Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Discussion on future tech and society - Monday Musing - Additive Printers
sunseeker25 at 3:13PM, June 25, 2018
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FYI, in order to make sure I don't run out of topics, I am discontinuing the Saturday Sandbox. I have plans to do something ELSE on Saturdays when I am ready though, so stay tuned for that!

Here's the topic for today - please share your thoughts in a comment!



Yes, I do! It's a much more efficient way of creating things and avoids the need to inventory most goods. It also avoids some (if not all) transportation issues for goods, especially for ones that might break in transit. While I'm not sure if every home is going to have a printer, I am pretty sure by then any home could have one, and the economy for printer recipes and designs should be well established.
Ozoneocean at 3:11AM, June 27, 2018
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DIY fabrication is what I'd call it…
I don't know if it will yet.
The so called “printers” can work in some plastics and even some metals but it's still very early days yet. The technology is very primitive right now. People rave about it but they're really thinking about what it COULD do rather than what it actually does, which is slooooooooooooooooowwwwww, rough prototypes that are usually very weak and incredibly inefficiently produced going by their consumption of power and materials.
At the moment they're only really good for quick, rough 3D prototypes

I'm sure they'll get better as time goes on. But I don't think they'll drive the economy just because they're massively inefficient.
Large scale plastic injection moulding is expensive to set up but amazingly cheap to produce, even factoring in transport and storage, it's still hugely cost effective.

————-

You're talking 100 years from now though.
We just have zero idea what can happen in that much time… But thinking on how most of the things in the world have moved towards standardisation and generic items (the ipohone and Apple products are kings of generic), I would bet that the current model of making things in one place and shipping them somewhere else will hold. It's more efficient and much cheaper at large scales for generic, standardised items.
Even the internet is becoming generic, narrowing down to Google, Facebook and Twitter. That seems to be where we're going instead of a world of individual, custom items.

 
last edited on June 27, 2018 3:16AM
bravo1102 at 4:34AM, June 27, 2018
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As huge as 3-d printing is becoming in all areas of miniatures? It's printing all kinds of custom parts in durable plastics and some resin and just five years ago there was little to nothing.

The thing is going to be size of printers and just how big an item item you'll end up being able to make. I see the money being in selling the patterns. Not everyone can do CAD or scan original models.

Right now there are a pile of CAD guys doing all kinds of patterns and selling them through a centralized printing company. If you can do a 3-d model you can print it. They're even doing whole sculptures.

You know it could a whole new dimension to the old Tupperware parties or Avon ladies. You license the pattern and are a reseller.

See Shapeways and all the sub-stores under them. Mind boggling.
last edited on June 27, 2018 4:43AM
KimLuster at 2:16PM, June 27, 2018
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bravo1102 wrote:
As huge as 3-d printing is becoming in all areas of miniatures? It's printing all kinds of custom parts in durable plastics and some resin and just five years ago there was little to nothing…

Speaking of miniatures… I met someone last week who showed us their collection of game miniatures. He said he designed them using 3-D software then sent the files somewhere where they created them this way from his designs! It was fairly impressive!
Ozoneocean at 6:13PM, June 27, 2018
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That sort of thing is a VERY poor guide because those are highly customised, cottage type items. That's exactly what I was talking about- that sort of thing doesn't drive an economy. People have always had a need for artisan products and there have been people to supply them, 3D “printing” hasn't given us ANYTHING new yet, it's just taking up that small scale artisan role.

At the moment there's zero way forward for that to scale up to larger production runs where it starts to affect the economy, let alone drive it, because of inefficiency.

The only way that is changing is if the efficiency involved in fabrication goes up (the energy and materials used to produce items), or is everyone moves to wanting 100% customised and individualised items instead of standardised ones that we all love now.
 
bravo1102 at 1:28AM, June 28, 2018
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But current archeological evidence points to that being precisely how pottery started. And metal working.

Figurines and jewelry came before clay pots and tools.

Some say even agriculture started with the little decorative garden before becoming the staple of the diet and major activity.

So many machines and industries started with a gadget, toy or ornament.
Ozoneocean at 2:33AM, June 28, 2018
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We did not have mass production then though Bravo or any reason to need it.
I'm not sure why you make the comparison. ??????????

As I said, 3D “printing” filling an artisan role isn't providing anything new right now. It's simply lowing the bar: Before you had to be far more skilled and practised to produce those objects. Using these fabrication methods means you need much less or zero skill.

The equation here really is: Mass-production VS artisan production.
Economically when does it make sense for one to supplant the other?

Mass production started to take over in the 18th century and never looked back.
Sunseeker proposes we will return to artisan led production as the primary means of production in 100 years. It's certainly possible, but I think there will need to be other factors involved besides just the introduction of “additive printing”.
 
bravo1102 at 3:18AM, June 28, 2018
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Actually pottery and weapons were the first mass produced things, the 18th century only introduced mass production by machinery rather than by hand.

You call that artisan production because it requires skilled workers. Machinery requires a whole pile of skilled workers making and maintaining the machines. ( see The American Rifle or The Krupps)

What do you think all those CAD guys do for a living when not designing toys? They work in industry and mass production. They'll mass produce the printers and they'll be like the little computer printer you have today. How many people write a program to do word processing? No you buy a ready made program with templates and use it. You can even buy templates. How many 3d artists do a figure or background from nothing? Nope, they but pre made patterns.

So there will be CAD patterns you buy for the little things around the house to print with your personal printer. There'll be big industrial printing for various composite materials to include fiberglass and graphite. Prototypes will be printed and some components printed for assembly.

But will injection molding go the way of buggy whips? Not likely.

They're already more advanced or on the verge of the breakthroughs for all this. I hear what those industry guys talk about when not designing toys and niche items. It's on the horizon. Like any one thought we'd have touch screens and smart phones in 20 years back in the 1980s. That was Star Trek technology!

You're talking like the guy who in the 1880s said we'd only have heavier than air flight by the 1960s and couldn't conceive of a horseless carriage.
bravo1102 at 3:18AM, June 28, 2018
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Actually pottery and weapons were the first mass produced things, the 18th century only introduced mass production by machinery rather than by hand.

You call that artisan production because it requires skilled workers. Machinery requires a whole pile of skilled workers making and maintaining the machines. ( see The American Rifle or The Krupps)

What do you think all those CAD guys do for a living when not designing toys? They work in industry and mass production. They'll mass produce the printers and they'll be like the little computer printer you have today. How many people write a program to do word processing? No you buy a ready made program with templates and use it. You can even buy templates. How many 3d artists do a figure or background from nothing? Nope, they but pre made patterns.

So there will be CAD patterns you buy for the little things around the house to print with your personal printer. There'll be big industrial printing for various composite materials to include fiberglass and graphite. Prototypes will be printed and some components printed for assembly.

But will injection molding go the way of buggy whips? Not likely.

They're already more advanced or on the verge of the breakthroughs for all this. I hear what those industry guys talk about when not designing toys and niche items. It's on the horizon. Like any one thought we'd have touch screens and smart phones in 20 years back in the 1980s. That was Star Trek technology!

You're talking like the guy who in the 1880s said we'd only have heavier than air flight by the 1960s and couldn't conceive of a horseless carriage.
Ozoneocean at 3:38AM, June 28, 2018
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You're not quite getting my point Bravo :/
I'm not sure why. I think you're over thinking your response.
 
Ozoneocean at 3:49AM, June 28, 2018
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OK
I'm talking about when mass production took over (the economy). Not when it first started.

Mass production of printers is irrelevant, that already exists.

I'm talking the objects themselves:
Is it more efficient to produce them at your house or to make them in China and ship them thousands of kilometres?

So far, no. Not unless it's for artisan products.
For standardised items (the little things around you house). It's cheaper and more efficient to buy mass produced versions.
If it's a customised thing you need then great! There never was a mass produced version for that anyway so hooray for home fabrication.
 
bravo1102 at 4:28AM, June 28, 2018
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I'm thinking 20-50- 100 years from now. Over thinking? Merely extrapolating and looking at possibilities thinking “what if?” And “if this goes on…” This is the meat and potatoes of world building!

There may be reasons home production of common products takes off. Tariffs or a adverse reaction to conglomerates. Even a popular fad! That's the whole thing with looking at a question like this.

Mass production of cheap consumer goods in centralized factories was a big thing in the ancient world. And then the world fell apart and suddenly it was all local. It could happen again and there may only be the internet and home printers with governments erratic and mass trade at a standstill.

That's the thing about looking into the future. Scenarios and possibilities abound. What if?

Could self sufficiency be a fad with people having their own printers and agriculture? A friend saw the world going that way.
last edited on June 28, 2018 4:39AM
bravo1102 at 5:58AM, June 28, 2018
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Or ozoneocean, you are completely right and it ends up as little more than a child's toy like the old Mattel Vac-U-form.

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