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Engineering Materials
Metals 3D Printer Gets a Smaller Footprint
6/25/2013

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Optomec's original, large 850-R system is used for making final production parts or prototypes, and repairing metallic components, such as this casing.   (Source: Optomec)
Optomec's original, large 850-R system is used for making final production parts or prototypes, and repairing metallic components, such as this casing.
(Source: Optomec)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
Ann R. Thryft   6/28/2013 12:44:11 PM
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What I found more compelling was the concept of self-assembly and self-reconfiguration, rather than the lego-like MIT digital materials in the link I gave before: http://cba.mit.edu/docs/papers/06.09.digital_materials.pdf Was this the MIT digital materials you referred to? If not, can you tell us what you were referring to?

NadineJ
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
NadineJ   6/28/2013 9:36:14 AM
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78RPM-thanks for jumping in.  The "lego" assembly that you're referring to isn't what I heard about in Dublin.  But, what was discussed may not be online.

It involved using 3D printers and assemblage to have machines create machines from data.  It was more Matrix 3/Animatrix than Transformers.

78RPM
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
78RPM   6/28/2013 9:27:24 AM
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NadineJ -- I think the "more compelling" concept is a matter of timeline. The MIT papers do like digital assembly similar to Lego blocks. An article in Wired in recent months discussed a method being used to construct skyscrapers in China in two weeks using a modular approach.

We have seen the open software approach be applied to hardware in the Arduino and BeagleBone and the modular shields we stack upon them. Xerox PARC has done work on 3D printing of circuit boards.  These concepts are making traction in the marketplace already.

Ann's earlier article http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=261138 seems to be more futuristic where objects act like (maybe become?) living organisms and adapt their shape and purpose to the environmental need at hand.  Science fiction such as the Transformers movies always inspires invention of the future.

etmax
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
etmax   6/28/2013 6:06:27 AM
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Of course we do :-)

etmax
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Re: Start of a Trend?
etmax   6/28/2013 6:05:45 AM
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Interesting that a company which made its name spending money on the R&D to make FDM printers now wants to just buy grow really big which usually results in less R&D and in general innovation. Sad.

NadineJ
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
NadineJ   6/27/2013 11:37:19 PM
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Ann - I'm a little confused.  Which do you find more compelling?  The article you wrote or the MIT research?  I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
Ann R. Thryft   6/27/2013 6:10:12 PM
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Nadine, I googled "MIT digital materials" and came up with several links that seem to be talking about LEGO-like "printing", although it looks more like assembly to me. At the micron level described in a 2009 paper
http://cba.mit.edu/docs/papers/06.09.digital_materials.pdf
one might be able to call this "digital assembly," but at larger scales that terms seems misleading. Is this what you were referring to?

In any case, it seems to be related to self-assembled and self-reconfigurable devices and materials, on several scales, which DN covered here:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=261138
and which I find much more compelling.




Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Start of a Trend?
Ann R. Thryft   6/27/2013 3:40:21 PM
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It's important to remember that the technology for SLS with metals and with plastic is not the same, so it's not a matter of a 3D printer company using one line of printers for either materials set. It's also a really different expertise set. So far, plastic-based companies like Stratasys are partnering with metals-based companies like Optomec, and 3D Systems has bought the expertise.

NadineJ
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Re: Start of a Trend? -- No
NadineJ   6/27/2013 3:07:58 PM
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That's true.  3D printed plastic jewelry has been around for almost a decade.  I think most people who have heard of 3D printing realize it's beyond jewelry but they still think it's plastics only.

Pubudu
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Re: Start of a Trend?
Pubudu   6/27/2013 2:38:36 PM
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Yes shehan this will be allow people to take the full advantage of CAD & CAM 

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