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Guest vittos

3d Printing, The Next Revolution?

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Guest Buff
Per my above comment: "Caveat emptor: news reports from the Age of Direct Digital Manufacturing" - http://futurismic.com/2009/02/18/caveat-em...l-manufacturing

 

It's a bit long and could have used some serious editing, but there are only so many hours in the day.

 

Interesting text Sven

 

I share the concerns of "diy designers" releasing unproven product. sadly the world mrches on an claims its victims, then after the dust seatls we over react and clamp down to exces, thus further stifeling innnovation... just look at the medical history for a cute example.

 

Another facor raised "IP" intersts me, IP is public information, the dues (royalties) are paied to the originator (if they an get them) for maintaining the IP. If they cannot afford the maintenance then the IP becomes free for all to exploit.

 

However, say someone (or company) has his lightbulb moment, pays a IP lawyer his £300 per hour fee to submit his patent and sets up his little factory churning out his "best thing since sliced bread" product.

 

allong comes Jonny copycat and takes his idea.. improves it perhaps, even changes some style elements... but stolen IP nontheless it is

 

So MrLightbuld decides to procecute... £some 4 years later and several millions of pound in debt to the layer, he looses on some technicallity... HE'S SCREWED, (I did say it was a light bulb idea)

 

I've actually seen thsi happen, and I'm not talking some lone inventor with his mad idea to make him his fortune, which ends up bearly covering cost because he cant string together a business model that makes sense, so decides to change the model to flatter his inventive vanity... NO. Im talking about a public company run by a recognised captain of industry squabling over patens till they went bust.. and they won the case... but still it ruined them and the original inventor ended up over £30 Million in debt

 

If this company had invested its money, effort and time into creating the great product it had and got it to market and made some money, and had focused on development to stay ahead of the game over its competitors and copycats, they may not have had such a disaterous end to such a promising start

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Guest csven

I'm not convinced patents are the way to go, so no argument outta me. The trademark issue I raised was really intended to address the fact that most people have forgotten why it is we even have trademarks: as a means of trust and verification of quality. Anymore it's just a meaningless logo to the average consumer, hence its misappropriation seems relatively benign to them.

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Guest Buff
I'm not convinced patents are the way to go, so no argument outta me. The trademark issue I raised was really intended to address the fact that most people have forgotten why it is we even have trademarks: as a means of trust and verification of quality. Anymore it's just a meaningless logo to the average consumer, hence its misappropriation seems relatively benign to them.

 

@#$@#$.. :-P

 

I'm intrested Sven to hear what you think IS the way to go with IP

 

Care to share you views please?

 

WOW, it censored me and it wasnt particlarly strong language, oh well, @#$@#$ it

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Guest csven
I'm not convinced patents are the way to go, so no argument outta me. The trademark issue I raised was really intended to address the fact that most people have forgotten why it is we even have trademarks: as a means of trust and verification of quality. Anymore it's just a meaningless logo to the average consumer, hence its misappropriation seems relatively benign to them.

 

@#$@#$.. :-P

 

I'm intrested Sven to hear what you think IS the way to go with IP

 

Care to share you views please?

 

WOW, it censored me and it wasnt particlarly strong language, oh well, @#$@#$ it

I'd use the established IP legal system to an extent but a very limited one. It's just not worth it to me to fight a protracted patent-infringement case (Dyson is not the example I would want to follow; fine for him but not for me). Instead I'd focus on two things: speed to market and cultivating fanatical consumers. I think niche products are well-suited for this approach.

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Agree 110% csven. I've seen the negative results of patents so many times it makes me weep thinking about all the money that was wasted on IP lawyers. I've been preaching the speed to market - design it, make it, sell it, design the next one mantra for years now. People do not realise that IP is worth diddly squat unless they can afford to pursue claims.

 

The only times I recommend investing in IP is when you are dealing with ideas that have the potential for huge volume, and the business plan is to license. In those cases the licensee will usually be a big multi national and they have the resources to help protect it. Two areas spring to mind. Medical and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods - drink packaging, being an example). Medical has so many regulatory issues that unless you have significant resources you will struggle to get off the ground. FMCG just represents volumes that we can only dream about (example - a bottle closure system I worked on a few years back was licensed by my customer to a closure maker - unit sales in the UK alone were 250 million a year).

 

Beyond those areas or similar ones - design it, make it sell it quick. Make your money and move onto the next one and invest the £100k you would have spent on patents on some good design work!

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Guest Buff
The SMD Q was a bit loaded. I worked on SMD, and was wondering how far the technology may have spread in the last few years. From what I can gauge, not to far.

 

As a RP system it's actually quite good IMO, but the attemt to mak it into a production method, got off on the wrong foot if you ask me. I suspect that the excitement of what SMD can do as a RP process, overshadowed clear thinking about how to take it forward into production. That and IMO too many influances from non-manufacturing engineering personell and the ME dept wasnt that strong either. All that I think has stunted its development, with a few people having got their fingers burnt and newcomers being over cautious.

 

I'll check out th prices for the Objet and MCP vac casting kit and post my findings, perhaps the week after next

 

 

I got aball park figgure for the Alaris, €34,500

 

I'm interested at this price point/build envolope, looks viable

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Buff I was told £18500 for the Alaris after it came out, so looks like the price has gone up, or maybe that includes maintenenace contracts and supplies? I've also had a price on the U Print at £12500 (which includes 1st year maintenance contract (£1600 a year after), and the first set of build cartridges (build and support)). You also need a tank to use for removing the support material.

 

What I like about the U print and Laserlines is that all the costs are in the open (even to the extent of having an online store for consumables). I get pissed off with hardware and software suppliers who don't say what things cost unless you get into protracted negociations with them. Sure for top end systems that are tailored to your needs that is fair enough but for supposedly desktop generic devices this sales model sucks.

 

The Alaris/Edens are fantastic machines and very fast. I work a lot with a company that has two of them and they offer a same day service, with part finishes that rival the SLA Viper. Now if I had a £100k......

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Guest kaiza

Sorry for resurrecting a dying thread, thought it would make more sense to keep this all in the one topic

 

A laser scanner for $25

http://revision3.com/systm/laserscan/

based around this piece of software:

http://www.david-laserscanner.com/

 

I know it's not 3D printing, but I think it's related enough to warrant including in this thread. I haven't yet watched the video all the way through, but the guy talking about it uses solidworks, so I figured it might be relevant to someone here.

 

So how many of you have had experience using a laser scanner - or wished you could but couldn't use it? I had a brief go at using one at uni - a handheld unit, which we tried to use to scan a pair of sunglasses. The software was relatively straightforward but the results we got were horrible.

 

edit: ok, watched the video. The software is about 200 euro's (US$250) for the full version - the demo is free but you can't stitch individual scans together. A good laser and webcam will probably set you back another $200. Still a lot cheaper than "proper" laser scanning systems.

 

The video covers the exact method of how the software works, as well as giving a fairly good overview of the entire scanning process, although in the end the guy imports the surfaces into sketchup instead of SW, although that hardly matters. The presentation is probably a bit slow and simplistic, so you can stop watching once they've explained the scanning software and you won't miss much.

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I've got a NextEngine scanner that works very well for small handheld objects. 3D scanning is still a developing technology. A lot of the software out there is seriously overpriced for what it actually does.

 

I purchased the Next Engine scanner to do a specific project that could not be done any other way, and it worked very well for that and paid for itself in one job so no complaints there. To be honest though it is not something I use that often - most projects just don't need it.

 

I treat the scanner as a device for giving me 3D underlays for creating production surfaces over the top of. IMHO if you use it like this there is no point in using anything too costly on the software side. Rhino, for example, has excellent tools for point cloud handling. I actually use VX for this to extract curves from the point cloud. The Next Engine Pro software is actually very good as well but I can't justify the $1000 cost for something I rarely use. The software that comes with the scanner is great for producing a point cloud and stl file - imports into most systems directly, and some applications have Next Engine plug ins now.

 

Your comment on scanning the sunglasses with a hand held device. To be honest I wouldn't scan the sunglasses. I'd scan the head the sunglasses were going onto. Highly reflective surfaces do not scan well at all with laser scanners. You need to spray them up with mat white before scanning. Also doing something like sunglasses you would need to split the scan process into several passes to scan different surfaces, and even then, I doubt you would get anything usable in terms of a 3D file using a hand held device unless you were very careful with your scanning technique. For these small objects a turntable desktop scanner (like the Next Engine product) would be better as the software can index automatically and stitch the scans together easily.

 

The items I tend to scan are hand held foam models, ceramics, and surface decoration detail on flattish faces.

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Guest monica928

a nice model conveys the design philosophy of the designers. Usually, hand made models are more vivid and real than 3D print. I can tell this deeply since I have a model making workshop with more than 20 technicians.

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Guest Buff
a nice model conveys the design philosophy of the designers. Usually, hand made models are more vivid and real than 3D print. I can tell this deeply since I have a model making workshop with more than 20 technicians.

 

 

If your comparison is between "straigt out of the box" SLA's and hand finished completed models, then yes

 

However, a finished SLA or a vac casting from a finished SLA master is hard to beat and by and large is dependant still on the skill of the "model maker" but using this technology alows often grater throughput and a better cashflow for rapid prototype suppliers, not nessesarilly from greater speed of model making, but more in the form of concurrent rather than consecutive processing over the total WIP

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a nice model conveys the design philosophy of the designers. Usually, hand made models are more vivid and real than 3D print. I can tell this deeply since I have a model making workshop with more than 20 technicians.

 

 

If your comparison is between "straigt out of the box" SLA's and hand finished completed models, then yes

 

However, a finished SLA or a vac casting from a finished SLA master is hard to beat and by and large is dependant still on the skill of the "model maker" but using this technology alows often grater throughput and a better cashflow for rapid prototype suppliers, not nessesarilly from greater speed of model making, but more in the form of concurrent rather than consecutive processing over the total WIP

 

Monica, I cannot think of a model making company here in the UK that does not use some form of 3D printing/RP as a start point for the hand finished models. Any good model maker will utilise whatever technology is available to get the job done faster and to a higher quality. Even architectural models are being made with RP systems these days.

 

But at the end of the day it comes down to what is good enough to convey the design to the customer. 20 years ago, highly finished models were the norm. These days I tend to get SLAs/ or CNC'd parts straight off the machines with little finishing - raw - backed up by photorealistic visuals. For design development for making decisions on fit and function and design you rarely need a highly finished model. To be honest I only get these done when we have a trade show launch and there has been a delay in tooling or part shipment.

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