Makers and the Market

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Couldn't find a thread about this - 3D printers, 3D scanners, replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap), etc.

I just got a Creality CR-6 SE from kickstarter, using it to print out pieces for an automated microscope (OpenFlexure). Still getting used to what is possible here, what kind of structures are permitted.

Another interesting budget option would be OLO, a smartphone-based tiny printer.

As this trend (3D printers becoming more affordable, more precise) progresses, what could be some of the larger ramifications? Sure, it could effect global supply chains in that a given would-be customer can now print a part rather than order it, in certain cases - but how large a scale could these effects be?

Could the maker trend be, as it is now, the baby steps toward further decentralization of production? Furthering autonomous/independent production? Although I just listened to a talk by Branko Milanovic, where he talked in refreshingly simple terms about capitalism, and its defining characteristics, one of which being decentralized, private production - could 3D printing push this trend even farther?

Or will it remain a side show? A subculture?

If it does prove to have an integral/systemic impact, what might future economies look like, once the 3D printer has been more robustly integrated into all levels/scales of production?
 

Leo

Well-known member
I still have problems wrapping my head around 3D printing. I'd imagined it would have taken off much faster if it could do all that's claimed. maybe it's too good to be true and people don't trust it as an option?

also, people in general are lazy as fuck. given the options of going online and ordering a part or making their own (figuring out which 3D printer to get, mastering how the printer works, hunting down the part pattern, securing the raw materials, having a designated manufacturing area on their living space, etc.), I think most people would opt for just buying it.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Your point on laziness I think is accurate. Perhaps the reason it hasn't taken off is do to the constraints of what it can build. It does it layer by layer, so the structure needs to be able to support itself as it is being built. And then there are the grades of fineness, with some printers, some materials being rougher than others.

But once/if metal filament, or whatever material form, becomes affordable, that could mark a next stage.

There are already marketplaces for things like this, both for printed objects and the 3D files.

And the potential for citizen science, or science out of range of supply chains, 3D printers can be crucial, and they enable people to be that much more autonomous, provided that can figure out how to work everything.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
3D printing is still a novelty. In all my experiences with them its little gained for an arduous process.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Yeah I think thats still where it is. It does have great applications, but they are hardly accessible. Even finding the proper files, converting them, calibrating the printer - all issues that stand to prevent the average user from gaining anything. Yet alone actually making and tweaking the models.

I just wonder if we are a few innovations shy of 3D printing becoming a widely accessible and prevalent thing. Already there are some considerable budget options. The one I got was around $360 and has a printing matrix about around 9inch x 9inch x 9inch, and there are cheaper options, albeit smaller dimensions and less quality, that can still deliver for basic prints (contact lens case, desk cable holders, innumerable tchotchkes).
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I love yyaldrins attitude. He's the anti-Stan. Anti-California-drink-the Kool-aid-techno-utopian
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
For the most part, he's right. Aside from larger industrial scale operations and even medical ones, 3D printing is largely a recreational activity.

But certainly not all of it is a joke. The microscope I linked to in the OP uses "flexure" technology built into a solid plastic shape, a highly sophisticated and open-source design. The applications are vast, just perhaps too difficult to cognize, yet alone realize, until the hardware advances further.

edit: that is, not many people can be expected to design and prototype such an elaborate thing as the openflexure microscope.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
A thong?

 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Past experience using bananas with an ex is they better not be too ripe or you end up with orifices full of banana. A gentleman is then obliged to eat the contents, but as much as analingus rocks I’m not eating banana mush out of your ass honey.
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
It's hard for generations raised to consume to find the mental resources to create, so creation tools end up as discarded consumer goods. It'll take a collapse to make 3d printers useful, there's no other way you'll be able to get hold of a radiator cap for the 32 year old honda jazz
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Perhaps the impact can be boosted, if slightly, by 3D printers/scanners being implemented into school curriculums, or at least being accessible to students. The library I lived next to in Chicago has a 3D printer lab, and I suspect other libraries do, or soon will.

@HMGovt could programs like that shift the tides at all, raising people to create?
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Perhaps the impact can be boosted, if slightly, by 3D printers/scanners being implemented into school curriculums, or at least being accessible to students. The library I lived next to in Chicago has a 3D printer lab, and I suspect other libraries do, or soon will.

@HMGovt could programs like that shift the tides at all, raising people to create?

Yeah that would help, but matter is less manipulable or performative than video. Lidar combined.with 3d printing has potential, the groundwork has been done by reality, providing a footing for the imagination. E.g. lidar scan your head and 3d print versions of your face with filters
 
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