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Thread: 3D printers are getting pretty big, eh? Let's talk about it!

  1. #1
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    3D printers are getting pretty big, eh? Let's talk about it!

    I'm not terribly active on the forums anymore, and a quick search didn't reveal anything about the topic so let's have a constructive conversation!

    With 3D printing becoming more common, and set to become a common place tool in every day life, it seems that it's a great opportunity for concept artists of both 2D and 3D disciplines to find work.

    - I would like to pose a few questions and see what kind of cool discussion we can start on this awesome new technology.

    - What are the best software packages for designing for 3d printing?

    - Does anyone on the forums have experience in 3d printing?

    - What do you think are the best ways to start gearing your self-study or formal study towards getting work in 3D printing design and production art?

    I myself have very little experience doing 3D work, but I can see there being a huge and expanding demand for artists skilled in using design software that is geared towards this market. Great opportunities are in store for those who get educated in the field early.

    This is a growing industry, and could provide a lot of our users with great opportunities for honing their craft, getting work, and fulfilling dreams a step at a time, so it would be really cool to get constructive discussion going on this, eh?

    Here are a few articles that a quick google search turned up. Just food for thought.

    Introduction to 3D printing

    Wikipedia's entry on 3D printing

    ReplicatorG - A free, open source 3D printing application

    What is 3D printing? A beginner's guide to the desktop factory

    A Popular Mechanics article about how to get started in 3D printing (viewable after viewing an advertisement)

    Again, I realize there may be existing posts on the topic, but a cursory search didn't return anything, and considering that this promises to be a huge market for exactly the kind of people who frequent these forums I think that multiple postings and discussions is warranted.

    Best regards, and hope for interesting discussion!
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    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/s...-2012112250095

    THREE-dimensional printers are obviously a complete waste of time, it has emerged.

    These can now be made more efficiently
    As ‘crowd-funding’ website Kickstarter was sued for its promotion of a 3D printer, experts said the technology may be the stupidest, most over-hyped piece of shit since 3D films.

    Technologist Tom Logan said: “They are great if what you really want is an intricate lump of plastic.

    “So by all means, print a scale model of a hobbit. And then paint it. And then be proud of yourself.

    “Have you seen the printed ‘bike’? It’s actually worse than the first bike ever made. Imagine what riding it could do to your balls.

    “The thing about a bike is that the tyres need to be made from something that is not as hard as the thing you used to make the handlebars.

    “What you’ve got there is a statue of a bike.”

    He added: “I can’t wait for the 3D film that is basically just CGI representations of things made by a 3D printer. And I sense James Cameron may be way ahead of me.”

    But Logan admitted that 3D printers could change everything, as long as we all want to live in a world where only eight people have a job and we all want to buy things that are not very good.

    3D printers are getting pretty big, eh? Let's talk about it!
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    VK, nice link.
    They have a point about it putting people out of jobs and a lot of it being shitty pieces of plastic.

    Anyway, a chef friend of mine who likes to tinker has build his own 3D printer: Prusa Air V2.
    It's open-source and he uses his to print more printers to sell on eBay.

    The cool thing is though, he snapped the hinge on his laptop... 10mins of googling he had the blueprints of the piece, modelled it in Auto CAD and started printing.
    I thought that was cool.

    I give him my 3D models I make in Maya to print so I can paint them.
    Just for shits 'n gigs.

    The thing is though, even with 3D printing taking off, it's still in its early stages so it's expected to be a bit of a flop to begin with.
    I saw a video recently of one that not only prints the pieces but also builds it for you! So who knows where it will go...

    In regards to people losing their jobs, yeah; I'm sure many will.
    However the machines will still need operators to maintain them and there'll probably be more of a demand for 3D modellers and engineers in that area.
    Same as the automotive industry how machines are taking more and more control in the manufacturing process.
    Ever just woken up and gone "shit, does the world around me exist"?
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    I haven't really found much use for those desktop printers, like the MakerBot. They just aren't accurate enough, and require so much maintenence and guesswork. SLS machines, on the other hand, are the shit. They're expensive as hell but they're actually super useful for prototyping. I've used them for everything from disposable cutlery to musical instruments to lamps.
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    3D printers are just a tip of the iceberg which is about to burst through the calm surface, I suspect.

    The current printers that produce lumps of plastic are just a prototyping tool or a toy, but they aren't going to be alone. First, the cost of 3D printers has been crushing down at sonic speed. Second, their capabilities are improving; they can use a variety of plastics in the same model, for instance. Third, and most important: there are other machines which produce accurate parts from 3D input, and one of the experimental ones is a desktop fabricator which can work metal - cut, turn, drill, etc. etc. etc. and has two manipulators that handle the part as it is being processed.

    This is a prototype of a universal machine that can make and assemble a lot of useful things, not just "intricate pieces of plastic". Think a small assembly line that you can put in your garage.

    And even if you only limit it to plastic, think again. You can always mould your intricate piece of plastic and cast it out of metal.
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    Or just print it from a metallic powder, for that matter. Its a brave new world.
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    yeah when it can print any of 100 different compounds, ie is connected to The Feed, and make very fine structure, itll be useful. at the moment its useful to people who make toys or prototypes i guess, but its easier to just 3d mill things or laser sinter them, or make them from sculpy or filler and wet and dry paper.
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 22nd, 2013 at 01:32 PM.
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    The reality is that 3D printing is already being used in large scale manufacturing to develop efficient, hybridized tooling components:



    The advantage of 3D printing is that complex components can be built simultaneously rather than having to be built separately and then combined (and in ways that would be IMPOSSIBLE in traditional manufacturing). Hypothetically, you can print components with hollow interiors and internal mechanisms to save material, and nearly 100 percent of the "waste" is reusable after the printing phase is complete.

    Granted, the technology is probably 15 years away from taking off, but, in my opinion, the advantages are undeniable. When some graduate student isn't using a 3D printer to actualize their masturbatory computer generated bullshit, printers are actually genuinely useful for manufacturing purposes.
    Last edited by The Fez; February 22nd, 2013 at 02:41 PM.
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    Naw dog that's awesome. It's just one more step on the inevitable path toward being able to digitize guns out of thin air in an instant, which is something everyone wants.
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    Is it feasible for creating creatures and printing them out (to set up lighting like a still life setup)?
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    sure.
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