• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FORUM - UPGRADE YOUR ACCOUNT HERE!
[4]

3D Printer

January Project of the Month [3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

Fishchips

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
87
Likes
0
#1
I went to Santa Barbara, CA for some meetings for work. During a tour we looked at the 3D printer, didn't get to watch it in operation but this is a chess piece they made. From the top you can see the spiral stairs and a helix from the top to bottom.

100_0580.jpg 100_0581.jpg
 

brt

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
42
Likes
1
#3
3DP's a great! They are a lot of fun. And great for teaching kids about Making.

But their current limitations make their applicability pretty limited:
1. Most printers use some form of thermoplastic (like ABS) to actually generate the object. It's pretty weak, especially since the object is constructed one layer at a time, so the bond between layers is not very strong.
2. The cheaper printers (like Rep-Rap and MakerBot) don't cost too much (you can build one yourself with a $1,000 kit), but their precision is not so great. The more expensive ones (like Stratasys and Z-Corp) can easily cost upwards of $15K. Their products cost can easily be $25/cubic inch produced
3. The most interesting devices are using some form of laser melting metals (like Direct Laser Metal Sintering by EOS). The produce very cool objects out of brass, stainless, even titanium. But the machines cost $250K and up, and so the results are even more expensive: a 1-2 lb part can cost $2,000

So at the moment, 3DP's are used two ways:
1. Learning - vast majority of printers are built by Makers to mess around with and to learn, and make cool things that are not going to be stressed too much
2. Rapid prototyping by companies, where the cost is less important than the time it takes to make a physical prototype or a plug mold

I'm working on helping 3DPs break through these limitations :)
 

geotek

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
72
Likes
5
#6
I wonder if you can use a machine like the Rep-Rap to make wax masters for investment casting. It seems like it would not be all that hard to make an extrusion head for the hard wax.
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top