crocdoc wrote on 7/9/2011, 4:00 PM
Wow. I was aware of printers that build 3D models out of layers upon layers of plastic resin, but was unaware that they could replicate moving parts. That is wild.
xberk wrote on 7/9/2011, 4:27 PM
Ok. So print me out something useful like a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue.

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johnmeyer wrote on 7/9/2011, 4:38 PM
Wow. I was aware of printers that build 3D models out of layers upon layers of plastic resin, but was unaware that they could replicate moving parts. That's all I knew about as well.

Think of the Christmas office party at this place ... you know, someone has one too many and ends up sitting on the office copy machine ...

Frightening possibilities.

And, I suppose, being a copy machine, it can do both reduction and enlargement ...

musicvid10 wrote on 7/9/2011, 4:48 PM

I may just run for Congress yet . . .
TheHappyFriar wrote on 7/9/2011, 5:46 PM
Wow... I didn't know it was possible to do it all as one now. That's amazing.

I wonder how much resources that requires vs manufacturing things the old fashioned way. Not only could it be useful in space but imagine you going to the store & wanting bolts. You could have an entire hardware section in a closet! The military could use these vs buying equipment.

Former user wrote on 7/9/2011, 6:30 PM
That's great stuff -- BUT, there's no way that the scanner can see inside of an object. For the example of the wrench, they would have either had to dismantle the wrench and scanned each part or used a CAD model to create the 3D "print" object. How would the scanner know that the jaw of the wrench is a separate part? How about the thumbscrew, how would the scanner know that it has small (hidden) points on each end that extend into "sockets" in the body of the wrench?

I've modeled objects for 3D "printing" and while it's pretty amazing stuff, it's not quite that advanced -- yet ;-)

Here's a 1/2 scale valve I modeled for a client that was printed using the same sort of technique. It has all of it's internal parts and can be articulated.


PeterWright wrote on 7/9/2011, 6:47 PM
Yes, Jim, I was thinking the same thing, and in fact I checked the date to make sure it wasn't April 1.

I saw superficial 3D models at a local engine manufacturer's plant about 15 years ago, but that only used dimensions visible from the outside.

This is either an amazing breakthrough or a prank.
Steve Mann wrote on 7/9/2011, 9:30 PM
There is at least one at my wife's employer facilities. They use it to prototype bioscience devices. I've never been there when they ran it, but the results are pretty cool.

Make Magazine recently ran an article about someone who built on in his garage.
MSmart wrote on 7/9/2011, 10:36 PM
This is either an amazing breakthrough or a prank.

Here's the website, you decide:

However, I think this one is even cooler:
PeterWright wrote on 7/9/2011, 11:09 PM
Yes. If they had, without giving away any secrets, mentioned some sort of x-ray, ultrasound or other technique to identify internal parts and dimensions, my scepticism would dissolve.

With the wrench, we could see after the scanning process that it had identified the thumbscrew as a separate part, but I'd have liked some mention of how the scanner could "see" this through solid steel.

The desert glass-from-sand machine was also amazing - this seemed to produce solid single part objects rather than multiple moving parts.
PeterWright wrote on 7/10/2011, 1:43 AM
That's absolutely stunning Udi.

Again, we know how x-rays can see through organic things like bodies - I'd just like to know how they can see through steel.
farss wrote on 7/10/2011, 1:54 AM
These things are replicating :)

Check out the Makerbot

The Makerbot will cost you around $1K and the materials are very cheap.On the downside nowhere near the resolution of the commercial units. There's also commercial units that use sintered metal. From the printer the porous metal can be dipped into bronze to make well, um, brass looking objects, jewelery or statues.

There's also home made units using old printer parts that use plaster of paris to make molds for castings. There's another uber low cost system that uses a fine jet of hot air to melt sugar, great I guess if you've got a sweet tooth.

What did impress me in the original video was the 3D scanner. OK they were probably cheating a bit but still. The resolution is amazing. I can see a lot of use for that for those doing CGI modelling.

megabit wrote on 7/10/2011, 2:39 AM
You might also take a look at the gallery of what my CAD/CAM/CAE partners here are capable of doing with the 3DP of their own design (sorry - in Polish; click Gallery->3DP lower at the page):


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fausseplanete wrote on 7/10/2011, 3:13 AM
A colleague of mine built one roughly then got it to manufacture its own parts to better tolerance. This could continue I guess... Kind of a hardware bootstrap.
Former user wrote on 7/10/2011, 6:34 AM
I'm not doubting that a rapid prototyping printer can print objects within objects. It's scanning through the surface into the internal structure that's questionable.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 7/10/2011, 10:27 AM
I don't believe the scanner did go through the wrench to see inside. They said it goes to 40micron detail. At that small the scanner can pickup the edges of each piece when viewed from many angles. It's only a 4 minute video of something that looks like it would of taken an hour or so to do. Every object they showed had clear edges of each moving part.

I'm pretty sure the point is that once you scan it all in then it can duplicate complex objects & machines. IE you could duplicate a car engine if you scanned in each part then assembled it in a 3d app. It would print the engine.