HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
CAD/CAM Corner

iRobot Takes Humans out of 3D Printing Equation

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: So my Ifactory project is a good idea?
Cabe Atwell   4/9/2013 5:50:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Perhaps we will have a "Jetsons" future where people will say, "These 3 hour work weeks are killing me."

I believe most factory workers replaced by bots will end up in the service industry, like in restaurants and such. Not the end of the world.

C

TommyH
User Rank
Silver
Re: So my Ifactory project is a good idea?
TommyH   4/5/2013 9:33:25 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree that robots will become the worers of the future. No benifits needed, no salary.  No question of the improvement in margin for manufacturers who utilize robots.

The issue of what will us poor inefficient humans do?  Shorter work weeks then no work at all except for very specialized jobs.  If You think outsourcing creates unemployment wait till you see what happens when robots are everywhere.  The world will have to change and adapt to support the people who will not be able to find jobs.

Just my 2 cents.

 

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: So my Ifactory project is a good idea?
Cabe Atwell   3/18/2013 4:30:39 PM
NO RATINGS
Human error is the biggest problem in the engineering and manufacturing world. Take that out, and gobs of money will be saved.

Even the near slave-labor superstar, Foxconn, is planning to replace their workers with robotics. Though, I think in that area it is to combat rising prices. They will most likely see production yields increase due to the bot intervention. They right there may change the world's approach.

C

garyhlucas
User Rank
Silver
So my Ifactory project is a good idea?
garyhlucas   3/13/2013 9:48:41 PM
NO RATINGS
I posted before about my Ifactory project with my grandson.  It's a manual and CNC 4 axis vertical mill, horizontal mill, horizontal lathe, vertical lathe, Shaper, Cutoff saw, robot, and 3d FDM printer all in one.  It is run by a PC and also has a PLC for more I/O and control of air valves for the grippers and such.

Mechanically I have it almost completely assembled.  The footprint is 3 feet x 5 feet x 6 feet tall (office desk space) fully enclosed with sliding plexiglas doors.  The work space is a 30 inch cube and the machine travels are 18" x 18" x 18".

Electrically I have nearly all the cables routed. Wow there are lot of cables!  5 motion Axis, limit switches, extruder heater and fan, heated printer build table, and two spindles, one DC speed control, the other is motion controlled for 4 axis milling or ridgid tapping.  Both spindles have two mounting locations on the moving axis, or on the work table, so extra wiring is need for that.  I also have the two control panels, one for AC power wiring, the other for DC motion control assembled and ready to install in the enclosures.  Final wiring will take a couple of days labor.

So with the exception of automatic tool changing it is all pretty much there.

Gary H. Lucas

Zippy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Evolutionary?
Zippy   3/13/2013 2:39:27 PM
NO RATINGS
RichQ, I agree with your assesment, both on the exciting prospects for 3D manufacturing and on the unliklihood of this patent being granted.  Obviousness will prevent a broad patent from issuing, and even a narrow approval of the first claim as listed limits the patent to using two six-axis heads.  Any configuration outside this specific configuration wouldn't be covered. Can't blame iRobot for trying, but in a weird way this application becomes prior art to make subsequent frivolous claims by others invalid by equivalence.

RichQ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Evolutionary?
RichQ   3/13/2013 2:00:34 PM
NO RATINGS
The patent issue was my first thought. What, exactly, is it that they are patenting? The idea of a robot that does all these manufacturing steps? How is that something not within the current state of the art? Perhaps the control software would be patentable, but not the idea of the robot itself, I would think.

It is a very exciting idea, and such a device would be a useful tool, but doesn't seem like it should be patentable. (But then, neither do rounded corners.) I'd be concerned that a patent would stiffle the industry, not promote it.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Robots added to 3D printing systems
Ann R. Thryft   3/13/2013 1:00:38 PM
NO RATINGS
William has a good point--the cost of adding robotics is not small. How much cost will depend on how cleverly existing tech is applied.

btwolfe
User Rank
Platinum
Evolutionary?
btwolfe   3/13/2013 10:18:21 AM
NO RATINGS
As everybody seems to agree, this is a logical progression of technology, which would imply that perhaps it doesn't deserve a patent, but it's far more deserving than, say, rounded corners on cell phones. I suspect that this system will probably be in the lab for some time to come if it's got multi-degree-of-freedom manipulators in the system. Those components are far more complex that the xyz print mechanisms inherent in typical 3D printers. For example, standard milling machine pricing goes up substatially when you add more than three axes because it becomes geometrically more dificult to maintain tolerances with each added DOF.

As for the model verification aspect of the patent, Stratasys already offers a 3D scanning system for turning real-world objects into 3D models that can be subsequently printed, so I'd expect iRobot's system to use the same tech for inspecting the parts for quality.


Overall, it sounds like the resulting product will be really complex and probably expensive, but I'd still love to work on the design and make it work. Sounds like an engineer's (at least to me) dream project.

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Evolution
Bunter   3/13/2013 9:49:56 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi Elizabeth,

Just some thoughts on your question "But what happens to the human workers?".

Without being flippant (I hope, it's not my intent), the answer is "the same thing that happened to candle makers, farriers, blacksmiths..." you get the idea.

All occupations are potentially vulnerable to being replaced by more efficient processes.  We are all distressed by the short term (relatively) pain of the situation, but the long term result is that  these workers are freed up for other endevours and the better process reduces the cost of the product which results in capital being freed up in another area which will provide new jobs. 

The process is counter-intuitive, messy and often painfull.  But it works better than any alternative to date. Some of those displaced will never adjust.  Others will benefit from the situation that know nothing of what happened.  However if we look at the sweep of history industrial/capital age we see overall human kind benefits from the increase in efficiency (compare poverty levels throughout history with the changes in the last few hundred years, capitalism/industrialization has reduced it from the norm in life to an exceptional condition).

Sorry for the lengthy run on this-obviously it is a hobby-horse of mine.

Thanks for listening.

Dennis

Phil Weinberger
User Rank
Iron
Re: Evolution
Phil Weinberger   3/13/2013 9:43:33 AM
NO RATINGS
I for one welcome our new machine overlords!

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from CAD/CAM Corner
Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are getting ready to explode onto the market and it appears all the heavy tech companies are trying to out-develop one another with better features than their competition. Fledgling start-up Vrvana has joined the fray.
A Tokyo company, Miraisens Inc., has unveiled a device that allows users to move virtual 3D objects around and "feel" them via a vibration sensor. The device has many applications within the gaming, medical, and 3D-printing industries.
While every company might have their own solution for PLM, Aras Innovator 10 intends to make PLM easier for all company sizes through its customization. The program is also not resource intensive, which allows it to be appropriated for any use. Some have even linked it to the Raspberry Pi.
solidThinking updated its Inspire program with a multitude of features to expedite the conception and prototype process. The latest version lets users blend design with engineering and manufacturing constraints to produce the cheapest, most efficient design before production.
XYZ, Rabbit, and Disney innovate on the 3d printer in different ways -- from price point to using materials such as yarn.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service