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Engineering Materials

Slideshow: 3D Printing Multiple Materials, Colors & Textures Gets Closer

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TJ McDermott
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Science Fiction
TJ McDermott   10/1/2013 9:31:00 AM
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Ann, the single biggest problem science fiction authors face is that of being superceded by the real world.

It's so difficult for them to accurately predict how fast technology will progress.

Home fabbers are NOT that far away from reality, are they?

Elizabeth M
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Re: Science Fiction
Elizabeth M   10/1/2013 10:48:43 AM
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Great slideshow, Ann. It's pretty incredible how quickly this technology is moving ahead.

Charles Murray
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Re: Science Fiction
Charles Murray   10/1/2013 5:45:47 PM
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I agree, TJ. This might be one of the those rare situations in which technology migrates up, instead of trickling down.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Science Fiction
Ann R. Thryft   10/1/2013 7:30:28 PM
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Totally, TJ! At least that's sure true right now. A lot of today's wild and crazy tech was first dreamed up back when it seemed so unlikely to ever be realized. Makes me think many more sci-fi fans have been engineers than I ever dreamed, don't you think?
And didn't you mean replicators? :)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Science Fiction
Ann R. Thryft   10/1/2013 7:41:08 PM
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Thanks, Elizabeth. Isn't this awesome and fun!?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Science Fiction
Ann R. Thryft   10/1/2013 7:41:54 PM
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Chuck, interesting idea. I think we're in a period where there's a lot of interaction and convergence among multiple technologies that have "evolved" to a certain point, combined with much more communication among people globally enabled by internet platforms like Kickstarter and Dragon Innovation, as well as partnerships between industry and university labs at MIT, Harvard, Caltech and Stanford, among others. It reminds me somewhat of the mid to late 90s when wireless plus handheld consumer electronics plus the Web were converging, but even more so because of the added factors of entrepreneurs and Kickstarter.



Elizabeth M
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Re: Science Fiction
Elizabeth M   10/2/2013 4:49:20 AM
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Haha, your enthusiasm for the technology is contagious, Ann. I feel the same way, even though I've never experienced it up close and personal, and I wish I had the money and technical knowhow to take advantage of some of these new innovations!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Science Fiction
Ann R. Thryft   10/2/2013 7:49:07 PM
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Since I'm not designing products, I think the main thing that still attracts me is the magic box "wow" aspect, and that's been true since I saw photos of the first SLA demo by 3D Systems back in 1988. But I'm also intrigued by what all this can do for design engineers and manufacturing OEMs.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Science Fiction
Elizabeth M   10/3/2013 3:31:51 AM
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Yes, I agree, Ann, the technology itself is fascinating enough, but the potential for it is even more amazing. When people talk about 3D printing as potentially being as disruptive as the Internet, I think they may be on to something.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Science Fiction
Ann R. Thryft   10/3/2013 10:48:56 AM
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At first I thought that statement was hype. But since I began covering this subject in more depth, I agree with it. Actually, I think we're in a period where there's a lot of interaction and convergence among multiple technologies that have "evolved" to a certain point, combined with much more communication among people globally enabled by internet platforms like Kickstarter and Dragon Innovation, as well as partnerships between industry and university labs at MIT, Harvard, Caltech and Stanford, among others. It reminds me somewhat of the mid to late 90s when wireless plus handheld consumer electronics plus the Web were converging, but more so because of entrepreneurs and Kickstarter.

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