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How 3D printing could change everything

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by OutsourcedGuru, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. OutsourcedGuru

    OutsourcedGuru Active Member

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    Here I am, resigning a part on my 3D printer. This particular part is the little box that's screwed to the back of my Robo C2 which accepts up to two strands of filament, is the end-point for one or two filament tubes and holds a switch (quantity one) to let the printer know when there's a filament run-out problem.

    In their design, there's a little circuit board (at least in mine), a tiny blade switch that's supposed to feel for the existence of filament and a tiny two-pin receptacle to accept the plug from the printer itself. There's a screw in the little circuit board. There's a corresponding screw hole in the part itself.

    The original part was designed, presumably, to minimize the plastic used (perhaps to lower the overall printer weight). There are lots of cutouts internally on the part which serve no purpose otherwise.

    In redesigning this part now, I realize that I am free to change a number of these original assumptions. There is no significant cost to me to print a dense part versus a sparse one (infill) since I'm only printing one it just doesn't matter. Cut-outs? Doesn't matter since I'm not interested in the weight difference at all.

    Screw hole for the tiny circuit board? How about glue instead since that's easier. ("But you'll want the ability to replace that later...") Will I actually do that... or will I just re-print another and add two more inexpensive switches and wiring?

    There are pairs of doctors now in the medical world who are working together across the country (or the globe). The first scans something and the second 3D prints that "something". Presumably the second doctor might be the one with more experience and may then relay what they're seeing from the model.

    Likewise, we might be able to troubleshoot a problem remotely, design a part and then transfer the STL to a local printing company, they print it and hold it on "will call" and the end-user comes in for their replacement (better) part. (It's like the new Amazon shipping/fulfillment centers, say.)

    All we need is some sort of 3DaaS (3D as a service) offering on the web, methinks.
     
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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  3. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, because Thingiverse, 3dhubs, Shapeways and the myriad other sites that do exactly what you say you'd like to see happening don't exist.

    Also, the medical doctor example already happens, but it's behind a secured system to keep people from messing it up with meme 3d models.
     
    #3 daniel871, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2017
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  4. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    @daniel871 I edited some of your post (language to PG please :D ).

    Agreed though. There are also new companys like xometry that are adding both subtractive and additive processes for the manufacturing side of the world.

    All of which I believe you as a user can sign up for as a 3D Print lab. Just be warned- You will not make a killing doing it and it requires many many machines and high ROI to start turning a profit in reasonable times (trust me ) :D.
     
  5. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    That kind of squeamishness about language kind of falls apart if (deleted) stays behind after editing.
     
  6. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    you are correct. Fixed.
     
  7. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    You do realize finishing setting up the simple word filter that all forum/message board backends come with would make this a moot point, right?

    Simple asterisk over-write options and word substitutions have been around on internet message boards since their inception (in the form we see them in) since the late 90s.
     
    #7 daniel871, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  8. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    agreed, would have to have a higher up than me implement. Maybe @mark tomlinson could look into that. Thank you.
     
  9. OutsourcedGuru

    OutsourcedGuru Active Member

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    Well, yeah... Thingiverse exists but it assumes that everyone has a 3D printer with a large print volume, knows exactly what they're doing and it's a one-author-many-consumer sort of interface. That's not what I'm talking about.

    I'm talking about looking at the world around us at the sheer amount of plastic in our lives and the sometimes poorly-designed parts that we live with because "that's just the way it is". We could replace these parts with better ones. And by "we" I mean consumers who don't necessarily have a printer nor want the expense.

    And yes, I get that 3DHubs is slightly more like this... only it isn't. You (the consumer) have to submit what you want printed to someone and they print it for you and send it to you.

    Remember, everyday I work with the most clueless people in the biotech world with respect to I.T.-related things. They have no idea what they need on any given day. And yet as consumers they are full of complaints about nearly everything. These people should never own a 3D printer because they'd be a support nightmare. If they have money and a problem then the market could provide a means by which you have a three-party relationship:

    A. Clueless consumer with money (CCWM) identifies a problem
    B. Savvy designer designs part, submitting it into some kind of fulfillment site like Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" or similar
    C. Successful (say, local-to-CCWM) bidder prints the part
    1. Bidder ships parts to CCWM with installation instructions... or...
    2. CCWM now submits installation task back to the fulfillment site. Printer ships part to successful (local-to-CCWM) installation bidder who receives part, visits CCWM and installs the part.
    It's a different model from everything that currently exists. It recognizes that there are experts in the design, printing, coding and installation spaces and by marrying everything together with the consumer, you have something that potentially could work quite well.
     
  10. OutsourcedGuru

    OutsourcedGuru Active Member

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  11. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    There is literally a button on every single Thingiverse listing that you can redirect to 3dHubs and find a hub capable of printing the model.

    Engineering/design support costs money and it is good and right that it does. The time someone will spend working on something is time they will never get back and if you intend to waste someone's time it should cost you something.

    If you want something more advanced than 3dhubs, go to Shapeways and contract the work to an honest-to-god 3d design firm or someone like @Geof that has enough handle on what they are doing to do it well (or tell you to kick rocks when you are asking for something-for-nothing).

    The big problem with your list is that point A, 99.9% of the time, is CCWM being Completely Clueless and needing to go back to whatever they were doing before they decided they wanted to reinvent the wheel by taking a hammer and chisel to a block of stone instead of just buying the wheel made by people with modern technology.

    Keep in mind that the 3D printing technology we play with at the hobby level is 20 years behind the actual Industrial 3d printing technology in use today. You will never do a better job of "fixing" something that isn't broken than the people that originally designed it.

    Using some hackjob part on a hobby level 3d printer as an example of doing this is hilarious though, thanks for that.
     
  12. OutsourcedGuru

    OutsourcedGuru Active Member

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    I completely agree that people's time (in a service mode) should be paid for and at the correct rate. I was a contractor for at least a decade. What I observe here is that most things related to 3D printing are too difficult for the average Joe. Some of those people have a lot of money and would pay good money to have some customized solution but not want to be mired in the details.
     
    #12 OutsourcedGuru, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  13. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the average joe has no business trying to play with potentially dangerous CNC machines then.

    And picking up 3d modelling isn't difficult.

    Time consuming, but not difficult.
     
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  14. OutsourcedGuru

    OutsourcedGuru Active Member

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    You're intelligent, Daniel. A lot of people aren't good with spatial relations.

    When I was young, I couldn't figure out why others in class couldn't get what I thought were easy concepts, like the calculus, for example.
     
  15. Kilrah

    Kilrah Well-Known Member

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    It exists but in a more common close relationship, i.e. the company who needs something hires someone local who can come and discuss/see in person, then design/manufacture/deliver, or if they have enough need they buy machines and either find internally or hire a guy who can make use of it.

    It jsut doesn't work when there's distance involved and no physical contact, you lose more time (and thus money) than anything.
    Unless you get plans good enough to use for manufacturing, but if you have that you don't need a design service.
     
    #15 Kilrah, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  16. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    EXPENSIVE
    Fixed that for you ;)
     
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  17. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    You saw those ebay listings I linked in the shoutbox, too, eh?
     
  18. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    We have been shopping for one... 5 figures is a cheap one.
     
  19. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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  20. OutsourcedGuru

    OutsourcedGuru Active Member

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    There at Caveman Plastics, the client would ship in a mockup and we'd need to build the reverse mold (aluminum fabrication, sanding/grinding/welding) to then run a test part. We'd then tweak things (more sanding/grinding/welding & manipulation of the Honeywell recipe file, powder weight and such) until we got a useful part. We'd ship that sample to the customer, they'd approve or ask for adjustments, etc. The entire mold fabrication cost was at least $15,000 and we'd own the mold itself regardless. The customer would enjoy the exclusive rights for us to produce parts for them at some cost each; this might include boxing/kitting and usually I'd force them to buy pallet-friendly quantities. I shipped about 200 pallets full of parts each year out of there, representing a fair amount of money since the average per-part cost was maybe $50 but a lot higher in many cases. That's maybe a third of a million in sales/year.

    For the CNC-related stuff, we had customers like Ahead Sanitation Systems out of Lousiana who kept me busy cutting those black lids like you see on that tank in the photo. Of course, they'd get assembled onto those roto-molded plastic parts like you see with USCG-certified/serialized serial numbers in their mold-in labels, stainless steel inserts, etc.

    We'd get in basically ideas written on a cocktail napkin with respect to designs. Some guy wanted those highway plastic barriers of the kind you'd find on temporary construction areas which are supposed to be DOT-certified for safety. And of course, the instructions were "make it like the one you see over there on the Knoxville exit near the Cracker Barrel..." I priced those at some ungodly amount of money for the startup effort, something like $150K maybe.

    We did fuel tanks. Those required three runs in the oven with three different plastics.

    We did foam-filled tanks with a pair of huge tanks which I had to keep going at all times.
     

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