3D Printing: Not nearly as awesome as you might think

Discussion in 'Non Sci-fi Debates' started by DonBosco, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. DanTheVanMan

    DanTheVanMan Using Google-fu to bring sources to debates! Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    You use fundamentalist DOOM sites that the rest of us can disprove their hypothesis with about 5 minutes of googleing.

    "Oh that's not a gun, its a picture of a gun - done in crayon. Had me worried for a second there." :rolleyes:

    DonBosco's DOOM at least relies on unlikely market failure of a developing industry. "These horseless carriages will never catch on!" :p
  2. Eisen

    Eisen Reason by default

    As long as that is the only option, there's going to be a fairly high lower price on a run.

    There's a big difference between having something that must run on a million dollar machine (for which a person with a small project can't even afford the set up cost); and having 10's of thousands of low quality machines in homes and businesses, and thousands of mid quality machines in businesses, schools, and Kinkos type establishments, and dozens of larger high quality machines. The difference isn't in the number, as much as the approach to use, as something that is used by an everybody class like Photoshop rather than a small professional class like graphic design 30 years ago. The availability of printers, the quality of the everyone has access printers, and the skills needed to use them feed off each other.

    This doesn't mean that the professional quality users and equipment won't do a better job, but I see enough of a niche (and one with growth potential) for it not to be a fad.
  3. The Last One

    The Last One Angel of Cynicism

    I think you're overstating the need for quality here a little bit, particularly as prices come down. $500 for a cool novelty item to show your friends is on the high end, but not completely unreasonable. IF the novelty factor can sustain the home 3-D printing market for long enough that the average home unit becomes "good enough" for the day-to-day stuff then it seems reasonable that 3-D printing will end up similar to paper printing. You've got the small house units printing novelties & other disposables (Especially if you can melt down old stuff to make material for the new stuff), the print-shop equivalents for stuff you can't achieve at home and the big manufacturer's doing stuff in bulk.

    It all rides on that novelty market at the moment, IMO. If the home stuff doesn't become "good enough" & "cheap enough" before the novelty wears out, then I wouldn't be surprised to see it end up like T-Shirt printing.
  4. Palp

    Palp Not badass enough.

    This is like saying pirates should be sad that they can not write their own games and programs.
  5. Million dollar machine was an exaggeration, my point is your $500 home machine is not going to be useful for anything except printing low resolution warhammer models and plastic clips. And that to print anything useful it's going to require a commercial grade machine out of reach for 99% of the population.

    I'm struggling to come up with any "day to day" stuff that a 3D printer would make easier. Outside the hobbyist market, we have little need for cheap crappy plastic figures that require no assembly and have no moving parts.

    It's like you said, this will probably go the way of T-Shirt printing, where everyone buys them from stores even though relatively cheap machines to print them at home exists.
  6. What are you trying to build with a 1 thou tolerance? Also at the scale a light polishing job will make up any oversize parts.
  7. The Last One

    The Last One Angel of Cynicism

    To be honest, I'm the same. It's pretty much all knick-knacks, gifts & plates/glasses/etc. Then again, I remember a number of people justifying colour inkjets or even colour dot matrix on the basis that they could use it to print customised greeting cards or that it would help their children's grades by printing colour assignments. If Billy can print off a doodad that he made for Grandma's birthday in a day for a low enough price, I can see a market for them at home, but it's a huge IF.

    Moving parts, electronics and "quicker than the post" printing will be a killer app, but that's such a long way off it's not funny.
  8. Atreides

    Atreides Weak to moe

    Not so low resolution. A RepRap in the $500 range can do 0.08mm (that's about 3 thou) layers and that gives some impressive results, like this Yoda head. And this pictures are from a different print using an Ultimaker, with 0.075mm layers (the detail is next to a finger, compare the grooves of the fingerprint to the layers):



    It also requires a lot of patience and fine tuning, so that resolution is still only for the hardcore hobbyist.

    And yes, the Yoda head is the standard 3D printer demo. Don't ask.
  9. foamy

    foamy Solidarity. Banned

    WTF dude. Lots of people had printers in 1993.
  10. So we're talking about printing objects with low mechanical properties made of a low number of materials with an average degree of precision for the near-future instead of printing a complex objects?

    That was known, nothing new under the Sun.
  11. What the hell is he doing, clamping directly on the part? You don't do that with Titanium/Nickle alloys, let alone PLASTIC.
  12. Username Redacted

    Username Redacted Spacebattles Historian

    For one thing, you can't pirate a physical object.
  13. But the only things worth pirating are shit like warhammer figures, your $500 printer can't print anything more complex.

    That's a very small market.

    That just reinforces my point though. It took a lot of time finetuning a printer to print what is essentially a tiny plastic figure. I'm sure it'll be great if you're a big time warhammer enthusiast who doesn't want to pay through the nose to GW but that's not your average consumer.
  14. Username Redacted

    Username Redacted Spacebattles Historian

    That's a fair point, but as 3d printers improve, I'd imagine that would change.

    There's also legos, for those of us who like to actually have fun. :p
  15. Strange; all the news I read daily about 3D printing covers how it already can (or will very shortly) print out things like advanced multi property plastics, glass, metals, concrete, high speed nano scale precision, body parts, organs, food, clothing, electronics, houses, cars, airplanes, advanced complex components with moving parts, etc, etc...the list just keeps on going.

    Anyone who proposes absurd notions like '3D printers cannot print out complex components with movable parts' is living in the dark ages, technologically speaking. The capabilities and advances of 3D printers going on in the background (as in not sitting on your local store shelf or readily available via online ordering) are mind blowing and very exciting.
  16. RRoan

    RRoan Rocket Queen

    You know what I love? People who pretend that all 3d printing is the same.

  17. foamy

    foamy Solidarity. Banned

    I'm still waiting on the batteries you promised me three years ago. :(
    DonBosco likes this.
  18. But that's like saying not all computers are the same! :eek::p
  19. Avernus

    Avernus Abomination

    No, there's all sorts of little things that break or are lost and could be replaced by a 3d printer with the right pattern, and you won't even necessarily need to "pirate" it if the manufacturer publishes the specifications.

  20. I've never replaced enough simple little plastic parts for it to be worth investing in a 3D printer that may or may not get the job done.
  21. Username Redacted

    Username Redacted Spacebattles Historian

    Jay Leno has. :p
  22. PeaceKeeper_Cmdr

    PeaceKeeper_Cmdr Pimping for Justice

    We all want a magic Santa Claus machine in our garage that will make us anything we want. But that isn't going to happen any time soon.

    To me, the far more interesting (and near future) possibility is the "local 3D print shop", like a contemporary copy shop. Small print runs with expensive equipment operated by professionals, who can provide support when something I design doesn't turn out the way I hoped. I don't particular want to buy, operate, and maintain a 3D printer in my home, I want to pay somebody to do it for me on the rare occassions that I require it.

    I don't want or need to own a Xerox machine, I just want access to one.
  23. This, so much this. Most people still go to the store to print photographs.