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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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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.

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-

BrainiacV
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Platinum
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   12/17/2012 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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Platinum
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.

mrdon
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Gold
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.

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.

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? 

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

akwaman
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Gold
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.

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