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The Future Is Now?
Posted 10/11/14 , edited 10/11/14
This coming February, the first affordable 3-D printer will be available for purchase starting at under $400. The Micro, or M3D, will allow the average person to print and create 3-dimensional objects from a pre-made search engine made available by Micro, and is compatible with Mac, Linux, and PC . This is the same route that happened with TV's, computers, cell phones, etc. These were exclusive items at first, but after becoming made available for the masses, and marketing, became household staples.



The company that is doing this is now only a year in after a successful Kickstarter raised over $2 million. They barely have over 8,000 likes on Facebook, but the amount of people who pledged and supported them on Kickstarter was insane.

Full honesty, I don't really understand the engineering or scientific side of this. From a historical point of view, I see it as two things. The death of the original printer, and the ushering in of the new era of household technology. We have, right now, internet access in almost every home in the US, instant connectivity to anywhere in the world with the internet, internet at our fingertips in our phones, and the ability to connect with anyone anywhere.

Just like we were able to use a computer, make a call, write a letter, we were able to print. But the average Joe wasn't able to print 3-d objects at home, and this gives us the ability.


I'm wary of technology, and am really an outspoken advocate of moderation when it comes to it, but honestly this is something I can get behind. It's a newer idea, and this Micro 3-D printer would be among the first of the affordable 3-D printers for people. I think at first it'll be slow, but soon enough I think most people will own a 3-D printer in the near future. They'll be as available as a new laptop or a new cell phone.


All this leads me to my question. What's next for technology? We have, or had, a lot of support behind the Oculus Rift before all that went out the window with Facebook's buying it. The Oculus Rift is something even anime touches upon, with nerve gear and the ability to basically leave this world and be transported somewhere else through this technology, a la Sword Art Online. As I just explained, mass 3-D printing is on the precipice. But what else is there we can achieve technologically? Holograms are being used for the dead but not the living, time travel is impossible without ripping holes in our universe, mass space travel is possible but dangerous (which there is some Japanese experiments on this). Will we have mechas instead of weapons, cyborgs, Six Million Dollar Men?


Even the sky's not a limit anymore...


TL:DR - Technology and stuff, Trap or Die



P.S. Links

https://www.facebook.com/Micro3DPrinter/timeline

http://printm3d.com/themicro/#intro

http://www.oculus.com/
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Posted 10/11/14
how does a 3d printer works?

Do we feed the machine cement instead of paper?
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Posted 10/11/14

onibrotonel wrote:

how does a 3d printer works?

Do we feed the machine cement instead of paper?


no we feed it wood
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Posted 10/11/14

Sogno- wrote:


onibrotonel wrote:

how does a 3d printer works?

Do we feed the machine cement instead of paper?


no we feed it wood


no food for you?

Don't want to feed you lasagna?
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Posted 10/11/14
That's a CNC machine, that drills out wood. This uses ABS plastic, heats it up and pushes it out of a nozzle, building whatever.
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Posted 10/11/14 , edited 10/11/14
Posted 10/11/14

Sogno wrote: "no we feed it wood"



Treated with chemicals, you mean.
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Posted 10/11/14
I don't know why the average family would want a 3d printer.
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Posted 10/11/14 , edited 10/11/14
Well I wouldn't really say the Oculus is Nervegear level :p I also trust Facebook more than I would something that controls each nerve ending in my brain. I'm still not writing it off even though FB are involved. I've always been intrigued by the idea of a 3D printer, but it's not something I've ever felt compelled to buy myself.
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Posted 10/11/14
Nice.
I'll wait until they get accurate.
Sogno- 
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Posted 10/11/14

onibrotonel wrote:


Sogno- wrote:


onibrotonel wrote:

how does a 3d printer works?

Do we feed the machine cement instead of paper?


no we feed it wood


no food for you?

Don't want to feed you lasagna?


funny you say that because i am currently eating lasagna

this 3d printer must be the real thing, it's even psychic
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Posted 10/11/14 , edited 10/11/14
Yes, additive manufacturing is very cool tech, but just keep in mind that this particular 3d printer is akin to the EZ Bake oven in terms of capability. For decent quality plastic parts (generally still inferior to what you get from wax molds and other traditional forming methods) you will need the machines that still run in the 300-500K+ USD range. For metals, the only sorta decent machines are still 1 million plus.

However, with some of the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) patents expiring in 2015, these prices should start to decrease. When the Electron Beam Melting (EBM) patents expire, that's when things will really get interesting, as many of the problems SLS and the other laser methods have are solved with EBM.

Anyway, it's something cool to look into, as long as you don't expect these cheap hobbyist machines to make anything with much dimensional accuracy or material strength.
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Posted 10/11/14


Thanks to Science?

I'm Sorry I couldn't resist.
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Posted 10/11/14
Do they have to scan an original in 3d to produce a product in 3d?

Can the machine do a mathematical assumptions?
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Posted 10/11/14

onibrotonel wrote:

Do they have to scan an original in 3d to produce a product in 3d?

Can the machine do a mathematical assumptions?


You create the model in a 3D CAD/CAM software like Solidworks, CREO, etc... A FDM machine like this then builds up the product layer by layer based off that STL file, sorta like if you were to build an object entirely out of soldering wire. There are 3D scanners for capturing the geometry of a physical object in a point cloud, which can then be converted into an STL file for use in a 3D CAD program.

The machines themselves are essentially "dumb" aside from interpreting the STL data. The software is what does the actual mathematical thinking.
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