Cabe, Nadine & Pubudu -- sorry for the late comment; had a busy week – but had to "chime-in", again after reading this threads. Pubudu seems certain of the benefit of social printers, but I think his opinion would change if he had the experience described by Cabe.
3D printers are just like anything else from Cars to Weed-whackers. They can be designed for heavy repetitive commercial use, or less expensive for occasional use. If you are running a design business and own one, it might seem lucrative to rent-out time on the machine; but you are the owner, manager, maintenance technician, and funding source for the device, and that takes hours away from your billable hours. Unless you specifically design your business model to allow for normal and expected maintenance, it's a losing proposition for you. But great for the borrowing neighbors, of course.
I once made a part for a company on my CNC mill. During the fabrication, I broke my mill. I went outside the cut area and damaged the servo drivers and fused a motor coil. Did they fix it? No... it was my fault.
I am sure 3D printer owners will not want to deal with mistakes and repair for 25 cents per CC. I wouldn't.
I saw a few 25 cent printers on there too. That is way cheap... I will have to see what kind of quality you get. I am sure the printer owners are not as professional, fast, or patient as a company that specializes in the process.
It would probably work as a service company -- much like a copy shop. Customers would have to pay quite a premium, but for users who only need the tool occasionally, it would be a big savings compared with owning a 3D printer.
Cabe thanks for the awareness article, its seems to be that they are reducing prices more, due to demand and increase the number of available printers now there are printers which will have the lover prices of 0.5$/cm3
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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