DailyDirt: 3D Printing Gone Wild

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The capabilities of 3D printing are just starting to become a mainstream phenomenon. Printing custom parts for prototype devices doesn’t sound too cool to non-geeks, but when 3D printers are common household appliances, people will look back and wonder how we lived without being able to instantly produce unlimited copies of almost any object. Here are just a few examples of some 3D printed items that are pretty cool.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

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Companies: stratasys

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Comments on “DailyDirt: 3D Printing Gone Wild”

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Anonymous Coward says:

but when 3D printers are common household appliances, people will look back and wonder how we lived without being able to instantly produce unlimited copies of almost any object.

they will NEVER be household appliances, nor will they be able to produce anything apart from laser cured plastic in different shapes.

the day when you 3D printer can make you a working toaster, or even a piece of wire, will never happen..

But dream on…

so how are you going to make a tennis ball ?? or a radio, or a cell phone ?? sure if you want it not to work and be made out of solid plastic, that is totally NON FUNCTIONAL.. go for it..

I guess you can make plastic knives, forks and plates, but it’s probably cheaper to buy them at the supermarket.

show me one thing you could make out of laser cured plastic that would be functional to you ??

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re:

3d printers can currently print out complex interlinked moving part objects. They can print in metal. They can print in conductive plastic ext ext ext.

Current home 3d printers are the very very thin end of a very large wedge and some of what you are claiming as it’s limitations are already redundant in industrial 3d printing. Funny that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“show me one thing you could make out of laser cured plastic”

You do realize that there is more than one type of 3d printer, right? ….. Ah, yeah – I thought not.

Might I suggest that you educate yourself on the various 3d printer designs available today as it really is an interesting topic. I believe you referred to Selective Laser Sintering, this is one of the more expensive types of 3d printing.

“the day when you 3D printer can make you a working toaster, or even a piece of wire, will never happen.. “

Have a look at Laminated Object Manufacturing or Electron Beam Melting.

Jake says:


Just to pick one example that’s possible within the limits of current 3D printing technology, have you ever had a plastic component of a household appliance, or one of your children’s toys break? Absolute pain in the arse when that happens, isn’t it.

Well, how’d you like to be able to replace that plastic part in a matter of hours? You need a working knowledge of CAD software with the current state of the art, but people are working on scaling laser-mapping technology down enough to automate the creation of 3D models to print off.

Neither is 3D printing necessarily confined to thermoplastics, either; there are various projects afoot to 3D print with metal, plaster, ceramics and even concrete.

Anonymous Coward says:


3D printing coming to store near you.

As for the evolution of 3D printing, well a 3D printer is nothing but a CNC machine anything you can do with a CNC machine a 3D printer could possibly do those include:

– Subtractive shaping(e.g. carving metallic parts).
– Adictive shaping(e.g. layer deposition.

Now mix the two, with plug & play heads and you have a machine that can, deposit various types of materials but it can also polish the work while it is building it.

Has anybody seen a CNC machine?
The really old ones where one machine one head, the old ones had multiples heads, the modern ones hove dozens of heads.

Heck I just saw a DIY CNC transformed into a Pick & Place machine, for those who don’t know a Pick & Place is a machine that picks up electronic components and puts them in place in a circuit board.

In the future you may have a machine that cut the board, make the mask, cut the holes, paint the board, put the components in and you get it out ready to use.

Also people already can do wires in their homes if they understand induction heating, is just that not many people yet know that they can do those things.

Anybody want to make acrylic lenses for microscopy?


Anonymous Coward says:


Apart from vases, and miniature models, I’ve been printing such things as puzzle boxes (great gifts), funnels that match the exact specification I need, a phone dock that is better (for me) than any I could find online, a custom chess set, encasings for various types of hardware, and yes, some household objects that by themselves would’ve been cheaper in a store.

The One Big Thing for me at this moment is that they are all custom *exactly* how I want them to be (given the restriction that it has to be plastic), so even with just the one material there are many uses already. Maybe not something for mom and pops for the foreseeable future, but they said the same about computers 50 years ago.

Guy says:

While I do agree the future is unknown and anything is possible, I do think saying everyone will have one in their house is really jumping the gun a bit. There are plenty of economical and physical limitations to everyone having a 3D printer. For cool things like a TV am I going to have toxic materials on hand 24/7 so I can print a tablet when I drop mine? Will it really be cheaper than having Amazon ship it same day to my house?

What I do see is someone like Amazon having these and printing goods on demand and then shipping them same day to your house using a drone or something. They can use economies of scale to bring down the cost and each person doesn’t have to worry about how to work it or keep raw materials on hand. Kind of like how I could buy a photo printer for my home but I think it is cheaper and easier to just stop at Walmart with my USB stick and print them out there for a few cents each. No hassle, no need to maintain my own printer, just nice quality pictures every time.

(I’m not saying that no one will have a 3D printer. I am sure plenty of people will pay more money for the freedom to have what they want when they want it. Just like a lot of people like to work on their own cars. But the majority of people will just go to jiffy lube and let them do the oil change for 20$. Saving the 5$ really isn’t worth the hassle.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What I do see is everyone having a CNC machine that can be used for cutting, carving or layering, small projects at the near future, things like joints, caps, little plastic pieces for connection other objects etc those things will be at reach for everybody, production of entire complex products may be out of reach for individuals but it could be done inside a group, this could change how manufacturing is done and probably consumption patterns.

My hope is that instead of throwing out things we start to recycle those inside our homes and start selling services to others since not everyone will want to do the work.

davidpaul (profile) says:

Hi to Everyone,
This is David Paul form Australia. I would like to share some of my experience about 3D printer with this community. Stratasys is the amazing technology for 3D printers. Similar to those brands, some valuable 3D printer companies are available. The notable company is that 3Dstuffmakers http://www.3dstuffmaker.com/. 3Dstuffmaker follows the same technology in which Stratasys has been using. They offer printers at very affordable price than other brands and it has large print area.

Best Regards
David Paul

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