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The 3D Printing Revolution

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/10041993/3D-printing-the-new-bottom-up-industrial-revolution.html

Surely when this happens we are looking at mass unemployment in China, and a general restructuring of the world economy. How does this technology work though what raw materials are required for the process?

It's not just manufacturers that need to worry, it's innovators too. We will be able to 'rip' physical things like we did music. iPhones and computers will get printed illegals on mass. It will upset many industries. The new technique is to use spray on metals that builds components more robustly than they could be made by being screwed together. The real king on the hill will be the firm that owns the stuff that make the brave new world.

China can't like the look of what's coming. It's also another blow to regional house prices. Even less need for regional factories near resources - more people will gravitate to the cities.

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This is a storm in a teacup. 3D printing is still slower and more expensive than conventional high volume manufacturing processes and will remain so for quite some time. It is also relatively labour-intensive so I fully expect China to steal a march on the Western world!

In terms of the man in the street 'printing' this, that and the other for himself, well this is entirely possible in the same way that I could buy a lathe and start turning up door knobs and bowls - I could, but I have neither the inclination nor skills to do so!.

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Who is going to produce the printers and all the components that are needed for them . . .

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This is a storm in a teacup. 3D printing is still slower and more expensive than conventional high volume manufacturing processes and will remain so for quite some time. It is also relatively labour-intensive so I fully expect China to steal a march on the Western world!

In terms of the man in the street 'printing' this, that and the other for himself, well this is entirely possible in the same way that I could buy a lathe and start turning up door knobs and bowls - I could, but I have neither the inclination nor skills to do so!.

Not if a machine was available to all.....they could print what they required as they required it, speed not important, would be quicker than postage. ;)

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Not if a machine was available to all.....they could print what they required as they required it, speed not important, would be quicker than postage. ;)

Depending on whether you want it in plastic.

Also, price. The cheapest 3D printer I can find in the UK with a quick search costs £7,000 and can make things up to 127 x 127 x 127mm in size.

To make things 254 x 254 x 305mm in size you need to cough up £23,000.

They will undoubtedly get cheaper, but how much cheaper?

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Depending on whether you want it in plastic.

Also, price. The cheapest 3D printer I can find in the UK with a quick search costs £7,000 and can make things up to 127 x 127 x 127mm in size.

To make things 254 x 254 x 305mm in size you need to cough up £23,000.

They will undoubtedly get cheaper, but how much cheaper?

You want that hedonically?

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Not if a machine was available to all.....they could print what they required as they required it, speed not important, would be quicker than postage. ;)

Compared to the established system of having things shipped from a manufacturer the only saving you'd make would be holding of local stock. And for this you forgo economies of scale of production.

Besides, if the product is more than a single plastic part who is going to do the assembly?

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Not if a machine was available to all.....they could print what they required as they required it, speed not important, would be quicker than postage. ;)

For small cheap items this is important. For example buying some cheap tat like mugs and spoons and Argos. The cost in fuel of going to get them exceeds their real value.

Even now, books and DVD's are not worth posting out, as the postage will often exceed the value. I've pulled a load of books off Amazon because after P&P its just not worth it, especially when these can be electronically distributed almost for free.

I think cheap tat, small spare parts, even mobile phone covers, even car/bike parts could eventually be manufactured from 3D printers probably costing little more than a new TV or fridge freezer, so for simple items it will start having an effect pretty soon.

More high value/complex will take longer obviously.

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This is a storm in a teacup. 3D printing is still slower and more expensive than conventional high volume manufacturing processes and will remain so for quite some time. It is also relatively labour-intensive so I fully expect China to steal a march on the Western world!

In terms of the man in the street 'printing' this, that and the other for himself, well this is entirely possible in the same way that I could buy a lathe and start turning up door knobs and bowls - I could, but I have neither the inclination nor skills to do so!.

Agreed, sort of.

For the west, there could be a big fillip - it's a significant step towards zero-unskilled-labour manifacturing. Combine a set of industrial scale plastic and metal 3D printers with hoppers of unprintable electronic components, and sufficiently advanced robots to put them together.. and you have a manifactury that can turn out anything you can think of. Setting up and debugging the first one would be a serious investment. Subsequent ones will be a fraction of the price..

In many ways this is/was the natural path in manifacturing anyway; if anything, the 'rise' of china has upset things by making labour artificially cheap.

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Who is going to produce the printers and all the components that are needed for them . . .

Near Self replicating is the goal :-)

Cost : $500 plus a willingness to build things.

RepRap project is an initiative to develop a 3D printer that can print most of its own components.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap_Project

] Edited by easy2012

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Can I print 3D money?

There's a sci-fi book (can't remember the name) by Philip K.Dick (who wrote 'Blade Runner') set in the future where 3d printers can replicate any item, completely accurately, down to particle level. The only thing it can't replicate is a rare form of mushroom, which then becomes highly valuable and a form of currency!

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Surprising that no-one here has picked up on this technology's application in home-building and potential effect of that on the market:

6-meter tall KamerMaker ["Room-Maker"] to 3D print Amsterdam house by year's end

http://www.gizmag.com/kamermaker-3d-printed-house/26752/

http://qz.com/68780/architects-are-starting-to-3d-print-houses-but-without-a-house-sized-printer/

Architects are starting to 3D print houses—but without a house-sized printer

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Surprising that no-one here has picked up on this technology's application in home-building and potential effect of that on the market:

Dorkins did, in response to my query on the thread on 3D printed guns in OT.

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Surprising that no-one here has picked up on this technology's application in home-building and potential effect of that on the market:

6-meter tall KamerMaker ["Room-Maker"] to 3D print Amsterdam house by year's end

http://www.gizmag.com/kamermaker-3d-printed-house/26752/

http://qz.com/68780/architects-are-starting-to-3d-print-houses-but-without-a-house-sized-printer/

Architects are starting to 3D print houses—but without a house-sized printer

Unless they can start printing land with planning permission, it won't make any difference!

It costs only a few thousand pounds to buy a ready made prefab house or a static caravan, but since never in a million years would local authorities allow you to put one up anywhere, it doesn't affect the market.

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This is a storm in a teacup. 3D printing is still slower and more expensive than conventional high volume manufacturing processes and will remain so for quite some time. It is also relatively labour-intensive so I fully expect China to steal a march on the Western world!

In terms of the man in the street 'printing' this, that and the other for himself, well this is entirely possible in the same way that I could buy a lathe and start turning up door knobs and bowls - I could, but I have neither the inclination nor skills to do so!.

3D printing is not going to replace mass-produced items - that would be daft, the economics don't stack up.

However, there is a massive market for low-volume items. Take for example dashboard switches for a Morris Minor. The market is so small, a manufacturer might run off a batch of 10,000 that will then take 20 years to sell [1]. And which will cost a fortune in warehousing costs.

For another example, just look at all the rows of plastic widgets and trim items on sale at B&Q. 3D printing is a natural fit for these types of markets.

I agree with you that not everyone would have a printer in their garage - that would be daft, the equipment is specialised. But it probably could become a cottage industry with lots of micro-manufacturers.

[1] Warning: made-up numbers.

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My 3d printing stocks seem to br doing well in past month, particularly DDD. Not sure how long the bubble can last though...

Edited by SHERWICK

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It's not just manufacturers that need to worry, it's innovators too. We will be able to 'rip' physical things like we did music. iPhones and computers will get printed illegals on mass. It will upset many industries. The new technique is to use spray on metals that builds components more robustly than they could be made by being screwed together. The real king on the hill will be the firm that owns the stuff that make the brave new world.

China can't like the look of what's coming. It's also another blow to regional house prices. Even less need for regional factories near resources - more people will gravitate to the cities.

Genuine innovators will continue to innovate. Those who wish to seek rent via IP legislation would find their margins squeezed though.

Redhat, for instance, is a billion dollar company which releases its innovations for free. Yet, it still turns a profit - the service of providing what people want always has value. A successful business model in the future will be one which can be profitable in such a way.

I suspect IP legislation will come under increasing pressure, when the ease of copying physical stuff approaches that of virtual stuff. I see this as a positive, rather than a negative, though.

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Agreed, sort of.

For the west, there could be a big fillip - it's a significant step towards zero-unskilled-labour manifacturing. Combine a set of industrial scale plastic and metal 3D printers with hoppers of unprintable electronic components, and sufficiently advanced robots to put them together.. and you have a manifactury that can turn out anything you can think of. Setting up and debugging the first one would be a serious investment. Subsequent ones will be a fraction of the price..

In many ways this is/was the natural path in manifacturing anyway; if anything, the 'rise' of china has upset things by making labour artificially cheap.

That's a good observation and I agree.

EDIT: To add, using wage arbitrage to profit (read: globalism) is something very much of our time. It will not happen again. The difference between rich and poor regions is shrinking and will continue to do so. It's a shame that many people have been displaced by this process, but it needs to be worked through (one way or another).

Edited by Traktion

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probably posted before but

the printed concrete house starts just after 2 min in .........how much does building labour cost again ?

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3D printing is not going to replace mass-produced items - that would be daft, the economics don't stack up.

However, there is a massive market for low-volume items. Take for example dashboard switches for a Morris Minor. The market is so small, a manufacturer might run off a batch of 10,000 that will then take 20 years to sell [1]. And which will cost a fortune in warehousing costs.

For another example, just look at all the rows of plastic widgets and trim items on sale at B&Q. 3D printing is a natural fit for these types of markets.

I agree with you that not everyone would have a printer in their garage - that would be daft, the equipment is specialised. But it probably could become a cottage industry with lots of micro-manufacturers.

[1] Warning: made-up numbers.

it may become mainstream whereby everyone has one. especially as the technology advances and you can print more and more stuff with different material, or a mix of material.

an entry level 3d printer today can be bought for $1000.

just think inkjet printers use to cost $1000 and laser printers at least $5000 in the 80's. no one but manufacturers and businesses could afford one, now anyone can buy one and everyone has bought one.

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Unless they can start printing land with planning permission, it won't make any difference!

It costs only a few thousand pounds to buy a ready made prefab house or a static caravan, but since never in a million years would local authorities allow you to put one up anywhere, it doesn't affect the market.

These are good points, of course. But I think it's much more likely that social housing builders will be keen to use is technology than will individuals or private developers, both of whom tend to be conservative when it comes to taste, materials and methods.

It's the speed and volume at which this technology could bring large volumes of affordable and social housing into the market which might be disruptive to house prices and rents.

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Agreed, sort of.

For the west, there could be a big fillip - it's a significant step towards zero-unskilled-labour manifacturing. Combine a set of industrial scale plastic and metal 3D printers with hoppers of unprintable electronic components, and sufficiently advanced robots to put them together.. and you have a manifactury that can turn out anything you can think of. Setting up and debugging the first one would be a serious investment. Subsequent ones will be a fraction of the price..

In many ways this is/was the natural path in manifacturing anyway; if anything, the 'rise' of china has upset things by making labour artificially cheap.

Didn't Clarke call it The Replicator? Not in an SF book but in one of his prediction books?

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3D printing is not going to replace mass-produced items - that would be daft, the economics don't stack up.

However, there is a massive market for low-volume items. Take for example dashboard switches for a Morris Minor. The market is so small, a manufacturer might run off a batch of 10,000 that will then take 20 years to sell [1]. And which will cost a fortune in warehousing costs.

For another example, just look at all the rows of plastic widgets and trim items on sale at B&Q. 3D printing is a natural fit for these types of markets.

I agree with you that not everyone would have a printer in their garage - that would be daft, the equipment is specialised. But it probably could become a cottage industry with lots of micro-manufacturers.

[1] Warning: made-up numbers.

Given that I have not been in a Morris Minor since they were in production I can't remember what the switches look like.:D

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  • 243 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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