foam board to show what's going on with the site.

I would love and I mean love to be able to show certain clients their projects in 3D with the new topography. Anyone know how much something like this would cost to do? The more tools at our disposal the better,

And yes I am all for the idea of designing a lego and having some big machine spit that lego out. Imagine if that machine was actually making each part. I could imagine a machine that would make an edible wedding cake to my custom design. Or make a custom aero part for my car out of the material of my choosing.

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil Engineer and Structural Engineer
http://bwengr.com | http://bwstructuralengineer.com | http://bwcivilengineer.com

### RE: 3d printers

Brandon, you could try before you buy...go to printrbottalk.com/forum and see if an owner in the la area would print a sample for you at cost.

### RE: 3d printers

That video is a bit misleading, you can never print something like that bike in one go.
Some advanced 3D printers use 2 kinds of material though, after which you put your piece in an oven and melt away the softer plastic.

### RE: 3d printers

I suspect that when Stereolithography was first being developed way back when, that if someone had suggested that it would eventually lead to what's covered in the article below, that they would have been met with total disbelief if not actually having someone suggest that they may need to have their head examined:

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11817299/1/dark-sid...

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: 3d printers

(OP)
Just as products can become outdated, so can laws. I believe that is one point that can be derived from this.

Another fact is that when something is outlawed, the demand and cost will increase. This really has little to do with 3D printers, as much as it has to do with technology making such laws outdated.

This also shows how inventive people can be.

### RE: 3d printers

brandonbw

There are a bunch of different flavors of '3D printing' beyond basic stereolithography and FDM.

For what you're doing I'm guessing you don't need the best resolution or any real structural strength.

Take a look at the website of https://www.solidconcepts.com/3d-printing/ or a similar vendor that has multiple capabilities.

One thing I will say from my experience procuring rapid prototype parts, size is a big cost driver. If you're thinking of models the size of an E/A0 drawing or similar then it might get pretty expensive.

There are also techniques that use layers of paper or similar - Staples is looking to introduce one apparently http://singularityhub.com/2012/12/13/3d-printing-g.... While the size may not be what you're after I'd think the resolution may work for you http://www.mcortechnologies.com/.

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: 3d printers

If you're thinking of models the size of an E/A0 drawing or similar then it might get pretty expensive.

I was thinking that if I was going to print a landscape elevation model to cover a desktop that I'd slice the model into 7x7 inch sections (my printer can do up to 8x8x8 inches) and print them separately. Then I'd number them as they printed, and assembly the lot of 'em on top of a suitable board, perhaps with a dab of glue at each seam.

The way I'm picturing these things, I bet I could make a pretty big landscape (lets say 3 feet by 5 feet) for less than $50 in plastic, but it'd probably take a week for me to print 'em all given only evenings and weekends to work on it. ### RE: 3d printers To say nothing of using something like this to put together a model train layout. Not only could you 'print' the landscape, but you could include the buildings as well. 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: 3d printers (OP) Are you sure the detail is good enough for a model train layout? Maybe the basics could be printed, but other than the color you could get about as close with a machine that carves foam board. Instead of placing plastic, one with a router bit to carve down the foam. I still have my doubts on the buildings, and realistic textures. ### RE: 3d printers ivy, well indirectly it's the same issue - relatively lots of machine time to make either one big part or lots of smaller parts you then have to assemble. If you've bought a machined and so that's already a sunk cost though then why not. Out of interest Ivy what's the routine maintenance like on your 3D printer, do heads need to be cleaned etc. or is it pretty low fuss? 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: 3d printers haven't had to clean the extruder tip, although I hear sometimes people have trouble with that when switching from one type of plastic to another (ABS to PLA or back). I've only been playing with mine since November, but there has been a fair bit of maintenance required. The biggest things have been related to vibration (loosening nuts) and leveling/adjustment of the print bed. The printed parts have to adhere well to the print bed or they don't come out right - but then the print bed gets a bit out of whack when you pry them off. You also end up replacing the plastic tape that covers the bed on a regular basis. I also had my print bead heater fail due to overload (current) of the pins on the circuit board - so I retrofitted with a relay to reduce the fire hazard. ### RE: 3d printers I can see it now, the next remake of 'Frankenstein', only the 'monster' is created in some guy's attic using a 3D printer assembled from some salvaged printer parts and stuff from: http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEd... 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: 3d printers John, Interesting article, I notice that the writer mentioned several Cad programs, but did not mention the one 3D systems bought a couple of years ago, Alibre inc. B.E. ### RE: 3d printers (OP) I still believe it could have the potential to reduce the after market car parts industry to only having to stock parts that can't be printed. Go to the parts store needing a new air dam, and they print you one in an hour. Then they can change the plastic, and print you a new brake light cover. Although I have been racking my brain to think of other industries, out side of cars, boats, etc, that use so much plastic parts. ### RE: 3d printers toys/games (look up "Seej") adult "entertainment" (use your imagination) telecom (think phone covers etc) cooking (moulds, cookie cutters, etc) anything using castings ### RE: 3d printers Have you guys ever used a 3D printer? Its just another process that is available. Price is determined by durability as well as accuracy. Tim ### RE: 3d printers Have you guys ever used a 3D printer? Interesting question ### RE: 3d printers (OP) No, I have enough hobbies without a 3D printer. The$3K price tag for something I don't yet have a use for just dosen't make since.
I would think differently if I had a use. I could set it on the beer fridge my wife won't let me purchase.

I'm rather interested in where this technology might be going, however. Or if it will die like so many other ideas.

### RE: 3d printers

Remember that science fiction usually predates workable models by about 4-5 decades. Star Trek posited "replicators" during the 1960's. As long as someone can design materials that can be plotted/printed, eventually someone will make it.

Also can you imagine someday small "home use" cartridges of steel, that at the correct temperature (controlled in the 3D printer itself) will flow through your home use 3D printer to make a new cooking pan for your stove? Or a custom wrench for your tool kit?

Back to the Star Trek replicators of the future, extrudable food already exists too.

I had some parts done in late '97 early '98 timeframe they were stupid expensive at the time ~$4500 for 6 parts about the size of baseball (three of each) we then used those to make parts for testing via investment casting the pieces. The technology was still pretty new and it killed me to burn them away instead of a cool bit of desk art. Since then my employer has brought this technology in house and every tom dick and harry engineer has some part from one of the various processes (machines) we have scattered around the office. Bad thing is that these machines let them do things that we cannot then tool up for actual production runs without all sorts of complexity to tooling that was never budgeted for. The other bad part is a lot of the S&M management types see "plastic prototypes" and think we are on the verge of a launch and not 20+wks out because we have to cut steel. And the point about durability and accuracy is very true -- the little I have seen from the "maker" printers leaves a lot to be desired. ### RE: 3d printers (OP) So much for regulating them. Without going into the gun issue, is it also possible that other illegal things can be printed? What about plastic knifes? ### RE: 3d printers What about plastic knifes? How about a metal one using 3D lazer sintering. B.E. ### RE: 3d printers Well, the files themselves will have to become illegal. Good luck with that. Regards, Mike ### RE: 3d printers On second thought, I suppose not, just illegal to make the artifact. Good luck with that too. ### RE: 3d printers (OP) I did not see any information on the type of printer (size, or capabilities, or cost). But Nylon is a plastic, and this was not something I had thought about being printable (clothing). One modification they can make to the printer for this application is to have it print on to a 3D figure of the person it is being printed for (sort of like those dress things my mother had). This would reduce the number of seems needed, and the manual assimbly. I also did not see any comparson between printing the gown and having it made in a sweat shop. Thought: this could make sweat shop workers unemployed. Replaced by technology, just like trafic camaras are replacing police. ### RE: 3d printers Fe (IronX32) ### RE: 3d printers You're a day late in posting this. Or perhaps you never actually hit the 'Buy Now' button 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: 3d printers We've had one version or another of FDM machine in our R&D shop since 2004, and I couldn't imagine getting on without it. It has saved us countless mistakes and tool reworks on forgings and diecastings and moldings. The thing paid for itself in the first year just by stemming off the potential problems of not having a part in-hand prior to tooling up. As for the printing guns and knives, it's my opinion that this is just some prepostrous notion that some self-appointed media miscreant dreamed up on a slow news day. I can go to the local hardware and put together a pretty decent 12 gauge zip gun in the time it takes me to render the model preparing it for printing. Not to mention the blatantly obvious strength issues. ABS and fused epoxy is generally not considered ordnance grade material. Not to mention that if one has the wherewithal to purchase a 3D printer, the funds are probably there to acquire some pretty decent, well made firearms. As a previous poster mentioned, printing patterns for investment casting, now there is a useful application. Burnout of shells can be accomplished with ABS patterns, as well. It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all. ### RE: 3d printers Bought a PrintrBot Plus. If (emphasize IF) you have a propensity towards fiddling and tinkering, this is an interesting thing to play with on a hobbyist level. I bought the kit, spend a couple hours an evening for most of a week assembling it, and another couple hours before I got recognizable output, but it does indeed work. And yes, after printing a couple of cat statues, I downloaded the file and printed an AR-15 pistol grip. Caveat: This is not a 'plug and play' thing by any stretch of the imagination. Instructions for assembly are nebulous in places. The software is usable but subject to much tinkering and there are myriad parameters and adjustments to work with. old field guy ### RE: 3d printers (OP) When are you going to print the rest of the AR-15? Not to put too much of a damper on things, but I believe we are seeing the start of a new technology, that should grow, and improve with time. However there will be limits on some things that can not be made that way. That maybe where the CNC machine can fill in to make a complete build. I still think plastic handles, and knobs is just the start. Give the kids time to play with them, and they will become useful tools in the future. I'm still looking for an ap to print a new brake light. ### RE: 3d printers @OFG, I've got the same model... some immediate upgrades to consider: - a good bed leveling mechanism - an automotive relay to switch the heated bed (taking load off the printrboard) and a diode to prevent the relay coil from damaging the driving circuit on the printrboard. The pins on the printrboard are undersized and will eventually char/melt if you don't offload the current (one reported instance of a near-miss w/fire in an online forum). - An aluminum (not glass) printing bed (heated bed goes underneath, then insulation..separately arrange your leveling mechanism for the bed. I got sick of breaking pieces of glass when parts stick too well.$45 for a very flat aluminum plate, 0.25" thick, from Amazon.com
- GT2 pulleys & belts, 2mm pitch (I haven't printed with mine yet, but received them and installed them last night. $30 upgrade, reportedly the single-most-important hardware upgrade for print accuracy. - Cooling fans and thermal switches for your X, Y, and extrude motors (they get very hot during long prints) Not an upgrade, but probably worth considering - a 100 ft roll of 8" wide kapton tape (because those little 8"x8" squares get consumed regularly) ### RE: 3d printers How about 3D printing a new house? Office building? Hospital? Dutch Architect Plans to 3D Print a Building This will be affecting contruction workers, not just us! Best to you, Goober Dave Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies ### RE: 3d printers Interesting thread. I remember an SME presentation of few years back where we stood around a printer for 45 minutes waiting for a small bottle to be printed. Amazing to see how the tech has developed. We still use a lot of CAD (cardboard aided design) - you can do a lot with an exacto-knife and a cardboard box a lot cheaper than these printers. ### RE: 3d printers hehe...I suppose it's lucky that trucks and buses look like carboard boxes with wheels, eh? ### RE: 3d printers function does follow form :) ### RE: 3d printers (OP) There is a bunch of 3D models still made with cardbord. I was recently looking at the model of the Denver airport expansion, and it looked like it was made of cardbord. So it appears not everyone is embracing the technology. So why can't we print out replacment auto parts? ### RE: 3d printers Replacement auto parts that copy the OEM design exactly? That would be piracy! ### RE: 3d printers I can barely keep my 2D printer acting right. I'm going with papier-mâché for 3D. Pla-Doh is good too. Best to you, Goober Dave Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies ### RE: 3d printers I've been printing replacement parts for things that break around the house: Steering knuckle for power wheels quad Crank arm for exercise bike Patch and mounting bracket for toy disco ball My brother hs asked me to print a replacement mirror mount for one od his trucks...but he hasnt yet sent the broken part for me to work on. ### RE: 3d printers #### Quote: Replacement auto parts that copy the OEM design exactly? That would be piracy! Welcome to the New Economy. Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com ### RE: 3d printers New? When were will-fit parts introduced? Probably before serially-produced autos! (if you take other-party parts to be "will fit" even when they're custom) ### RE: 3d printers (OP) How can that be piracy, when I can purchase software, download it, and use it, and that is not called piracy? I think the difference is exchange of money to purchase a licence, to print something. I have no intentions of cheeting anyone out of there hard work designing a tail light cover. My issue is to cheat the wholesailer, and UPS people out of there profit from my tail light cover. If I can print postage from home without a worry of piracy, why can't I print a tail light cover without the same concern? If things can be printed, at home, or the local print shop, why do I need to pay someone to manufacturer, ship, store, and ship again the item to get to me. Unless there is something special about it that I can't print it at home. ### RE: 3d printers The design of the taillight lens itself is someone's 'intellectual property' and while it is true that there may be no protection here for the people who package, ship and install such an item, I suspect that the company that designed and manufactured it will think differently. Now if you're taking about the 'new economy' perhaps in the future we may see somehting like an 'iTunes' store where OEM's have licensed someone to make available, for a fee, downloadable files of 'virtual' replacement parts which can then be 'manufactured' by the end user. 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: 3d printers So for parts that are no longer in production (there are plenty), no issues. Just make it. My guess is that if a part is commercially available, you may be better off to buy it. Regards, Mike ### RE: 3d printers iTunes is a good example. The music industry itself is a fantastic example. Their 'product' in the end is nothing more than bits in a computer. Stream of 1s and 0s. Yet they were charging$15 to $20 to buy a CD with those bits on it, despite very little of that money going to the musicians. Most of that money went to the label and the distribution network. When Napster came out, it was a complete end-around of everything the music industry was doing - an automated distribution network of 1s and 0s, and the entire industry was gutted. Most musicians weren't really impacted, in fact the revolution led to a lot easier ways for new and upcoming artists to get distributed without having to bow to the labels to get picked up, but a few big name artists took it on the chin, and all the rich record execs took it on the chin. So they passed RIAA, had the government start arresting teenagers, etc etc. And in the end, they still didn't ever get their profit stream back, because the 'new economy' gutted their old way of doing business. So what artists do now, is distribute their music for cheap through iTunes, or cheaper through Spotify on a subscription service, and Apple farms a little off the top, or Spotify pays the artist by the play, and the big labels are less and less important, because the artist is only one step away from the listener. Well it turns out, engineering design is also a bunch of 1s and 0s. Some kinds of engineering design will also go the way of the music industry. Yes, somebody somewhere designed a tail light cover, and that tail light cover is IP, that's owned by some big company, with corporate executives, and offices, and overhead, and all these sorts of things that have been interposed between the design engineer in his cubicle and the end-user buying the tail light cover at NAPA. But an independent engineer in a 1 man shop could also design a tail light cover in his pajamas on a saturday morning in his home office, and he could put his design up on iDesigns, or on Engineerify, and get a dollar for every time someone downloads his design. And Tail Light Cover Inc. will go the same way as Tower Records. That's what I mean when I say "welcome to the new economy." Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com ### RE: 3d printers (OP) I would still think mass production would be less expencive to manufacturer auto parts, however, the warehouse, and shipping for one unit is what changes the price structure for the consumer. And all togather the printing of small objects I believe will reduce the need for so much wearhouse space, and the waiting two weeks for a tail light cover. Another aspect is that if the plastic is recyleable, there could be a much faster return for damaged cars, in that salvage yards can remove those as soon as the cars are delivered to them. ### RE: 3d printers My piracy response was a little tongue in cheek, but the only really good answer to "why not just print it?" 3d scanning technology is also getting up to speed very quickly; this will make regulation impossible, and just create another direct parallel to the music industry. I already own the CD, I bought it from the intellectual property owner, so why can't I make a copy of it for "personal use" in case the original is lost or damaged? What if I want to keep a copy in my car, and in my home? Replace "CD" with any part that can be 3D printed, and let the games begin. Prices for parts will increase to make up the loss in market share (have to cover that overhead) and that will drive more consumers away. Then maybe Billy Bob down the street will print you a$100 part for $20. If the value is in the labor/materials, then I will just make it myself, no harm no foul. But once the argument is made to assign the value of a physical object to the intellectual property it contains, quantity of the object becomes insignificant (from one side of the argument at least.) As long as I paid for that intellectual property once, I can make as many physical objects with it as I see fit (for personal use only, of course.) I'm afraid the next big career boom may be in the legal profession... Why make something new when there are plenty of things out there to argue over? ### RE: 3d printers (OP) Some one could argue why buy a tail light cover when semi-transparent red tape is available. A point can be made that as the price increases (including taxes), the value of illegal copying increases. There needs to be a balancing point of value vs cost, in order to reduce illegal copying. Sort of like the demand curve for economics. A recent newspaper article (I read on line, and did not buy the actual paper)about the man behind the 99 cent store, who died a billionare. He wasen't charging$20 for CD's, but items of closer value to the cost of production. Why don't people feel bad for copying CD's, because people feel the actual price is too high.

The value should be in the orignal production of an item, not the gouging of people who happen to break one.

### RE: 3d printers

Heard a recording on the radio this morning of a 3D plastic AR-15 being shot. Sounded like the perfect storm developoing between global warming (brought on by excess bloviation and smug cloud emanating from the central Atlantic seaboard) and nation-wide flatulence over gun control. Not taking either side, just stating that in real life nothing is idiot proof.

### RE: 3d printers

It was hardly an 'AR-15'. Rather it was a very simple single-shot pistol:

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### RE: 3d printers

well, that's the first "fully" 3D printed gun...but there was previously a "largely" (magazine and lower) 3D printed AR-15

### RE: 3d printers

Just a little humor...

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
I actually don't think making guns out of plastic is the best use of the technology, but if Washington continues down the route of anti-gun it will push the 3D technology to more possibilities than where it currently is. I don't want to get into the gun debate here, but the gun debate will push technology to more home made items by those who want guns, and may buy a 3d printer for that purpose.

Here's the problem, 3D printable guns and knives (or any other weapons)without limits will increase the level of crimes commited world wide, so the repercussions of what Washington does will happen world wide. So while this will expand the interest in this technology, it will also form a negitive side effect.

Just vision a million Chinese, of Indian people with printed guns.

Just so I get off this topic, there was an article about printable buildings, using concreate, and the benifit was the unique shapes. The problem is how many people want a totaly unique building? After all how many years ago people thought you were crazy if you wanted an outlet on the cealing of your grauge?

### RE: 3d printers

I bet the Tutsis wish they had some guns.

Just saying.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: 3d printers

Since there are already over 100,000,000 guns in the hands of American citizens today (6 of which are in my own gun safe) how is it that what Washington does next will result in the rest of the world being somehow pushed into making their own guns in their basements or garages, as you seem to imply? If I were the NRA, with virtually all of their money coming from gun manufactures, I would be the first to suggest that making it easier for people to produce their OWN guns is something that should be strictly controlled, if not stopped altogether. Otherwise the gun-shops in America could potentially go the route of Tower Records. Granted, this may sound outrageous, but I wonder what the people in the record industry initially thought when Napster first came on the scene back in 1999? And while the original Napster was dealt with in short order (it was around for only 25 months), it portended a series of paradigm shifts that even the brightest 'futurists' never foresaw, including the likes of Toffler ('The Third Wave', 1980), Naisbitt ('Megatrends', 1982), Kaku ('Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century', 1998), Kurzweil ('The Singularity Is Near', 2005), etc. (I'll admit that the jury is still out on Kurzweil).

Anyway...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
I'm just saying that if something is banned, they don't go away. The people who want them just become more creative, and soon the underground economy will take off with whatever technology exists to make them.

The fact that underground guns just fill in the XXX in the technology advancment still means the growth of XXX will push the growth of the technology. The same thing would likely happen if the price on tail light covers increased 1000%, except I don't see as much demand in tail light covers.

I still believe there is a need for custom plastic items, that if the price to print them were reasonable could be added to an existing print business. But with the increase in size of the printers, so goes the increase in the number of custom items that become printable. And the same goes with the increase in printing materials.

I think the real advancment will be when printing with different materials on the same build becomes possible. Granted some of this exists now.

### RE: 3d printers

In countries where guns are already heavily controlled have there been a lot of problems with home made weapons be it 'printed' or made the old fashioned way?

I remember in the UK for a while in the late 90's people were modifying starter pistols to fire BB's.

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### RE: 3d printers

Well, there's always been so-called 'zip guns'. After all, people can get pretty creative when they set their minds to it:

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

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: 3d printers

Well now every home can have a printed gun. Staples just started stocking and selling 3D printers for home use.
B.E.

### RE: 3d printers

Cranky, your last comment brought to mind prohibition. There was always a way to find one's alcohol, be it homemade or craftily imported. The people rose up and got rid of it. The gun situation has a different motivation, but it seems very similar to me.

JohnRBaker, I clicked both of your links. Very informative, but Homeland Security showed up within the hour...

Best to you,

Goober Dave

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### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Maybe if there could be a pause in the middle of a build to manually add parts, like steel pins, or circuit boards, if that is possible.

### RE: 3d printers

The only problem I see is the argument that "any idiot can print a firearm." The technology is still a little off from one click and you have a part, but it is getting closer. If it gets out of control you can always make the argument that guns don't kill people, bullets kill people. Then try to restrict bullets. Should be fun.

Saw some kids laser cutting "brass knuckles" the other day out of acrylic. Laser cut corners are sharp, those things could slice you open.

### RE: 3d printers

2
Cranky - most home 3D printers use open source model slicing tools to generate G-Code, which can be modified pretty easily to allow for pauses. I've added pauses to prints on my solidoodle that have allowed me to drop in hex nuts and magnets which then became "captive" in the plastic as the print continued. I've been sketching up plans for a small SCARA-style arm next to my printer to do some pick and place operations, but these haven't gone very far beyond napkin squiggles. The long term plan is to have the G-code pause, send a command to the arm to pick & place in a certain location, then continue with the print.

On the topic of 3D printed guns (what is it with some people's obsession with things that kill? I got over that when I was around 16...), it wouldn't surprise me if the Darwin Awards people are preparing a completely separate category for people who decided to give it a go.

### RE: 3d printers

Some people find it fascinating. An old guy I know in the neighborhood keeps calling/emailing to find out if I've made a gun yet with my printer. He really wants to try one out, and I can't imagine why (plenty of regular guns around his house). Sigh...

### RE: 3d printers

I'm not getting this. I've never fired a gun so maybe someone can enlighten me.
A gun is just a tube (barrel) that fits closely to the bullet.
So the simplest gun is this:
So all you "3D print" is just a tube, a handle, and a trigger. All of which you can just make with a saw/drill/whatever normal tools you have in your garage. If it was an assault rifle it would be newsworthy as I guess feeding the bullets and avoid overheating and whatnot is the difficult part.
But this just a guy who glued a tube to a handle and let a nail strike the bullet?

### RE: 3d printers

the fun starts when the tube cannot handle the pressure generated by the force of the explosion. With a .22 long rifle round, the barrel of a regular rifle is proof loaded to 12 tons per square inch. That is double it's expected maximum working pressure.
If a random thin walled piece of tube is picked up,for a zip gun, you end up with a grenade instead of a firearm.
B.E.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
In a perfect world there would be no need for guns, printed or other wise. However the world is not perfect.

Do you know what they call a bad hunter? Vegetarian.

And yes they can be used by dumb people to kill themselves, just like cars. Both have a ligit purpose and both can be used wrongly. That's why education is important. Too bad we don't have public places where they teach children between right and wrong as well as reading, writing, and math.

Are they really "brass knuckles" if they are not made of brass?

So what is G-code? Another computer language, or more of an instruction list like was used with CNC machines?

### RE: 3d printers

Cranky,
most CNC machines today will happily accept the same commands you would have found on a paper tape decades ago.
The 'language' is surprisingly powerful.
A line starting with 'G' gives a coordinate location to 'go to', and do whatever command is active.
A typical file will contain a lot of lines starting with 'G', hence 'G-code'.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

### RE: 3d printers

#### Quote (cranky108)

Too bad we don't have public places where they teach children between right and wrong as well as reading, writing, and math.

At least with respect to gun safety, when I was in high school (back in the early 60's in Northern Michigan) we had an option (at least the boys did) to take a gun safety class sponsored by the NRA (when they were still primarily serving actual gun owners and not acting as lobbyists for gun manufactures). And while this was ostensibly NOT a class in morality, it did stress the mechanics behind the safe handling and use of at least shotguns and rifles.

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: 3d printers

The image posted by JohnRBaker above (6 May 13 14:24) shows that the trigger has snapped off. Compare the unbroken trigger here to the above image with the broken trigger.

I'll get excited about 3D printing when they can print a 3D Printer that can print another 3D Printer.

### RE: 3d printers

VE1BLL-

Your idea about a 3-D printer printing copies of itself has some very real basis. You might want to Google "Reprap", for example. You can get a file that allows another 3-D printer to print all the plastic parts. You, of course, have to add hardware and electronics.

My own printer has a chassis of laser-cut plywood, but I have printed several parts to replace some of the laser-cut parts, including gears for the extruder drive train.

As I've said before, though, these are not 'plug and play' machines.

old field guy

### RE: 3d printers

Re: Reprap "You, of course, have to add hardware and electronics."

Of course, that's my exact point.

### RE: 3d printers

The files are just bits. Good luck making the files illegal. All you do by doing that is lose any possible paper trail of who's got the files.

My dad has a 12 gauge shotgun pistol manufactured out of steel tube by a guy in a shack in Nigeria. Don't think he's ever fired it. I think I'd probably rather fire that than fire a 3d printed gun, by current 3d printing standards. But the lid's not on that technology, it's only really just begun to innovate. Hell, Wake Forest is printing human kidneys. (great Ted Talk on it) I'm sure someone will be able to print a quality gun fairly soon.

The printing of organs really opens the doors wide for all sorts of William Gibson level stuff. Like, I don't know, organs that are also guns.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: 3d printers

3D printers making copies of themselves is the start and evolution of physical life. There is a precedent. It's really amazing what the errors can achieve through natural (and other) selection. Carbon-based systems seem more suitable to replication and mutation from experience, but other long chains may work.

And when you look at viruses, any replication mechanism looks viable, so long as its hosts survive and thrive long enough to support the viruses. If the hosts die, so do the viruses (for those who have missed the analogy, computer operating systems).

- Steve

### RE: 3d printers

#### Quote (beej67)

The files are just bits. Good luck making the files illegal.

Tell that to the people who started 'Napster'.

And speaking of what is and what is not illegal 'content', the Supreme Court has just ruled that it's unlawful for a farmer to set aside a portion of his harvest each year for use as seed stock for the following planting season if the original seed stock contained patented genetic material. Considering that 93% of the soybeans and 86% of the corn now being harvested in the US each year originally came from seed stock containing genes that have been patented by Monsanto, this creates a defacto monopoly on where farmers have to now go to get seed stock and what they could be forced to pay for said seed stock in the future. And this applies even if the farmer never actually purchased any seed stock from Monsanto but was unlucky enough to have planted where the guy next door did purchase Monsanto seed stock and his crops were pollenated from his neighbor's fields. As long as a genetic test shows the presence of Monsanto genes in even a single sample, then he could be at risk of losing his entire crop or be forced to pay a royalty to Monsanto.

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: 3d printers

Forget the Frankenfood.

Your own genes are being patented right now.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
I'm sure trying to persue every possible user of illegal seed will happen the same way as trying to persue every illegal copy of music. It may take a little time, but it will get away from them.

The other aspect might happen if a specific bug is created (manmade or natural) that attacks only genes in these seeds. Mass food shortages would soon ruin there good name.

The only ways I know of to protect intelectual property are, make the price cheep so it is not worth black marketing, or keep making the old one obsolete to change ahead of the black market.

Humm, a printer that prints it's own parts, combined with an arm to assemble it's duplicates.

### RE: 3d printers

In the Monsanto case, as often in America, justice went to the highest bidder.

There are seed banks charged with storing samples of everything that can be gathered so as to maintain the potential of genetic diversity, but if the monoculture Armageddon hits, it will take a while to propagate those reserve seeds into crops of usable quantity, during which time, er, we will all eat cake.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

### RE: 3d printers

Uuuugh Mike, what is cake made from?
B.E.

### RE: 3d printers

Precisely.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

### RE: 3d printers

#### Quote:

Tell that to the people who started 'Napster'.

Apparently you aren't aware of The Pirate Bay. Peer to peer file sharing didn't end with Napster, it just evolved past the ability for legal entities to track it, through decentralized magnet links and distributed hash tables. The only thing that really keeps it in check, honestly, is the chance of picking up very nasty viruses.

#### Quote:

And speaking of what is and what is not illegal 'content', the Supreme Court has just ruled that it's unlawful for a farmer to set aside a portion of his harvest each year for use as seed stock for the following planting season if the original seed stock contained patented genetic material

Actually, no, they didn't rule that. I'm no Montsanto fan, but the ruling on this case wasn't at all about farmers saving seed, it was about a farmer who intentionally saved Montsanto Roundup Ready seed, in violation of his contractual agreement with Montsanto. The guy had a bunch of seed from different sources all mixed up, some small portion of which was Montsanto Roundup Ready, and he planted it, and ROUNDUPED IT, to kill off all the non-Montsanto plants. Then he stockpiled the resultant seed in a grain elevator, and planted off that. It was intentional, willful, manipulation of his own crop to distill out the Montsanto RR seed so he could plant it without paying Montsanto.

That case, in fact, has quite a lot of bearing to the thread. It could in fact be used as a legal test case for future 3d printing suits. If someone buys a tail light cover that has a US Patent, and copies it exactly, and replicates it with a 3d printer, then he'd be infringing on patent law. That's basically what this particular farmer did.

Now, I have heard of other cases where Montsanto went after farmers who were accidentally replanting Montsanto seed, but I can't seem to find any reference to them recently. Does anyone have a link? Montsanto's website says they only sue ten farmers a year, and only take one a year to court.

Again, no Montsanto fan, but I'd like a better case to ground my dislike of them than the one from a few days ago. That guy was just being an ass.

#### Quote:

Mass food shortages would soon ruin there good name.

You are aware that they are also the company that invented Agent Orange and DDT, right? I don't think they really care about their name.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: 3d printers

The original Roundup Ready patent expires in 2014. Through some dubious legal fast talking, they're claiming that the patent protection might go a couples years beyond the expiration of their patent.

And of course they've made a new variation (RR Mark 2) that comes with a fresh patent.

But the original will be public domain shortly.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Both DDT and agent orange did what they were supose to do. In the case of DDT, I believe much of the side effects were made up in the wrighting of the book "Silent Spring". Agent orange was mainly sold to the military who probally never asked about side effects. It also might not of been approved by the regulatory agencies, after all very few people want to deforrest large areas.

And the point of trying to ban any product, is to see that less of it is produced. In many cases the higher cost of the product (money, time, energy, etc.)will not be enough to completly reduce the number produced to zero. In the case of tail light covers, there are alternitives, although they may not look as nice. Which is the point of paying such high cost for one. But that dosen't stop people from using an alternitive. At one point there were more than a million of any one type of tail light cover made (except for the tail light of the volt), so I would assume the initial cost of designing them would have been paid for.
If the initial design has been paid for, and sales should be declining on each model, so why is the price so high? The cost to manufacture fewer and fewer should start to become prohibitive, and will cease at some point, where if the design could be sold to 3D printer shops, the number of sales could continue to the designer (company), at a lower payback, and lower cost to the consumer.

The whole point is older, and smaller sales items could still be available to consumers, with little fear of mass produced copies because of limited number of consumers desireing them. Sort of like limited coping of 1930's music, but still making it available to consumers.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
I saw a simular article on the Fox web site.

I hope it works better than the old coffe machines, you know coffie, sugar, cream, then comes the empty cup.

### RE: 3d printers

Another reason why I've NEVER had a cup of coffee in my life...

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: 3d printers

(OP)
Do 3D scanners work with clear or nearly clear objects?

I recently saw a coworker trying to fill his water bottle with ice, but the ice machine could not see that the IR beam was broken so it would not deliver ice.

Do the 3D copyiers make everything just a little bit smaller than the origonal to keep you from copying coins?

### RE: 3d printers

Highly relevant!

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)
Gee neat, print yourself an army to place in your final resting place. Only out of plastic, and not tera cota.

### RE: 3d printers

(OP)

I still see this as a way to reduce parts inventory of plastic, and maybe metal, parts.

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