Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Inside the World's Biggest Consumer 3D Printing Factory 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the set-to-churn-out-slightly-smaller-factories dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Much has been made of consumer 3D printers like Makerbot's Replicator and the open-source RepRap. But for those not yet willing to shell out thousands of dollars for their own machine, Shapeways offers 3D printing as a mail-order service. And its new Queens, NY factory is now the biggest production facility for consumer 3D printing in the world. Just one of Shapeways' industrial 3D printers, which use lasers to fuse nylon dust, can print a thousand objects in a day, with far higher resolution than a consumer machine as well as intricate features like interlocking and nested parts. The company hopes to have more than fifty of those printers up and running within a year. And it also offers printing in materials that aren't attainable at home, like gold, silver, ceramic, sandstone and steel."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Inside the World's Biggest Consumer 3D Printing Factory

Comments Filter:
  • by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:34PM (#42256547)

    Okay, what if I submit a design to print a 3D gun (or replacement parts for one)? What about the packaging for, say, a credit card skimmer? How about a timing circuit made entirely out of electrically-conductive plastic (so it doesn't show up on an x-ray scanner)?

    Um, then you should receive a 3D gun, the packaging for a credit card skimmer, or a timing circuit. Haven't we gotten past this "make the tools illegal" crap yet? It's what you do with them, not the item itself that's problematic, and there are valid uses for all the above.

  • by Tr3vin (1220548) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:37PM (#42256571)
    There is a bit more going on. I don't know how easily you could jump into the market at this point. Shapeways benefited from being one of the first to offer a 3D printing service, so they didn't have too much competition. There was also a bit of an overlap with their early community and the community around Blender, so the userbase was able to grow quickly. They had some growing pains early on with delays in printing although it appears that they have worked through most of the issues at this point. It wouldn't be impossible to have similar success, but being the new guy in the market isn't always the easiest. The best bet of course is to not just join the market but expand it.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:42PM (#42256605)

    Um, then you should receive a 3D gun, the packaging for a credit card skimmer, or a timing circuit. Haven't we gotten past this "make the tools illegal" crap yet? It's what you do with them, not the item itself that's problematic, and there are valid uses for all the above.

    I've tried telling my government that... but they keep arresting, torturing, threatening, and imprisoning me whenever I do. I'm also on a whole bunch of watch lists, kill lists, security lists, lists of lists, databases of lists, lists of databases... I don't even know anymore whether I'm coded green, yellow, orange, additional screening, deportation... it seems like they come up with new ways to criminalize things every day. I don't know a single person who isn't a felon anymore... the only difference is, not all of them have been caught or pissed in the cheerios of someone "important".

  • by Kielistic (1273232) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:02PM (#42256719)

    It would require a lot of capital. These machines and their materials are absurdly expensive. You require knowledge on how these machines function. You need to be able to translate what the customer wants to the given machine (high 3d modelling and CAD skills). You need the know-how to put objects together into single prints so you're not waiting for one single small object (optimization). And most importantly you need to be able to add the support structures so the objects do not break in the process (physics, 3d modelling, CAD). Etc etc.

    So essentially, like any other highly specialized tech field, it requires lots of expertise. You don't just load up a docx and hit print.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.

Working...