CAD/CAM Corner

3D Printing Shapes Factory of the Future

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Beth Stackpole
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Re: no inventory
Beth Stackpole   10/26/2012 1:30:39 PM
@PrintGuyInk: Definitely agree with your scenario. I think as the costs of these printers come down and the functionality gets better and cleaner, you will definitely see them set up in stores to produce certain types of goods on a mass customization, not mass production, basis.

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Re: no inventory
etmax   10/26/2012 10:46:44 PM
For the monment, I think we are all deluding ourselves for the one simple reason that printing something at a resolution that compares with an injection molded or machined part takes a very very long time.

I've had stuff done on a $60,000 Dimension 3D printer that while great for demonstrating a concept was no where near the quality of a milled part.

I recently had a job quoted and milling was cheaper.

The finer the resolution needed, the slower the printing becomes, where as with traditional milling you just change tools to do course or fine bits.

Don't get me wrong, this technology definitely has its place but until we have intantaneous replicator technology ala Startrek, a 50c part out of an injection molding die in 5 seconds will trump a $5 printed part in 1 hour out of a 3D printer. Basically we have production = (conventional + inventory) and prototype = (maybe 3D)


Well now at least :-)

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dougspair   10/27/2012 1:52:17 AM
I've been watching the advances in 3-D printing for about 20 years. Although there will likely be a time it's used for mass production, it was originally, and still is for the most part, considered a means for rapid prototyping. One of the first solid object modeling units I saw was using a sort of paper and layered at around .003", the 'model' was the USS Enterprise starship. At the Machine tool show, next to the 'paper' unit was a polymer liquid/laser curing machine with about 10x10x8" capacity. This was in about 1994, even then resolution was quite good at about .002".

  Pretty impressive even then, and there never was meant to be a comparison to milling or other types of machining.

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Re: Stereo-lithograpgy
grneggandsam   4/2/2013 10:03:31 AM
What they need to do i make a 3d printer that can print molds for rapid production.  Could they use a welding gun, layering the metal like the plastic is layered, to produce molds for rotational molding or plastic injection molds?  would that make it more feasible?

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