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okaycuckoo

3-D Printing

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for something that is accurate to 50 microns its very different. The screw thread on the printed wrench is much bigger than the original, the printed version is missing the text on the handle and the printed wrench has a loop for hanging it up whereas the original has a simple hole in the handle... Its a completely different wrench, which is odd considering they scanned it...

why fake the video, it all seems so daft....

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for something that is accurate to 50 microns its very different. The screw thread on the printed wrench is much bigger than the original, the printed version is missing the text on the handle and the printed wrench has a loop for hanging it up whereas the original has a simple hole in the handle... Its a completely different wrench, which is odd considering they scanned it...

why fake the video, it all seems so daft....

Reporter was just there for the day probably, the scanner is good but probably not that good and so some of the details would have to be modified/cleaned up in the 3d model manually - they needed to do the wrench mechanism so probably imported that and didn't have the time for the rest.

Great for prototyping and one off builds from conventional 3d models, not the only powder based machines and these machines seem to have a nicer part finish than the extrusion type.

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Is this going to put lots of people out of jobs? In China?

If it's a real prospect, I guess it's confined to crude stuff that's reproducible without much worker involvement anyway.

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I don't see how that scanner can work. Unless it's x-ray, how can it scan behind a structure? Even a simple wrench has moving parts hidden behind other parts. And more complex structures must have numerous hidden components.

they needed to do the wrench mechanism so probably imported that and didn't have the time for the rest.

You may be right, but in the video he holds up a structure with moving cogs and says it was done in one scan. So either he's lying or that's an amazing scanner :ph34r:

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for something that is accurate to 50 microns its very different. The screw thread on the printed wrench is much bigger than the original, the printed version is missing the text on the handle and the printed wrench has a loop for hanging it up whereas the original has a simple hole in the handle... Its a completely different wrench, which is odd considering they scanned it...

why fake the video, it all seems so daft....

Well spotted. Perhaps selecting the screw part to spray red was an attempt to distract from this.

I thought it was strange that the images produced in the software look like clip art!

Anyway, is it chemically possible for the binder to produce such clean lines on the object without using a mould? How come the powder in the tray doesn't clump together around the object's edges when the binder and ink is injected?

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I don't see how the software would easily separate out the adjustment thread from the rest of the spanner and allow it to be selected red. I suspect the replicated part was just made from a standard library of parts, but it looked like they were using solidworks, so it is probably easy to draw your own parts in 3D for it to print, but harder to scan them.

I guess the spin was that this was a "replicator" so they had to have the scanning element, but the reality is if you could draw the part in a CAD package that's just as good, and for a space mission all you would need is a storage device with all the designs on, or even have it uploaded from earth over a data link.

As far as use in business, these things are just the high profile cousin of CNC, which has been around for ages in more expensive form. Upload the design and it will route whatever you want with a cutting head. You can make very complex stuff like this, although of course you cannot make stuff with moving parts in place like a screw thread as the item is carved from a solid billet of plastic or metal.

For small specialisd business they are disruptive technology. I use lots of widgets in my daily work, often I have to draw them up, then wait a week for the machine shop to cnc, then I can use them. If I had one of these I could prototype much of the stuff more quickly. It wouldn't be that useful for final designs as it would not have the mechnaical propertities that you would want for most things, but it would allow you to check that stuff fitted together ok and maybe temporarily test some aspects of the system more quickly.

What would be really useful is if you could use it to make mechanically robust items. There's thousands of different applications you could do here, but here's one example : vinatge cars. Thousands of vintage car types, but a lot of spares have to be precision machined up. With this, you could go down to your 3D printing centre with the drawing (or send it off on the net, or the net business has a copy of all parts on disk) and then just get it made quickly to order.

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I don't think the point is far off where, for instance, a Ford car dealers can use some form of 3D printer to print off the myriad plastic car trim parts instead of storing thousands of them.

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This will only catch on if the cost of printing an object is less than the cost of conventional manufacture.

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This will only catch on if the cost of printing an object is less than the cost of conventional manufacture.

No. Because it isn't supposed to be equivalent to high volume manufacturing. It's for customisation, one offs and prototypes.

It would never displace high volume ubiquitous parts at the point of manufacture, but I can imagine every high street having one of these so people can make and repair stuff they want/need.

It also reduces stocking levels and improves JIT capability. Let's say I want a vintage car part. I could walk into a warehouse the size of luton that stocked every single part manufactured in the world for every car, ever, the vast majority that would stay on the shelves for years tying up money, or I could walk into a high street shop a few square meters in size, present the part I want printed and have the replica in my hand 20 minutes later. This needs to be factored into the cost.

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How is this invention any different to 30 year old manufacturing equipment that takes a metal block and a CAD drawing and makes a sophisticated piece of engineering?

Is it because some nerds called it "3d printing" ?

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How is this invention any different to 30 year old manufacturing equipment that takes a metal block and a CAD drawing and makes a sophisticated piece of engineering?

Is it because some nerds called it "3d printing" ?

it can make a complete object, with moving parts inside..ie, they can be made inside another completed part...saw one on demo at a tourist attraction in the Cotswolds last year.

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How is this invention any different to 30 year old manufacturing equipment that takes a metal block and a CAD drawing and makes a sophisticated piece of engineering?

Is it because some nerds called it "3d printing" ?

Yes it is different, very different. Unless you know of some 30 year old technology that can machine complex internal structures within a part.

The video's a bit misleading really, the reality of any rapid prototyping technology (there are a few approaches to the '3D printing' method) currently is that method development and formulation still takes a lot of time and in many cases is still empirical.

Where these technologies are really good though, and useful, is during the development cycle.

Imagine you want to investigate the effect of shape on heat transfer for a turbine blade in a jet engine. Currently (or until very recently at least) you modelled it then tooled up the traditional equipment (which can cost 10s of thousands of £) then fabricated the piece and tested it. Sometimes you might not get the tooling right first time, sometimes your models wouldn't be quite right so you'd need to go through the whole cycle again. This can cost a lot of time, effort and money.

With rapid prototyping technology you could do the modelling, rattle off a whole variety of shapes, test them, then maybe take the two most promising forward.

As a method for large scale manufacturing I think it's still some way off.

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The "dream" with these 3d printers is that everyone has one attached to their computer, in a similar way to how they have a normal printer. If this happens, companies no longer need manufacturing facilities. The customer orders the product file, which is delivered through the internet, and then prints what ever the product is. No manufacturing plants, reduced transport on the roads, no waste from surplus manufacturing.

Currently these are used to make patterns for castings. Rather than a pattern maker spend days carving your casting out of wood before sand casting, the pattern is made overnight in a 3d printer. The accuracy is better, there is no need to keep large warehouses of patterns as a replica can be made relatively quickly, and the patterns don't warp during storage (as they aren't stored). Where I've seen these used for pumps, the added accuracy and complexity which this method can achieve compared with a wooden pattern can add several percent to the efficiency of the pump (which in a megawatt sized machine, is a significant saving for the end user).

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Imagine you want to investigate the effect of shape on heat transfer for a turbine blade in a jet engine. Currently (or until very recently at least) you modelled it then tooled up the traditional equipment (which can cost 10s of thousands of £) then fabricated the piece and tested it. Sometimes you might not get the tooling right first time, sometimes your models wouldn't be quite right so you'd need to go through the whole cycle again. This can cost a lot of time, effort and money.

With rapid prototyping technology you could do the modelling, rattle off a whole variety of shapes, test them, then maybe take the two most promising forward.

In my experience as well, aerospace is the main consumer of these items.

I heard a story that they were originally developed to produce metal spares for nuclear submarines while submerged. No idea if this is actually true or not.. I imagine a lot of metal parts need to be heat treated in some way as well.

Rapid prototyping has been around since the 80s, though the one in the link is very impressive. More info here.

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Yes it is different, very different. Unless you know of some 30 year old technology that can machine complex internal structures within a part.

The video's a bit misleading really, the reality of any rapid prototyping technology (there are a few approaches to the '3D printing' method) currently is that method development and formulation still takes a lot of time and in many cases is still empirical.

Where these technologies are really good though, and useful, is during the development cycle.

Imagine you want to investigate the effect of shape on heat transfer for a turbine blade in a jet engine. Currently (or until very recently at least) you modelled it then tooled up the traditional equipment (which can cost 10s of thousands of £) then fabricated the piece and tested it. Sometimes you might not get the tooling right first time, sometimes your models wouldn't be quite right so you'd need to go through the whole cycle again. This can cost a lot of time, effort and money.

With rapid prototyping technology you could do the modelling, rattle off a whole variety of shapes, test them, then maybe take the two most promising forward.

As a method for large scale manufacturing I think it's still some way off.

so these do metal do they?

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Not so far from Star Trek's replicator? Lol... We had a guy come in once who makes 3D printers - we do the motor driver for it. Pretty cool!!

Why can't he just make his own, eh?

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  • 338 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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