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Posted: 22 December 2012 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 22 December 2012 04:52 PM
KorvisBlack - 22 December 2012 12:26 PM

Design software is free, mesh correcting software is free, materials are cheap, and strange as this may sound, some people like making things.

Sorry, but that’s just nonsense. The “software is free” idea is a total myth. Software is not free. Someone wrote it, and usually people want to be paid for their time and expertise. So someone, somewhere, had to pay for it. Which means they have to recover those costs. And how to they do that? They charge a portion of that cost to their customers. Or they jack up the price of their product so that they recover their costs.

Somehow, you the customer pays for it.

I don’t think you quite get the open source model. Sure somebody had to spend time making it, but more often than not, they did it because they (or their employer) saw value in sharing the development with others, because they get back more than they give. (From other developers doing likewise.) And you, the downloader of said open source project, can get it all for free, because the license terms specify that no compensation can be required. An open source project is more than the sum of it’s parts. Each developer writes a piece which by itself might be useless. No one of the developers could have done the whole thing. But in the end, they each get a working software that does what they need.

That’s not to say there’s not a place for “for profit” software, as I’m pretty sure all in this forum have paid money for what we perceive to be a better product, (ie Carrara) but just saying that there is software available to do all those things that is essentially free to the consumer.

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Posted: 23 December 2012 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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brianorca - 22 December 2012 11:51 PM

I don’t think you quite get the open source model.

Actually, I think the point is that you, and others here, don’t get the “business” model. We’re talking about a business. Where people do things for profit. To feed their familes and to buy a house and a car. You don’t get there by donating your time for free and developing software that you give away. UNLESS there is a way to recoup your costs and get an additional profit by giving away the software “for free”. Like DAZ does with much of its software. But that’s ONLY because its business model allows it. They also sell content, so the free software is the bait, and the content is the hook. But you still pay for the software, you just don’t realize it because it’s part of the price of the content. Which is priced so that they recoup the costs of developing and maintaining the software. And, BTW, that is free, not “open source” software. 

I’m not sure why people are trying to say that the world is now running on free, “open source” software. It’s not. Carrara isn’t free. Neither is any of the software used by most major (and minor) studios. Neither is the vast majority of software used by businesses. Why? Because the companies who use software generally need to control it so that they can use it as they need it, to make a profit. And they can’t do that if someone else is controlling how and when it’s developed.

That’s why many major studios go as far as hiring developers to make their own software, at GREAT expense, just so they can have control. And others buy commercial software, and pay huge regular fees for the ability to have some say in the development and direct connection with the development and support people. You can’t run a business using software that is developed by volunteers with no direct incentive to assist your company in meeting its needs.

And back to the 3D printers discussion….

Someone said that the software used by 3D printers is free. It’s not. Someone, somewhere, pays for it. And it’s probably the people who buy the 3D printer. Nothing whatsoever to do with free and/or “open source” software. If you sell a 3D printer, you need to have control over the software that runs it, so that the software integrates with your printer. Specifically. And continues to work with it as you make changes to the hardware. That is NOT the place for “open source” software.   

 

 

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Posted: 25 December 2012 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 23 December 2012 03:42 AM

And back to the 3D printers discussion….

Someone said that the software used by 3D printers is free. It’s not. Someone, somewhere, pays for it. And it’s probably the people who buy the 3D printer. Nothing whatsoever to do with free and/or “open source” software. If you sell a 3D printer, you need to have control over the software that runs it, so that the software integrates with your printer. Specifically. And continues to work with it as you make changes to the hardware. That is NOT the place for “open source” software.

The software that comes with a 3D printer can be considered to be an advanced “driver” for the printer.  So, yes, the cost is included in the hardware.  You can’t buy it separately.

However, MeshLab, Sketchup, 123D Design, 3D Via Shape, MakeHuman.org, MeshMixer, Sculptris, Paint.net and several other programs are available without cost to the user.  I am happy to report that I did not pay a cent for any of these programs.  Some are open source, some are abandoned projects.  Some are watered down versions of the commercial versions - but none of this detracts from the fact that they are available to people for use without charge.

Some of the programs I use are listed above.  With those programs I can create a 3D model, export the model to .STL and correct the model so that the “driver” software of my 3D printer can produce an error free plastic model.  Without the design software (free), conversion software (free) and correction software (free), my 3D printer would be about as useful as a small end table, and much more expensive.

Would I try to make a living with a “hobby level” 3D printer?  Only if I were delusional.

 

 

 

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Posted: 25 December 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 22 December 2012 04:37 PM

Just because you want to believe something doesn’t make it true.

That is so very true!

Additive technology has been around for over 25 years.  It used to be very expensive.  Now it is cheap.

No, not everyone will get a 3D printer for their home.  I don’t own a table saw, but my neighbor does.  Not everyone has a cell phone, while others don’t have a traditional home phone and rely totally on their cell.  Different people embrace different technologies.

At the top end, 3D printing technology will allow for the printing of human tissue and organs.  Not yet perfected, but give it a few decades.

Making extraterrestrial or undersea homes, yeah, it will likely do that too - and since they will be “robot” devices, there will be less possibility of human casualties.

And, yes, 3D printing is for niche markets at this time.  I laughed when I found out that the US space program spent tons of $$ to develop the space pen.  The Russians used a pencil to solve the same problem.  Sometimes “traditional” is better than “newfangled”.  On that, I do have to agree as well.

At this point in time, 3D printing is just becoming available to the masses.  It will take a while for all the great uses to be uncovered.  This is by no means a mature industry.  Ground floor, grass roots movement at this time.

So you won’t see any huge benefits across multiple sectors at this time.

But you will see the technology used and adapted to different industries over time.

For instance, this summer it was road construction season as usual.  Ripping up streets, putting new pavement and curbing in.  I have no idea why the city does that - some sort of make work project - but I did see something a bit different this year.

A machine was using 3D printing technology to build the new curbing.  It was a lot faster than traditional methods, required 1/3 the manpower and probably used less material in the process. By a lot faster, I mean that 1/4 mile of curb was laid in 6 hours.  The traditional method would have had a crew of 6 guys building the wood forms for the curb.  That would take 2 days to build a 1/4 mile of forms.  Then the cement mixer would have to deposit the cement the 3rd day, with lots of overflow to be troweled.  Then the forms would be taken off and the whole section would get the final finish on the 4th or 5th day, depending on the drying time.

Obviously this is not an example of 3D printing changing the world, but it is an improvement.  I trust that the company that operated the equipment did a proper cost/benefit study and found that profitability would improve by using this new machine.

I don’t know if that qualifies as your “real example” but it sure looks like a good one to me.

I am sorry if you think I was attacking you when I listed examples of things that people didn’t see an immediate benefit.  My son uses an MP3 player, I play vinyl records on my Technics turntable. And I prefer tube based amplifiers to solid state devices.  Does that make me an old fuddy duddy?  I don’t know.  My son can store many more songs, but I prefer the sound of traditional analog recordings.  However, I use the MP3 player in my car since, well, a turntable and records would be a real pain in the butt to deal with while driving. grin

So, I will say it again, 3D printing technology will, eventually, be a major game changer.  Perhaps not everywhere, but everywhere it makes sense.

 

 

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Posted: 25 December 2012 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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KorvisBlack - 25 December 2012 05:56 AM

At this point in time, 3D printing is just becoming available to the masses.  It will take a while for all the great uses to be uncovered.  This is by no means a mature industry.  Ground floor, grass roots movement at this time.

So you won’t see any huge benefits across multiple sectors at this time.

Ahh, okay. So when you say that 20% of households will own one, you really don’t know WHY they will own one, and can’t really point to a reason, other than your belief that sometime in the future somebody will come up with an awesome use for them that isn’t yet obvious to the rest of us.

I’m sure you understand that even the most useless new technology can be legitimized using that same logic. “I have no clue why it’s awesome, but in 20 years I’m sure somebody will come up with something”. And in the meantime, you deflect anyone who questions or challenges your beliefs as the equivalent of “flat earth-ers”.

And like I’ve also said before, today anyone can go online, visit a manufacturer’s website, download some software, design a part or a widget or a model, transfer the file to the manufacturer, and they will fabricate the item and ship it to you. You choose the size, and the material, and you don’t need to buy an expensive 3D printer. Fast, simple, easy.

But the fact that THAT process, which is virtually identical to what you’re saying will be a game changer, is not even close to being popular with households today, makes me fairly certain that your projection for 3D printers is nothing more than baseless hype.

Sorry, but like I said before, just because you want to believe something doesn’t make it true.

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Posted: 25 December 2012 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Now, on the other hand….  smile

Maybe 20% of households will recognize the 3D Printer as a replacement for the 1960’s toy from Mattel that some might remember. It was called “Creepy Crawlers” and also they had (my favorite) “Vac-U-Form”. A device which allows kids of all ages to make their own little toys. Pretty cool. Didn’t last long, but a cool idea.

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

And the ads on TV during the Saturday morning cartoons: “...just pour in Plastigoop…”

Awesome.

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Posted: 26 December 2012 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 25 December 2012 03:48 PM

Now, on the other hand….  smile

Maybe 20% of households will recognize the 3D Printer as a replacement for the 1960’s toy from Mattel that some might remember. It was called “Creepy Crawlers” and also they had (my favorite) “Vac-U-Form”. A device which allows kids of all ages to make their own little toys. Pretty cool. Didn’t last long, but a cool idea.

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

And the ads on TV during the Saturday morning cartoons: “...just pour in Plastigoop…”

Awesome.

I loved those Creepy Crawlers!  And you may be right on the money with suggesting that 20% of households will get inexpensive, 3D printers for their kids.

The Cube is currently $1500, but it was just launched.  Prices go down after a while.  Perhaps the next version will be half that price.

Yes, I can see those TV ads during the Saturday morning cartoons ” just add the material cartridge and 30 minutes later, your creation is finished”.

I would guess that you are likely correct with your prediction. My 12 year old daughter said she thinks it would be great for kids, it might bring an end to the “lame” toys made by the current toy manufacturers.  I would not have thought of that market segment.

 

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Posted: 26 December 2012 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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KorvisBlack, I was joking…

Personally, I think your 20% prediction is ludicrous, and nothing more than some guy who wants his company to do well (so he has a job) trying to hype something that, at best, will be a tiny niche market in 20 years.

Until you can give a reasonable example, which you apparently can’t, it’s all just hype.

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Posted: 26 December 2012 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I think another way to look at this would be to examine the DIY (do-it-yourself) market. A compound mitre saw is $250 and up. A table saw is $500 and up. It is not uncommon for home owners to have both, plus assorted other power tools with a combined cost that may be several thousand dollars.

Look at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Over the last 30 years this market has exploded.

Granted, we are talking about additional software and specialized knowledge, to make use of 3d printer or cnc technology right now. However, in another 30 years I don’t think it farfetched for a homeowner to use this technology, along with undoubted interface enhancements, to produce work for home use that does not require any more specialized knowledge than the average individual possesses.

Consider how prevalent smartphones are now. There’s already enough computing power and storage there to run/program a cnc machine. With a faster processor, more memory and storage, they could handle 3d printers as well.

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Posted: 26 December 2012 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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cdordoni - 26 December 2012 06:29 PM

Look at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Over the last 30 years this market has exploded.

Yes, it has. And the reason is that people can build, repair, and renovate important stuff with what Home Depot sells. Like their houses, and their property.

Again, give me a good example of what the average household can build with a 3D printer that they would WANT to build, and that is the right size for a 3D printer, and the right material that can be handled by a 3D printer. And once you figure that out, show me where it is cost effective.

But please, don’t compare it to Home Depot. It’s totally irrelevant.

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Posted: 27 December 2012 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 26 December 2012 08:28 PM

Yes, it has. And the reason is that people can build, repair, and renovate important stuff with what Home Depot sells. Like their houses, and their property.

Again, give me a good example of what the average household can build with a 3D printer that they would WANT to build, and that is the right size for a 3D printer, and the right material that can be handled by a 3D printer. And once you figure that out, show me where it is cost effective.

But please, don’t compare it to Home Depot. It’s totally irrelevant.

The average household will use a 3d printer/cnc machine for the same things they do now with tablesaws, mitre saws and routers. It’s not limited to a machine extruding plastic goop.

Technology is expensive to research and develop. But mass produced it is cheap. That is why there are patents. The companies that spend the money to do the R&D get their money back and then some, as in return-on-investment. If companies did not profit from developing technology, they would not do it.

Yes, there are still the individuals who work in their basement developing things because they like to, and maybe someday, can cash in on it. This is very different from the large companies that are profit machines. Application of technology generally takes many people and significant time before it results in $.

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Posted: 03 January 2013 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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While I admit I am a 3D printing technology booster, you can’ t really ignore the content on these websites:

http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/3d-printer-manufacturing.html shows that 3D printing is a $2 BILLION industry, and has a growth of about 7.2% average per year over the past decade.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/3D_printing_products/3D_printer_services/prweb9719642.htm shows projections for the 3D printing industry

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2012/03/27/3d-printing-industry-will-reach-3-1-billion-worldwide-by-2016/  for more projections by Forbes.

http://moneymorning.com/2012/03/08/3d-printing-how-desktop-factories-will-create-the-next-1-trillion-industry/  deals specifically with “home & hobby” type 3D printers

The above links are from industry analysts, investment gurus and financial wonks.  These people are experts at understanding market trends.

As to 3D printers in the home, all you need to do is look at the growing maker movement. http://makerfaire.com/  As people get back into the habbit of creating things for themselves, the maker movement will grow even more.  Most 3D printers under $3000 use ABS filament that, oddly enough, produces parts that are just as usable as “original” ABS parts.  This material is cheap, under $2 per cubic inch.  There is no “plastigoop”; the equipment operation is clean and easy.

Obviously the market is growing.  Why?  Because people who are buying these things are finding a use for the technology.  And this use has a cost/performance benefit, or people would not buy them.  Is it necessary to identify a specific example?  Hell, no!  Obviously there are thousands of people who already have their own specific example of how this technology improves their processes; otherwise these devices would not be selling so well.

And this industry is just taking off.  I remember when 640K of RAM was considered the “most you will ever need” and a 20MB “Winchester” hard drive was HUGE storage.  That was only 29 years ago.  In my city, 98% of the population has at least 1 computer.  That 20% of homes will have a 3D printer within the next decade is not a crazy projection.

Yes, 3D printing technology will be a major game changer - not everywhere - but everywhere it makes sense. 

 

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Posted: 09 January 2013 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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KorvisBlack - 03 January 2013 09:55 AM

That 20% of homes will have a 3D printer within the next decade is not a crazy projection.

I agree. At $2-3K in the current economic climate, unless you have a profitable business model, 3D printers are an expensive toy. But when prices come down to the $500 range, they’ll become more common as long as some conditions are met.

Right now, we have a similar problem as the early VCR did. Very cool technology but not much to do with it.

In the future, I see 3D printers being used almost like Star Trek replicators. They’ll become simple to use (just add media like replacing inkjet cartridge or a Keurig coffee pod) and will connect directly to an online store (iTunes for 3D model). Select an item, click “buy” and it materializes in the printer. Ease-of-use and low price are two keys for 3D printers to expand beyond our world of techno-geeks and into the general population.

The other key is a good use. Making gadgets or replacement parts might be fun for some, but not enough for the general public. For VCRs, the key was workout videos. What’s the third key to make 3D printers a must-have for the general public? If I knew it, I’d be a richer man.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Eric3ddd - 09 January 2013 04:11 PM

The other key is a good use. Making gadgets or replacement parts might be fun for some, but not enough for the general public. For VCRs, the key was workout videos. What’s the third key to make 3D printers a must-have for the general public? If I knew it, I’d be a richer man.

$500 3D printers are already available.  The issue is surface quality and layer thickness.  When these REALLY inexpensive devices can print in layers that are 0.05 mm or thinner (50 microns), you will see a more rapid adoption of the technology in homes.

Home applications would include:

Making repair parts for plastic “things” that have broken - knobs, switches, handles, etc
Kids designing and making their own toys
School projects (from grade 3 to college, there are a LOT of projects!)
People who “have an idea for a product” and use FREE software to design it, then build the prototype at home!
People who are into AC planes, cars, boats etc who can design and build their own craft, or modify existing designs
Back yard auto restorers - they could “print” replacement trim and badges

Although all the above examples are not a huge market segment on their own, collectively they would help drive the market.  Just think, Apple only “owns” less than 15% of the personal computer market, but that is considered a “huge” portion for one company.

More commercial applications of “cheap” 3D printers: architects and artists could use them to create solid renditions of their designs!

So, yes, you are correct that when the price drops and the quality improves for “home” 3D printers that there will be a HUGE amount of growth in the industry. However, I don’t see any one “key” application being the driving force.  It will be the adoption of the technology by a broad spectrum of users (and uses) that will be the primary reason for adoption of the technology.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Actually you’ve only scratched the surface of the possible applications. You might check out some of the many online services who already perform the services I mentioned (online CNC, etc.):

You can make parts for:

“Cars, Bikes, Aircraft, Musical instruments, Watercraft, Optical devices, Sensors, Models, Electronic devices, Enclosures, Clocks, Machinery, Engines, Furniture, Jewelry, Jigs, Telecom, Lighting, Medical devices, Photographic devices, Robots, Sculptures, Sound equipment, Sporting equipment, Tooling, Toys and more.”

And they use a whole list of processes, including:

“CNC Milling, CNC Turning (Lathe), Rapid Prototyping, Laser Cutting, Waterjet Cutting, Plasma Cutting, Punching, Bending, Casting, Wire EDM, Plastic Injection Molding and more.”

And if you want to investigate more, here’s just one of the many companies who perform the service, though you can Google “online CNC” or something like that and get a whole list of them:

http://www.emachineshop.com/

Which is why I have such difficulty believing 3D printers are going to change the world. You can already do that and more. Today. Right now.  And have 20% of the people here ever used such a service? Or even know of anyone who has? Or were even aware of the service?

I kinda doubt it…

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