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Engineering Materials

3D Printing Needs to Open Up

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benmlee
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Re: Printer model
benmlee   6/3/2014 6:49:18 PM
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Remember, you don't always have to buy from the well known brands. There are ones like Deezmaker I have that is open source. Both the software and the machine is open source. Your choice of material is infinite. There is SLA, ABS, Nylon, rubber like and even water soluable.

The only catch is each new material you use, you have to adjust the speed, temperature etc to get it right. With matched material, is press a button and go. Takes a little more time and patience with the open source machine, and you end up knowing much more about the process of 3D printing.

benmlee
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Re: Printer model
benmlee   6/3/2014 6:38:25 PM
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" including HP, I once tried the alternate-sourced/manufactured ink cartridges, as well as the refillables, and was sorely disappointed in the incredibly bad quality. Now I only buy brand stuff. Which, of course, sucks."

That is why you buy Canon printers. The use liquid ink resevoir, and you refill yourself. Mine is five years old, and has been refilled many many times. $20 for a refill kit. Another $15 for this device that resets the volume gauge on the cartridge. Just be aware ink is way less viscous than water. Splash from a drop goes far. Don't do it on an antique table top. 

AnandY
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Re: Printer model
AnandY   5/27/2014 1:49:13 PM
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The 3D printing really needs to open up to its end users. This is because it will really make work easier and efficient for people plus it will increase the production level and make work much more efficient. Engineers should work more on the design tools, they should make sure that they use the best that they can find out there, they should also look at all the business models that have been presented and see which model will be most effective   plus they should also look at the applications that are being used in the printers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Printer model
Ann R. Thryft   5/22/2014 11:32:40 AM
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Good examples of this phenomenon, Liz. I've seen lots of them, mostly in hardware, like modem technology. Rockwell went from owning 99% of the data modem market to owning very little of it after all that external hardware and software got simplified and stuck into first a chipset and then a single chip. That progression happened with several telecom/datacom technologies.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Printer model
Elizabeth M   5/22/2014 5:10:42 AM
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Yes, Ann, it sort of makes me think when I covered software many years ago and Java had just come out. It was somewhat proprietary and somewhat open, but at least it was more open than what was already available so a lot of developers switched from C++ to Java because it wasn't tied so much to a vendor. And then of course there was Linux, which was open source, and the adoption of that versus Unix, which wasn't. It's interesting to watch other technologies follow these similar models.

Ann R. Thryft
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Ann R. Thryft   5/21/2014 1:12:52 PM
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Thanks for that well thought-out comment, Clint. I think we've all been conditioned as users of (semiconductors and) consumer electronics to expect rapid tech "evolution" that gets us better and cheaper in fairly fast, short steps. OTOH, that very phenomenon keeps happening so our expectations are understandable. But so much of a 3D printer, regardless of its technology, has little to do with electronics; those subsystems don't, and can't, "evolve" in the same ways, or as fast.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Printer model
Ann R. Thryft   5/21/2014 1:04:24 PM
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Liz, this is a common trend in technology, but the owners of the proprietary tech always fight like mad to keep it that way, since their margins are a lot higher. BTW, this is the same basic message Vicari gave us in last year's report.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Printer model
Ann R. Thryft   5/21/2014 1:00:50 PM
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Lou, good example of the razor/blade selling model. This is the most common example used to make the materials point in the 3D printing market, and the most easily graspable, I think.
As an owner of several inkjet printers, including HP, I once tried the alternate-sourced/manufactured ink cartridges, as well as the refillables, and was sorely disappointed in the incredibly bad quality. Now I only buy brand stuff. Which, of course, sucks.

CLMcDade
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Re: re
CLMcDade   5/20/2014 11:24:28 AM
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....  O.K.  Pause over.  Pop the hinge pins and let's replace those open doors with these new, improved ones I made on my Rapid Prototype machine.

CLMcDade
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RE:
CLMcDade   5/20/2014 11:19:53 AM
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Nice post, Ann.  

As Elizabeth pointed out, your article took a fresh approach to a subject that is very well covered in the press.

I agree that the opening up of proprietary materials control would probably lead to greater proliferation of machines and applications. And prices will come down as expected.

However, I had to chuckle at how greedy we are as consumers and manufacturers.  Just 5 years ago, my options for prototyping a concept were limited, very expensive and not necessarily representative of the end performance (due to lack of material choices or properties inherent to the prototyping process).

Yesterday, I ordered two prototypes to be made of polypropylene and colored matched for $400 with a three day delivery.  These parts will behave like the production parts and will be used for performance evaluation, ergonomic evaluation and customer approval.

The fact that the equipment allowing that to happen is expensive is, well, something to be carefully considered.  Its expense has to be weighed against 1) the possibilities that have been opened up; 2) the quality of the prototypes versus previous options; 3) the savings in design development time; 4) the possible evaluations allowed by the new quality.

Eventually the business model will evolve.  And it will have to in order for the technology to fluorish.  But I thought we should pause for a second and enjoy the doors that the current technology and business models have opened for us.

 

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