A lot of trips and a lot of extra hardware hanging around the house that you never end up returning and then have to eat the cost. Small dollars, but they can add up. 3D printed parts would be much kinder on the household repair budget.
Or when you or your husband have to go to the hardware store multiple times to get the right part, because you have to bring it home, try it out and see if it works or not, and if not bring it back and repeat the cycle. If you live out in the boonies like I do, that's a lot of trips. I like Chuck's idea, too, for car parts at the local garage.
Definitely Cadman-LT. Automotive, simple household hardware items, boat parts, appliances, the list is endless. How annoying is it when the appliance guy comes to the house (sorry Made by Monkeys readers who fix stuff on their own) and they just need one simple part for your fix and they don't have it. One, sometimes two visits later (because they got the wrong part), your appliance is fixed, but you've been without it for weeks. Imagine if they could download a simple CAD part file and print the part right in their repair truck. Beautiful!
I agree. I could see rather than having everything in stock you would only need to have the CAD/CAM programs from the manufacturer and make as needed. That could extend to so many other industries as well.
I think that's where we are heading, Chuck. Not overnight, of course. But 3D printing has made some dramatic turns in terms of price reductions and capabilities this year and the scenario you outline is where most experts see the broadest impact. Just think back three or four years ago--most people didn't carry smart phones. Now most do. With certain technologies, the tide can turn pretty quickly and I think 3D printing has that potential.
The automotive taillight is an interesting application. I wonder if we can foresee a day when dealerships and garages will be able to make plastic parts on site, thereby reducing inventory for the parts department.
@ervin: All good points. There is a steady stream of boat and automotive makers already using 3D printing to produce prototype parts and in some limited run cases, production parts. It seems to be prevalent in the racing industry where you're really optimizing and many of these things are one-offs or close to it.
Beth, excellent article and to think, David Deckard started it all with stereolighography.He was a graduate student in those days but launched a new technology that is now called "additive manufacturing.Several months ago I wrote a paper on that manufacturing technique for PDHonline.org.There are several processes that fall under that description.These are as follows:
Selective Laser Sintering
Fused Deposition Modeling
Laminated Object Manufacturing
Shaped Deposition Manufacturing.
All are fascinating and save countless hours when prototyping a component.Engineers always like to "kick the tires" prior to committing to a specific design and these prototyping techniques allows for just that.Again—great piece.
I agree, smith120. More so than any other subject we write about here at Design News, these pictures really do tell the story. Each time I click through the photos, I end up saying, "They built that with a 3D printer?"
I really enjoy the 3D articles especially when pictures are provided. It is amazing the different things that are created using the 3D printers. I'm glad prices are decreasing this opens some new doors for lots of small companies.
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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