ervin0072002, I agree on that business model, at least for the low-end machines. But it will take time before volumes are high enough for that model to work. Meanwhile, the high-end machines, such as the one in this article, are an entirely different animal: they're more like a capital equipment purchase.
I promise you that if 3D printers cost sub 200usd I would buy one and so would any one that can use the software. I just wish the price would get to that point faster. The manufacturers of these printers need to realize that selling the cartridges and printing materials will make them more money than the printers themselves. Sell the devices at cost and wait for the returns on the materials.
This is an exciting development in the world of 3D printing for sure and will certainly cut costs and provide more productivity for auto makers as it moves into the mainstream. As this is the work of European researchers, do you think the U.S. would embrace this sort of thing, too?
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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