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  1. #1

    What are the disadvantages of 3D Printing?

    There are plenty of advantages of 3D printing for almost all types of printing business. It also cut the edge of printing industry. The question is what are it's disadvantages that threatens business branding?

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training MysteryAlabaster's Avatar
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    Well... You have to buy plastic and pay for electricity...


    The fact that nobody else has come forward with anything else makes me think that these are the ONLY two problems...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator RobH2's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand your question. In what way to you connect "branding" to the advantages/disadvantages of 3d printing? I'm not trying to be a wisenheimer.

    Branding is somewhat separate from actual business activity, be it 3d printing or dog grooming. When you build a brand, you build public awareness for your company and many times it not about the end product. If you could elaborate on what you are trying to think about here I think there might be some good discussion as branding is very important to any business. But as a purist I don't see how 3d printing could be detrimental. Without doing anything at all, I think that just mentioning 3d printing will have an overall positive effect because it's the "latest thing" and the public is a buzz about it. So far, nothing except a few news stories about printing hand guns has tainted its reputation.

    I think I see some interesting discussion potential in your question if you can be a little more concrete about what you are trying to convey.
    Prusa i3/ Makerfarm (8" rod version) / Dual Hexagon Extruders with Itty Bitty Double Extruder, Simplify 3D Slicer.
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  4. #4
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    What are the disadvantages of a fork? It's great for salad, good for beans, lousy for soup.

    Additive manufacturing makes quick work of geometries that are difficult or impossible with traditional, subtractive manufacturing - but don't expect to see subtractive methods disappear. The smart manufacturer will use the best technology to do the job, including a combination of the two.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator RobH2's Avatar
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    Davo makes a good point and reiterates one that I've tried to convey a few times. 3d printing is not going to replace the "world of manufacturing." It's a useful tool and most definitely affords us with some capabilities that we never had before. Building objects inside other objects real time is an incredible process. Few other manufacturing processes could even come close to that. What 3d printing is going to allow us to do is facilitate traditional manufacturing techniques and add new capabilities. It will become integral in the scope of manufacturing but it's not going to make every other method of making parts obsolete, ever. It's just too easy and cheap to injection mold 100's of parts per minute.

    One thing that 3d printing can't do yet is work without having a flat side stuck to a plate. Even with the resin/laser/sintering 3d technologies, the part has to touch somewhere, so there is a flat spot and a directionality that has to be considered when planning the print. In many other traditional manufacturing processes, contact points and flat spots are non-existent.

    So in the end non-users of the 3d printing need to understand that it's in an incredible tool and one capable of things that were only dreams a few years ago. But, it's only one new tool in the much larger tool-belt that represents the world of manufacturing. It does bring a type of manufacturing plant into the homes of regular people, but it's not going to supplant the majority of manufacturing.
    Prusa i3/ Makerfarm (8" rod version) / Dual Hexagon Extruders with Itty Bitty Double Extruder, Simplify 3D Slicer.
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  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Well said, sir.

  7. #7
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    I have heard some concerns about piracy in connection with 3D printing files. Apparently the PirateBay now has a section just for that. If things are open source then more power to them. If things that people worked blood, sweat and tears for that can better humanity, they deserve to be fairly compensated.

    Obviously this is an inherent disadvantage to 3D printing, but I think as 3D gains ground, this will be an issue of concern.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator RobH2's Avatar
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    Yea, it's unfortunate that we have to deal with criminals on a daily basis. I've been consistent in my advice here, never put anything on Thingiverse or similar if you think it has mass appeal. You'll lose it forever. At worst, put it on Quirky.com or something and at least you'll have a fighting chance to maybe get it produced for sale.

    Don't get me wrong, I do like "open-source" development and sharing ideas. It's a great and noble philosophy. But, there is nothing wrong with making some money on a good idea. "Open-source" works well for software but I don't think it's a model that is suited to hardware. I realize that without open-source hardware, RepRap would not exist. It certainly provided a foundation for RepRap printers to explode on the market, but, for accessories and clever upgrades, I have no problem with people making some cash.

    Bottom line, protect your ideas, don't just give them away and always get a Non-Disclosure signed if you share the idea (that is, any idea that you don't wish to just give away) with anyone.
    Prusa i3/ Makerfarm (8" rod version) / Dual Hexagon Extruders with Itty Bitty Double Extruder, Simplify 3D Slicer.
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  9. #9
    I can name at least one disadvantage of 3D printing. 3D printed details are less reliable than industrially manufactured ones.

  10. #10
    No-one's mentioned that 3D printed items do not possess the same physical properties as conventionally manufactured items via processes such as blow-moulding, injection moulding, from-solid machining,etc. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a 3D printed item will have at best only 60% the strength and reliability of, say, an injection moulded article. Obviously this percentage can drop even further under certain dimensional constraints i.e thin-walls, non-solid infill, etc and also under procedural conditions i.e. unfavourable extruder temperature resulting in delamination.

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