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View Full Version : Cheap Rapid Prototype Machines Are Coming!



Tuckerfan
03-18-2005, 08:13 PM
I want one! http://www.bath.ac.uk/pr/releases/replicating-machines.htm

Spin Doctor
03-18-2005, 09:13 PM
The idea is totally cool. I question whether it is really practical but I'd love to have one of the 3D stereo lith machines in any of the formats. Just think of the patterns one could produce for unique castings

chief
03-18-2005, 11:29 PM
Old news. Star fleet has had replicators for years.

madman
03-18-2005, 11:47 PM
Can you make good beer.

Jpfalt
03-19-2005, 12:18 AM
My company has one that prints parts in ABS plastic. It's on a 3 year lease with residual value at $1 at the end of the lease. In about 2 years these machines will likely start showing up on eBay at fairly low prices.

Milacron of PM
03-19-2005, 07:40 AM
The machines have of course been around for years, but what's "new" are the price drops and better quality of parts produced. But the parts produced are meant for use as design prototypes for presentation and study, not actual working parts.

As such they are still a bit crude compared to proper injection molded parts using steel die, and the creation process is long (but automatic), taking many hours per part compared to a few seconds for an injected part.

All of this makes the notion of one of these "replicating itself" highly supect in both cost effectiveness and part quality, and probably just a pipe dream that some technically ignorant reporter has taken to heart.

Jpfalt
03-19-2005, 11:42 AM
D.,

The ABS parts are runnable. We have been making 8" centrifugal blowers and string trimmer heads that have been tested up to 13,300 RPM. A local wire harness maker is using printed ABS parts as production plug bodies for applications with very short runs. The only thing we have had to watch is keeping operating temperature below about 160 deg. F.

What helps the material a lot is to give the finished part about a 10 second soak in acetone followed by air dry that does a more thorough job of fusing the depositions.

We have also been printing patterns for sand castings.

BillH
03-19-2005, 11:56 AM
Patterns for sand casting, excellent! Be nice to crank out patterns for live steam parts!

Rustybolt
03-19-2005, 02:26 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by D. Thomas:
The machines have of course been around for years, but what's "new" are the price drops and better quality of parts produced. But the parts produced are meant for use as design prototypes for presentation and study, not actual working parts.

As such they are still a bit crude compared to proper injection molded parts using steel die, and the creation process is long (but automatic), taking many hours per part compared to a few seconds for an injected part.

All of this makes the notion of one of these "replicating itself" highly supect in both cost effectiveness and part quality, and probably just a pipe dream that some technically ignorant reporter has taken to heart. </font>


I wrote here a couple of years ago that the new genersation of 'replicators' are already makeing parts that go from the machine to the job, in steel. In many cases eliminating secondary machining entirely.

Dave Opincarne
03-19-2005, 03:01 PM
I've been wondering what kind of results you'd get if you crossed a MIG with an ink jet printer, laying down small amounts of metal with each pass of the head.

Any thoughts?

Dave

egpace
03-19-2005, 03:31 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Dave Opincarne:
I've been wondering what kind of results you'd get if you crossed a MIG with an ink jet printer, laying down small amounts of metal with each pass of the head.

Any thoughts?

Dave</font>


Sounds a little like Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) Here's a link to the current "Mainstream" technology. Just marry a couple of them together and you've got it!

Ed

http://www.npd-solutions.com/rp.html


PS Just think, some day our grand children may be participating in the "Home Rapid Prototyping Bulletin Board" and Post pictures of Grand Pa's old home machine shop!