The Objet1000, the world's largest 3D printer as of December 2012, has a work envelope of 1,000mm x 800mm x 500mm at a 16 micron resolution. This image shows the scale of the Objet1000, definitely not something for the living room hobbyist.
The flimsy factor is a good point, Cabe. The prototyping aspect is attractive but you're right, when they reach the next level and support more sturdy materials printing then things will really get interesting.
Do these fiends of yours just want to make prototypes? How will that pay for itself, for them? I find it hard to imagine that they have machine shops build them prototypes all the time. Hence, where all the savings comes from.
Interesting article. I find the possibilities of 3D printing really exciting. It's amazing what can be printed now with the growing sophistication of this technology...it seems like the sky is the limit. It also helps companies cut costs and even may even the playing field for smaller companies that can't afford to outsource big printing jobs but may be able to afford the technology to do it themselves.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.