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  1. #11
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    I'm not foreseeing any 100X speed increases in the near future, especially in the low-priced market you seem to be focusing on. What's your hurry anyhow? How quickly do you need to fill your house with Yoda heads?

  2. #12
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    How quickly do you need to fill your house with Yoda heads?
    Bwahahaha!

  3. #13
    Maybe speed is not an issue if 3D printing is your best and only hobby and you dedicate your time to running multiple printers in parallel. But for the part time printer, the requirement to babysit over (large) prints for 7-8 hours in a row, plus the added considerations like suffering the noise for that period in a home environment, bring some practical limitations to your schedule and so on.

    Time required has several practical implications both for your printing activities and the rest of your day. If you could get finished models out in just 5 minutes, you could iterate much faster over prototype versions and nail the finished design in a much shorter timespan. Also I take PLA at least can be easily recycled so there is a use for all those yoda heads

    That said I think already a half of my time goes to working with the 3D design part and it's easy to multitask while printing.

    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Lasers are cheap and readily available - not sure where you got your info from.
    Like stated it was from the Wikipedia page. Glanced over it quick and they said the availability (and safety!) of powerful lasers is just one of the blockers.

  4. #14
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    So what's your point, exactly? If you want to print 100 times faster, go right ahead. I don't think there are any machines that come close to doing that, but maybe you'll build one and show us. And if you think the printers are noisy, wait until you start grinding up all those Yoda heads...

  5. #15
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    There is a lot of innovation in the 3D printing space, and it is getting more serious too. I am learning how there are different needs for different use cases and niches, and dedicated 3D printers will serve these. It will not be a perfect competition type market where tons of parties try to stay ahead, nor will it be monopoly but more like the Pepsi-Coke oligopoly that will be there for each use case. I would say Lulzbot and Ultimaker currently dominate but BCN3D is entering to create a specific market for the use case of high quality prints, where Lulzbot is better for DIY enthusiasts. At some point, there will likely be a balance in the market and it may seem that there is no more competition but there will always be improvements.

    I have been thinking about developing a printer that post-sinters extruded prints to make them stronger and with a better finish, a hybrid combining speed and the strength and aesthetic advantages of SLS. However that will take years to develop and as you say the lasers imply lots of new risks to the system where in the end, the old engineering adagios may well speak eternal truths. I am more excited about machines that can truly print 3D because if you think about it, current printers are not 2.5D because an actual 3D object comes out, but also not fully 3D since the Z-direction only moves linearly. Fully controlled 3D printing we have only seen with Joris Laarman's 3D printing robot. I think that is where it is heading; robot arm aka Scara type extrusion.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    In deltas the print head does move in three dimensions, but I see where you're coming from. There are a few 5 dimensional machines around where the printhead can also rotate.
    As far as ultimaker and lulzbot dominating - possibly only in your workshop. The worlds current most succesful 3d printer retailer is monoprice.

    Quality printers at lower prices is where the market is heading. Not sure lulzbot or ultimaker will be able to keep up, unless they rethink their pricing policies.

  7. #17
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    Ralph points out a shortcoming of nearly all current 3D printers, which is especially acute in FDM machines: the flat planes they print in. This means that while a part may be strong in the X/Y directions, its strength in the Z direction is limited by the adhesion between a hot layer on top and the cool layer below, which is typically rather weak. The way around this is to devise a machine that can truly move in 3 dimensions, applying material across vertical layers. So if you picture a bowl being printed, for example, the outside might be printed conventionally, but then a second layer could be printed over that which rasters cross-wise over all those layers from one side to another, swooping up the sides of the bowl and across the bottom. That would give it a lot more strength. But it would require a longer nozzle than current printers have, and the ability to swivel it. A robot arm could certainly do it, but a more conventional 5-axis machine (or a delta) could do it as well. Keeping the plastic heated in that longer nozzle would be the biggest technical issue that I can forsee.

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