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Old 30-10-2012, 03:50   #1
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3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

Although I had heard about 3D printing for a while - I hadn't realised that the technology has advanced quite so far .

can now get home printers for around £1k (well, according to last night's TV program!) - obviously the commercial end somewhat more..........plus folks are starting to work in metals and even concrete! (albeit not sure how commercial those are yet).

What caught my ear was the comment that could printout a ship in a bottle!

Me head hurts just thinking about how that technology could radically change our world! ashore and afloat! (quick!, print me out a liferaft ).

I am sure that others hear know a tad more than me about the subject.........
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Old 30-10-2012, 03:58   #2
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

The answer to your question is that you can do it right now, and have been able to do so for some time. Most production molds have been done with 5 axis CNC, which is a similar process on an industrial scale. Old tech that is just now becoming cheap and miniaturized. Any boat built in the last 10-15 years was probably developed using this technology.







http://www.shopbottools.com/mproducts/3-d_work_v2.htm
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Old 30-10-2012, 04:14   #3
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

But CNC takes things away from a block to create an item - whereas 3D printing creates an item from zero, layer by layer, including parts that are seperate (like a chain) or are inside the object (like a ship in a bottle!).

I think the "sell" (in the programme I saw) was that items themselves (not simply the moulds) could be produced on demand - therefore cutting out the supply chain (from China?!) and reducing stock required. An example they also used was a Bra!.....Obviously won't be able to make everything, and somethings would be printed in a factory, some in a shop - and some at home!
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Old 30-10-2012, 04:43   #4
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

First thing I'd do when I got a 3D printer, was print another one....
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Old 30-10-2012, 07:02   #5
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

The technology was developed in the 1990's and was called "Stereolithography". My understanding is the limitations were and still are the ability to use materials. The primary material used is a resin which hardens with heat (in most cases produced by a laser). the object is made in layers, much like a 3D topography.

Unless something has radically advanced - its use originated in the medical profession for prototyping - and industrial prototyping is still its primary use.
Having said that: i still want one on my desk!
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Old 30-10-2012, 07:05   #6
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

it has advanced remarkably. I saw a demo of a small model. Could definitely revolutionize small parts inventories. Someone with a small 3D printer has a limitless stock of any plastic part needed!
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Old 30-10-2012, 07:28   #7
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

in the same plastic resin used for prototyping? - or have they advanced to other types of plastic? mostly reminds me of a fax machine, 3D of course.
From what little knowledge i have, this material has limited practical use. We've engaged the process for architectural models and i can say - size is a limiting factor - and "resolution" needs attention as objects can be bumpy and may require machining.
It uses powdered material and fuses the dust together with heat. So unless I can get one with a smelter attached and an integrated milling machine, I'm not going to arrive with new shiny stainless steel fittings.
Still very interesting stuff
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Old 30-10-2012, 07:35   #8
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

A friend has one. I was not too impressed. Obviously it will get better but right now it is v-e-r-y slow and the colours bleed. My friend makes little lighthouse ornaments with it.
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:50   #9
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

A few links / youtube:-

This one is the BBC - printing a bicycle! Was some assembly required, but they seem to have printed the hubs with the ball bearings inside! Design not exactly ready for market - but it pedalled! IMO not bad for a MK1 (even if they have "cheated" by working for an Aerospace Company - and used their equipment!).




Seems that there are half a dozen 3D Technologies available - this page gives a summary:-

ExplainingTheFuture.com : 3D Printing


And printing Yoda (timelapse shows him grow!).........."Good this 3D Printing is" .

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Old 30-10-2012, 10:11   #10
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

We have one at the office- plastic resin. It's slow and results are somewhat delicate, but it's great for prototyping. I'm not aware of anything commercially available that makes metal components, but its only a matter of time.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:26   #11
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

There is a website called "Kickstarter" and a number of them have been listed there including kits to buy sub $1,000!

Good luck in "printing" your first yacht lol
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:32   #12
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

Dave, there are places online and (perhaps not in your case) shops in major cities where you can download your files to be printed as well. But what the news keeps glossing over is that these machines build their parts out of plastic resins or corn starch or something similar.

WIRED magazine and some others got all bent out of shape a couple of weeks ago because someone put out free plans to "print" guns. Yeah, right, except...if you fired a bullet from a weak plastic gun, it would blow up in your hands. Nice way to take psychos off the market, but not quite the public menace everyone was hollering about.

A plastic bicycle? Hey, sure, try running that across a couple of potholes or up a curb. So, great for prototyping. Great for fashion. Still can't make a cup of "Tea, Earl Grey, hot." Not at all.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:49   #13
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

thanks for the link.
yes only a matter of time. i imagine there is the possibility of researching a whole new breed of material possibilities here.

maybe more importantly, this is a radical shift from how things are currently made and with it there are bound to be legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome as well. i recall a recent story about a group of university students challenging this techology to produce a working firearm and the associated legality of it all.... its a game changer

i wonder if i can adapt this technology to use all the junk my neighbors throw away and fabricate a 43'ocean going vessel? lol
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:53   #14
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by azsailor12 View Post
We have one at the office- plastic resin. It's slow ........ but its only a matter of time.
If I'm still alive in twenty years I expect I'll be printing quality tools in my living room. Then again, any savings I might have gained by printing my own will probably be offset by the cost of buying the software (app?) needed to print the tool.

Hmm...what about printing with chemicals? Make your favorite cocktail (wet or dry) in your own home laboratory! Open a retail store! Oops, never mind....got a little carried away.

Wow, endless possibilities! Print your own meat with a bio-printer.

Wait a minute...if I could print meat, I should be able to print myself a new liver and then I'd be able to start drinking again using my own chemical printer! ....what...over sharing? Ok....nevermind that too.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:56   #15
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Re: 3D Printing - how long before I can print a boat out?!

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Originally Posted by virginia boy View Post
Then again, any savings I might have gained by printing my own will probably be offset by the cost of buying the software (app?) needed to print the tool.

Nah, PirateBay will help you out there lol
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