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Engineering Materials

Seismic Shifts in the 3D Printing Industry

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Ann R. Thryft   9/30/2013 12:17:24 PM
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Thanks for that reasoned and balanced observation, Greg. I agree that the markets and marketing strategies looks quite different for ink printing vs 3D printing.

Greg M. Jung
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Greg M. Jung   9/28/2013 11:26:33 PM
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In my humble opinion, I don't see the big printer companies making a big play into 3D printing right now.  Even though 3D printing is hitting the general public, it is still a very small niche market compared to the huge volumes that these companies like to sell.  Also, traditional laser, inkjet and thermal printing technology is very mature at this point and hasn't evolved much over the past several years (whereas 3D printing technology still is evolving).  At this point, addititive printing technology doesn't fit their traditional, high-volume market strategies.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Ann R. Thryft   8/7/2013 12:04:25 PM
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TJ, I haven't heard a whisper of anything coming into 3D printing from traditional printer makers. It's a very different set of technologies and materials. OTOH, you'd think at least one of them would be trying something and if they are, they're probably good at keeping it under wraps.

Jim_E
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Jim_E   8/7/2013 9:08:06 AM
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I'm looking forward to the future, but I suppose that I need to learn some 3D drafting skills! 

I remember seeing my first 3D printer in college around 1990-1991.  Our plastics engineering department (one of the best in the country) had a massive machine that used a laser to fuse layer by layer of some clear liquid, and the platter lowered as each layer was made.  They had it located in a shop by a window, and you could watch the thing work and it was so fascinating.

They also said that the liquid used was dangerous to touch, so you had to make sure that the parts were washed before touching them.  They told us that the liquid had some odd property that it wouldn't irritate you the first time that you touched it, but that your next exposure would cause skin irritation.  I thought that was odd, but I didn't try touching the liquid!

 

TJ McDermott
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Re: High speed 3D printing
TJ McDermott   8/6/2013 11:19:21 PM
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Ann, have there been ANY hints of action in this field from traditional printer giants like HP, Epson, or Canon?  I'm frankly surprised not to have heard their names mentioned even once.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Ann R. Thryft   8/6/2013 7:26:19 PM
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Thanks for that vote of confidence, Chuck, especially coming from you.



Charles Murray
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Charles Murray   8/6/2013 6:44:33 PM
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I agree, Ann. To me, the Microsoft Windows announcement was the biggest sign yet that this technology is entering the mainstream.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D Printing
Ann R. Thryft   8/6/2013 5:50:06 PM
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Al, there's so much going on in this industry that I'm covering some of it all in one blog, like this one. I agree, the interaction among providers, users and technologies will jumpstart this set of technologies and push it into the next generation.

apresher
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3D Printing
apresher   8/6/2013 5:43:10 PM
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Ann,  Thanks for the update. These kinds of developments, advanced materials and partnerships are what it will take for 3D printing to go to the next level in terms of services and marketplace reach.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: High speed 3D printing
Ann R. Thryft   8/6/2013 12:56:31 PM
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Thanks, Rob. I find much of this amazing myself, so I'm happy to share.
3D printing actually began back in 1988/1989 for prototypes, not long after PCs became ubiquitous and only a few years after the first Mac. I think it's also important to remember that there's more than one technology used in 3D printing and that there are even others under the wider umbrella of additive manufacturing (AM). They have somewhat different histories and evolutionary paths.
That said, the technology overall has certainly been experiencing a period of intense growth and change in just the last year as many techniques and ideas and applications all come together.



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