This 3D printed guitar, one of the many creations of Derek Manson, director at the one.61 product development firm, sports a body made from a polycarbonate polymer along with a central core, which is CNC-machined from wood. (Source: one.61)
I also know that some of this 3D printing is going to make it possible to make things that otherwise would not be able to be machined. I still feel the loss of hands on knowledge will just get exponentially worse.
Beth, this 3-D printing world is very exciting!! I'm a older mechanical engineer and glad to see the next generation of designers freed from the time we old timers spent learning to be competent at welding, machining, layout, and assembly.
There's a whole new kind of manufacturing world about to happen. How rare it is and how lucky we are to be right at the cusp of such an industrial revolution.
In addition to the excitement, revolutionary changes give more choices. At least for a little while there will still be places for the old style "make and assemble" craftsman as well as for the new 3-D printer-designer.
3D printing has already changed the game, and the change is really just beginning. What we are approaching is an era of " If you can dream it and if you can draw it, then you can make it", which is approachng fantastic. Of course, materials are still the limiting factor, a reality that has not changed for hundreds of years. But I am convinced that in the near future somebody is going to put some of that sintered steel powder into some sort of 3D printing machine and make some nice 3D parts. OF course, until it can deliver the same surfaces and accuracies as a good machinist, we will still need machinists, and probably CNC wizards as well. A CNC wizard needs to know everything that an expert machinist knows, plus programming, but they don't need quite as steady hands. But CNC following a good 3D printer should be able to produce whatever can be designed. Quite likely not cheap enough, but certainly cheaper than before.
The problem, as always, will be finding an adequate source of unobtainium. That stuff is hard to get.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is