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Materials & Assembly
3D Print Your Own Personal Electronics
12/14/2012

A conductive thermoplastic can be used with low-cost, hobbyist 3D printers to produce complete, customized electronic devices, such as this computer game controller.
  (Source: University of Warwick)
A conductive thermoplastic can be used with low-cost, hobbyist 3D printers to produce complete, customized electronic devices, such as this computer game controller.
(Source: University of Warwick)

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Elizabeth M
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The mind boggles
Elizabeth M   12/14/2012 8:41:58 AM
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Wow, what will be available for 3D printing next--a human being?? :) I'm just kidding, of course, but this story is impressive! Printing sure has come a long way from dot-matrix, hasn't it? Look forward to more developments in this area and the potential for doing this commercially someday. If it progresses I forsee a whole new era of at-home inventions and armchair mad professors being inspired!

tekochip
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Re: The mind boggles
tekochip   12/14/2012 10:46:25 AM
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A human, didn't they try that in "Weird Science"? Getting rid of interconnections would be huge, it really consumes alot of space and cost to run wires around a housing.

BrainiacV
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Re: The mind boggles
BrainiacV   12/17/2012 5:24:24 PM
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I'm looking forward to a bioprinted liver to replace my current transplant when it wears out in about 20 years. It would be nice to get off the expensive immunosuppressant drugs I have to take to prevent rejection.

But why stop with existing organs, why not make a few improvements while we are at it?

I find it interesting that they are talking about including 3D printers on space flights so they can make replacement parts.  Would have come in handy for Apollo 13.

I thought robotics were going to be the future, right now it looks like 3D printing is going to be the transformative technology.

Charles Murray
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Re: The mind boggles
Charles Murray   12/17/2012 6:56:25 PM
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Sounds like you've been reading Raymond Kurzweil's books, BrainiacV. I don't know if any of his predictions involve 3D printing, but the two of you seem to be on the same wavelength. He has written two books on living forever: "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and "Nine Steps to Living Well Forever." Kurzweil's a prolific inventor (notably, the Kurzweil reader) and, it should be mentioned, former Design News Engineer of the Year.

BrainiacV
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Re: The mind boggles
BrainiacV   12/18/2012 9:13:19 AM
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Nah, I'm waiting for him to create the Singularity.  Now that he is at Google, he should have the storage capacity to upload his brain. :-)

Although I think my method has a better chance of working

http://www.rostenbach.com/fiction/ghost_in_the_works.htm

Charles Murray
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Re: The mind boggles
Charles Murray   12/18/2012 6:33:14 PM
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I suspected you were a Kurzweil follower, BrainiacV. For those who want to know more about Kurzweil joining Google, see EE Times' story from yesterday here:

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4403535/Kurzweil-joins-Google-as-director-of-engineering-

notarboca
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Re: The mind boggles
notarboca   1/31/2013 9:45:57 PM
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I believe that in 20 years, we will be 3D printing organs like the liver, pancreas, etc. I thought robotics would be transformative, and it is in biomechanical medical procedures, but 3D printing is certainly leading the pack.

Cadman-LT
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Great article
Cadman-LT   12/14/2012 10:50:04 AM
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Great article! I love how fast this 3D printing is evolving. I wish they had tech like this when I went to college.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   12/14/2012 1:11:57 PM
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Thanks, everyone--isn't this fun? I think it was only a matter of time once the industry achieved the ability to "print" flexible electronics via lithography, as DN has covered in the past: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=249722

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   12/14/2012 1:36:27 PM
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I can only imagine how cool it is for college students(and maybe even high school) to be able to design something and have it come to life. 

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   12/17/2012 12:39:52 PM
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Cadman-LT, I agree. Its an awesome feeling to be able to think of a design and within several minutes see it materialize before your eyes. Neil Gershenfeld's vision of Fab Labs has definitely transformed into opportunities he could only imagine. The Manufacturing of the Future is alive and it fits nicely on a desktop.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 8:42:05 AM
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Yep, and it keeps getting better by the day! That technology is moving in leaps and bounds to say the least.

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   2/12/2013 11:39:01 AM
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Cadman-LT,  I'm just wondering what great innovations and applications will be developed this year for 3D-printers. I had a discussion with my Control Systems class last  Friday and explained that manufacturing is slowly coming back and 3D printing is the next evolution in this technology movement. Showed a Makerbot Replicator 2 video to connect the dots. They thought the video was pretty awesome.http://www.makerbot.com/

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 12:03:45 PM
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mrdon, I don't know...it's getting pretty crazy what they can do. I just saw a show where they 3D printed a house!! I think it was the walls, but it was amazing. This has come so far in say the last 3 years or so, I can't imagine 10 years from now.

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   3/20/2013 2:12:23 AM
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Cadman-LT, That's the cool thing about tech: its based on imagination and projection into the future. No one knows how the innovation will turn on but the creative process and implementation phase of development is definitely worth the risk!

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   4/10/2013 10:02:55 AM
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I agree. I guess what I was trying to say was.....with the way things are going....you used to need an engineering background to design things....now anyone can do it.....I just hope kids still learn the fundamentals. It's kind of like what I mentioned about calculators, just because it can do the math for you doesn't mean you don't need to know what it's doing.

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   4/19/2013 4:09:47 PM
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Cadman-LT, I agree. I tell my Electrical Engineering Tech students just because you punch a bunch a numbers into a calculator and press the enter key doesn't necessarily give you the correct the answer. The potential answer needs to be checked against the original problem for proper validation.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   5/13/2013 2:03:22 PM
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mrdon, I was wondering something that maybe you can answer for me...being a teacher. Years ago I borrowed some books from a network engineer. Basically they were about policies and directories. Everything I read was stuff I knew....not from books...it's just the way I taught myself. It just made sense to do things that way. I just couldn't understand why someone would have to read a book to know this. So my question is, do some people seem to understand tech better than others? What I read...to me...was common sense...but they had to write these books for a reason. Maybe it's like math, some people just "get it" and some don't.

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   5/14/2013 12:09:03 AM
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Cadman-LT, What I found out in teaching engineering and technology to students is basically some folks have the ability to see complex subjects (ie math), thereby grasping the subject matter with little effort. Then, there are folks who learn by rote method requiring constant practice of the subject matter using reading and self-quizzing techniques for material retention. Last, there are folks who learn by building (tactile) stuff for visualizing the solution to the problem.

Belief it or not, Common Sense is not common in our society. One of the key elements to teaching is to relate the subject to the students' personal experiences. The result of this engagement technique is to allow learning the material  through self discovery facilitated by the educator. The challenge for an educator is being able  to make a quick assessment of the students in the classroom and to engage them based on some of the learning modes mention. I teach 4-1/2 blocks of electronics engineering tech courses and believe me, its educational entertainment at its finest! Hope I answered your question.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   5/17/2013 11:25:50 PM
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mrdon, you did and then some. I appreciate it. People learn in different ways. I can just read a book, but some need another form. Well, that's why you're a teacher and I am not. I've trained in the work force, but never taught. I'll leave that to you guys. I bet it's very rewarding!

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   5/17/2013 11:34:54 PM
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mrdon, I kind of envy you in one way. You get to mold young minds. They have no preconceived ideas. When it comes to training in the work force, people come in thinking they "know it all". I have always been humble enough to know that every place is different and has a different way of doing things. I have taken on trainees that just refuse my help....they don't last long...lol It's really discouraging to see that. It is almost like they don't think I am trying to help them...I never did get it. I would see them struggling and try to help, and they would refuse. I was NEVER like that. That's the wrong way to be in my opinion. I think you learn where you can and you never stop learning. Some people seem to think they know it all, and they are the ones that fail.

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   5/22/2013 2:49:32 PM
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Cadman-LT

Teaching is very rewarding. To be able to give people hope through knowledge/skills training is the ultimate high. I walk in a classroom to reach one student but instead several of them appreciate the experiences I bring to the classroom. Man, what a great feeling to transform people's lives.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   6/17/2013 6:25:48 AM
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mrdon, that is great. You do a very good thing. I am not a teacher, but I tried to help some along. In fact I was once one that needed some teaching. I guess the only thing I did different than the ones I tried to help was I listened. Always be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. Being hard-headed will get you no where fast. Keep up the good work!

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   6/18/2013 6:55:51 PM
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Cadman-LT

Thanks. That's the main reason I teach: to help individuals real the goals and make their dreams come true. Its a wonderful feeling!!!

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   4/10/2013 10:18:01 AM
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When I was growing up computers were in their infancy. Nowadays kids grow up with all of this technology....which is a good thing.....I just hope they still want to learn the fundamentals is all.  

    

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   4/11/2013 3:27:12 AM
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Ann, could you please post a few links for me as far as 3D printers goes. I sure would appreciate it. Thanks!

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   4/11/2013 3:29:17 AM
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Ann, I know I can google it, but you know more about it than I do. I'm just looking for some good leads on purchasing. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   4/11/2013 1:17:38 PM
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Cadman, there are so many different 3D printers for so many different applications and material sets, that it would take me about as long as it would take you to create a list--probably longer, since I don't know what you're looking for. I suggest you search on 3D printing/printers on the DN website. We have tons of articles about lots of printers and uses.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   5/13/2013 1:28:26 PM
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Ann, good point. My first deciding factor HAS to be material....go from there. Also, there used to be only a few manufacturers, but now everyone is getting in the market. I see that as a good thing though as prices are dropping.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2013 12:07:18 PM
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Cadman-LT, decision making will get even more complicated when third-party materials suppliers begin emerging, as Lux Research predicts is likely:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=262205



Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 12:12:03 PM
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mrdon, here is another thought on the subject. I really don't like this one either. It used to be, to do 3D modeling and such you had to study and learn it....and it wasn't exactly easy. I see with all of this 3D printing..they are making it so easy that anyone can do it. There are still needs for 3D modeling outside of this area, I just hope people remember that. It's an iffy thing with me.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 12:19:28 PM
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mrdon, on the other hand....after I thought about it....it would be beneficial to come into the field with experience with any 3D printing and modeling. 

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 12:23:59 PM
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mrdon, I think what my fear is that it might get so easy to do that kids might think they don't need the math to do it. Why learn that when the pc does it for me......I can still do math even though we had calculators. Remains to be seen I suppose.

mrdon
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Re: Great article
mrdon   3/20/2013 2:06:05 AM
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Cadman-LT, I agree. Although the tool makes it easy to manufacture cool products, the fundamentals, like math, is necessary to ensure the automation will work correctly. The tech being developed today is an extension of the human brain and its thought processes. I'm a firm believer in continual use of mental analytics and re-assure understanding by way of software analysis tech tools.

tekochip
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Re: Great article
tekochip   3/11/2013 12:30:07 PM
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"they are making it so easy that anyone can do it."

 

That sounds like an benefit rather than a flaw.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   4/10/2013 10:10:02 AM
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tekochip,

 

 It is a benefit so long as people still realize they need some engineering background. The flaw comes in when kids think why do I need to go to school for engineering when the computer does all the work for me.

akwaman
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Re: Great article
akwaman   12/14/2012 2:38:57 PM
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When they say they are trying to make the wires and cables, are they inferring the use of a combination of plastics and sintering printing?  That would be incredible to mix the two technologies, then you could truly create some awsome things.

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   12/14/2012 2:47:26 PM
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akwaman, good question, but the methods for printing connecting devices such as cables and wires was not detailed. I suspect it's still being developed.

akwaman
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Future Implications
akwaman   12/14/2012 4:09:58 PM
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This could be a great breakthrough if we could make the wires and connectors out of continuous piece of metal.  This would surely increase reliability.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Future Implications
Cabe Atwell   12/14/2012 4:43:12 PM
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I suppose one could build everything by the molecule. There have been several developments in the past few years that may lead to such a process.

However, I think at home printing of enclosures is a possibility. However, even the best 3D printing I have felt is not the same as molded plastics. In many cases the molded is far nicer in about every single way.

Like most people, who has the time/energy to print a game controller and assemble it. When one can be bought for cheaper than it costs to print one.

Just a thought.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Implications
Ann R. Thryft   12/27/2012 12:55:09 PM
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Cabe, that gave me a good laugh. I don't think 3D printing technology has yet arrived that can print at the molecular level :-). Regarding why do this, the main point is customizing the electronics to fit an individual's needs, such as the customized grip mentioned in the article.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Future Implications
Cabe Atwell   12/27/2012 3:25:44 PM
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BEHOLD! Growing electronics by the molecule.

 

Someday, growing electronics/products in this fashion will be an industry standard. I wonder if this team was inspired by star trek next gen...

 

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Future Implications
Ann R. Thryft   12/28/2012 12:00:08 PM
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Wow, Cabe, you weren't kidding! I remember hearing about MBE a while ago, but didn't realize it was a 3D printing method. Must be insanely expensive. I'd bet a lot of technology has been inspired by Star Trek shows.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Future Implications
Scott Orlosky   12/30/2012 5:14:22 PM
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I'll bet we can look forward to all sorts of electronic hacks in the future with this techology. I can imagine future nerd clubs sharing files (and a 3D electronic printer) that you can interlink to build all sorts of stuff.

Charles Murray
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Re: Great article
Charles Murray   12/14/2012 6:31:46 PM
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I recall reading about conductive plastics many years ago, but it never occurred to me that they could be used in 3D printing applications. Ann, any idea if this could be used in high-production-volume applications? 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2013 12:04:15 PM
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Good question, Chuck. I, too, had previously heard of conductive plastics used in flex circuits. This is the first time I've seen them combined with 3D printing. 3D printing isn't yet aimed at high volumes, but several efforts are underway to do just that, including this one we wrote about
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=248401

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 8:55:27 AM
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Hey Ann! I was thinking that there might be a better or alternative way for the "reply". I think you should be able to reply to the article or discussion on hand as usual, but I also think that you should be able to reply to someone specifically without having to say it in your response. Just a thought. I think it might make things easier.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 8:58:23 AM
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I guess it's because I just replied to an individual, but I forgot to include the name and what I said seems out of context. Just thinking there might be a better way.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   2/12/2013 9:00:25 AM
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Here's a thought...lol...How about another reply button, but instead it says reply to poster? or something like that?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   3/11/2013 12:25:14 PM
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Cadman, the "Reply" button means "reply to this poster". So adding a function won't change anything. I agree it would be nice if the poster's name you're replying to automatically shows up in your reply post. I think adding it manually just takes a little getting used to.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   4/10/2013 10:06:12 AM
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Yes Ann, I think I may been wrong on that idea. I do think the poster's name would be a nice touch though.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 4:23:33 PM
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Thanks, Cadman, but I'm not in charge of the software for these boards. I suspect that would take a fair amount of recoding. Anyway, I don't mind writing someone's name at the beginning of my reply.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 11:59:55 AM
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Ann...I know. Sorry, it was kind of a rant...lol It would make it better though. I doubt it would take that much code either..:) It isn't the fact of writing a name, it is just that it would be tagged. Anyway...:)

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 12:06:37 PM
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Or mabye like RE:Name:Title   Now I KNOW that won't take much coding! lol

ChasChas
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Travel
ChasChas   12/17/2012 10:26:13 AM
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Reminds me of the old movie where one could travel via sub-atomic parts disassembled and reassembled someplace else after a fast trip through space. Seems like someone ended up with a fly's head.

Even the most far-fetched is now closer.

Debera Harward
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3D Printers The Most Upcomming Technology
Debera Harward   5/21/2013 8:30:48 AM
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Ahan, this is really amazing printing wires and connecter through
3D printers will definitely be a breakthrough in the technology .After reading
this post i can sence that time is not too far away when all the circuitry will
be printed through 3D printers by the university students for there projects
instead of spending hours on soldering and wiring.This is really very exciting.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D Printers The Most Upcomming Technology
Ann R. Thryft   5/23/2013 12:53:13 PM
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Debera, I agree. Stray tuned--I'm working on another blog regarding some rather similar 3D printing of electronics.

oijdsf983298
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printing flyers
oijdsf983298   6/1/2014 1:54:26 AM
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A flyer or flier, also called a circular, handbill or leaflet, is a form of paper advertisement intended for wide distribution and typically posted or distributed in a public place or through the mail.

Toronto flyers printing | Calgary flyers printing | Winnipeg flyers printing | Montreal flyers printing | Regina flyers printing | Saskatoon flyers printing | Ottawa flyers printing | Edmonton flyers printing | Vancouver envelopes printing |

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