3D Printing Might Bring Manufacturing Back to Canada

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Rich Krajewski
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Good luck
Rich Krajewski   7/11/2014 1:12:26 PM
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Good luck being innovative and "me too" at the same time, Canada.


What I would do, if I could influence large government resources, is look ahead to environmental limitations that might be looming, such as possible endocrine disruption from use of certain plastics, and try to come up with 3D printing materials that are less dependent on petroleum products, and hopefully less reactive with biological systems. Even certain metal alloys could be a problem, depending on the application. Materials research like that could give Canada a long-term sustainability advantage in this area of manufacturing.

Ariella
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Re: Good luck
Ariella   7/11/2014 1:42:39 PM
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@Rich What I believe he means by "me too" is an admission that the technology did not originate in Canada. Their innovation would have to come in the form of its application to manufacturing. 

Finding more environmentally friendly materials is something that is in the works for 3D printing. Many items can be printed in nontoxic plastics. Plastic printing also opens up opportunities for more efficient recycling, as it cuts out the necessity of transportating containers see 3D Printing Plastic — Distributed Recyling and Distributing the Benefits.

Rich Krajewski
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Re: Good luck
Rich Krajewski   7/11/2014 1:58:09 PM
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"Many items can be printed in nontoxic plastics."

If it doesn't blow up or kill people in screaming agony within a couple of weeks, it's called nontoxic.

Rich Krajewski
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Re: Good luck
Rich Krajewski   7/11/2014 2:12:37 PM
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Did you know that lead and ortho-phthalates may be used in many kinds of plastics, and that plastics with these materials might be considered nontoxic in some countries, but dangerous in other countries? Nontoxic is a controversial term.

Ariella
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Re: Good luck
Ariella   7/11/2014 2:22:27 PM
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<Did you know that lead and ortho-phthalates may be used in many kinds of plastics, and that plastics with these materials might be considered nontoxic in some countries, but dangerous in other countries? Nontoxic is a controversial term.>

@Rich I know that standards vary across countries. That's true even for food. Did you know that a number of ingredients commonly used in American foods are banned in other countries?  See http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/13-banned-foods-still-allowed-us. And these are things we eat not just what put the food into. Personally, though, I believe in individual choice and accountability.  I avoid buying things with artificial colors, but I don't demand that the government remove them from stores. 

Rich Krajewski
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Re: Good luck
Rich Krajewski   7/11/2014 2:26:49 PM
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Being able to look forward and head off potential environmental objections by more extensive toxicity testing than is currently done would be a strategic advantage for Canada, is my point. That investment would be my recommendation.

Ariella
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Re: Good luck
Ariella   7/11/2014 2:57:08 PM
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@Rich that is a way to go, but I'd think it's much more consistent with the directions set by countries like Germany (which outlawed toxic plant sprays over a decade ago) than Canada. 

After I wrote this, I did a quick search on German 3D printing and found that German Rep Rap announced a filament up to such standards this past May. From http://www.3ders.org/articles/20140502-german-reprap-offers-nylon-filament-pa6-for-3d-printing-robust-models.html:  "The Nylon-PA6 filaments are produced in Germany and contains no heavy metals or toxic substances, the company says. The base materials and colouring dye are selected according to FDA and European food regulations. " Some of the comments there say that such filament was available before, just without the fanfare.



Ariella
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Re: Good luck
Ariella   7/11/2014 2:15:18 PM
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@Rich It's just a bit more complex than that. PLA filament is considered green because it's completely biodegradable and compostable. Ialso produces no harmful fumes or noxious smells during printing.The plastic itself is completely nontoxic and considered safe for food products; however, the dyes some use on it are not. 

 

_hm
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3D Printing not a panacea
_hm   7/11/2014 6:21:58 PM
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It is very difficult why not people understand 3D printing is not for mass production. It is good for prototype and may be sometime for low volume. But no no for mass production.

3D printing can be employed innovatively for some production. But it is not panacea for all. Cananda needs to do dispense with many more ills surrounding it.

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/11/2014 6:37:36 PM
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@_hm You're absolutely right; 3D pringint is not at all efficient for mass production. Even though there are now techniques that allow multiple items to be printed at the same time on the same machine, you still don't have anything like the economies of scale to be found in other forms of production. Consequently, each unit price is on the high side. However, what Southway is proposing is not a shift to producing consumer items through 3D printing but using its abilities to improve the machines that are used in mass production. That is what can increase efficiency and contribute to the possibility of bringing manufacturing back -- but only if the other component of what he calls the three-legged stool are also in place. So it's not a panacea. The title I had put on this piece was actually even more qualified than this one, as I presented it in the form of a question: "Can 3D printing bring manufacturing back to Canada?" 

_hm
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
_hm   7/11/2014 7:00:39 PM
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@Ariella: Another point is that person operating 3D printers are pretty expensive as compare to person operating conventional machinary. You need to consider that spped of 3D printer is 1/3 or less.

Most improtant thing is that all this in text book literature. No one has yet convincingly proved that 3D printer concept does work against conventional production.

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/11/2014 7:15:55 PM
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@_Hm I'm not sure what you mean by proving it works. It does work for particular purposes and is not intended as a replacement for mass productions.  3D printing has improved things ranging from jet engine parts  http://www.cnbc.com/id/101633194 that are lighter and more efficient than traditionally produced parts to prosthetics that cost just $50 to produce rather than $42K.   Granted, these are not items intended to be sold by the thousands. As far as I know no one has suggested that 3D printing is intended for that. What Southway suggests is that it can be useful in coming up with more efficient machines to be used in production of the final product.  

 

Rich Krajewski
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Rich Krajewski   7/11/2014 8:03:11 PM

If 3D printers become cheap and ubiquitous, they will in effect generate mass production, not because they operate quickly, but because there will be so many of them.

SP
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
SP   7/12/2014 12:20:24 AM
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Not sure if 3D Printing can bring back manufacturing back butit definitely will open up lot of manufacturing possibilities locally looking at the demand. 3D printing is going to be very useful for time to market and shortening design milestones.

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/13/2014 12:37:49 PM
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@SP yes, I would venture to say it is one of the most transformative innovations of this century. 

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/13/2014 12:37:49 PM
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@SP yes, I would venture to say it is one of the most transformative innovations of this century. 

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/13/2014 12:37:52 PM
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@SP yes, I would venture to say it is one of the most transformative innovations of this century. 

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/13/2014 12:37:09 PM
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@Rich that is bound to happen, as they continue to drop in price. Just like 2D printers, they will be affordable enough for every computer user to have one. 

Rich Krajewski
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Rich Krajewski   7/13/2014 4:29:07 PM
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"that is bound to happen, as they continue to drop in price"

Well, that's why I mentioned it when _hm said and you agreed that 3D printers are not good for mass production. They may be used for it anyway, if the price drops, which, as you say, "is bound to happen." That's why a company that looks ahead at the environmental effects might be able to achieve a long-term green advantage, if they can withstand the short-term margin differences, if any.

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/13/2014 6:45:52 PM
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@Rich I don't wish to sound like I'm quibbling, but there is a differene between production for the masses and mass production. As I said, I'm certian, 3D printers will become much more common, and people will be able to print certain things they want on demand. But the more advanced form of 3D printing that will require machines that cost 6 figures will still be too expensive for most individuals and even businesses to acquire for themselves.  The printing process on them is also too slow for real mass production. But they can be instrumental in producing other machines designed for greater efficiency. In much the same way that GE uses 3D printing to produce engine parts that are lighter and more efficient, engineers can use it to produce machines that are more efficient, whether by enabling better heat management or through some other desired trait that cuts down on production time. 

Rich Krajewski
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Rich Krajewski   7/13/2014 6:56:25 PM
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"But the more advanced form of 3D printing that will require machines that cost 6 figures will still be too expensive"

Remember when computers were really expensive? That was amazing, wasn't it?

 

"The printing process on them is also too slow for real mass production"


Remember 200 MHz processors? That was amazing, wasn't it?

SP
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
SP   7/14/2014 2:58:19 AM
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Any new technology when its introduced first its very expensive and then later on as the demand grows the cost comes down and availability of the technology gets very common. The same will happen with 3D. Just have to wait and have patience.

Wale Bakare
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Wale Bakare   7/15/2014 6:17:13 AM
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I agree with you. As you know majority of consumers would want to have these gadgets all at once, just euphoria of having new techy things.

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/15/2014 10:34:39 AM
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@Wale true, some people feel they just have to have the latest in tech toys. 

Jacob
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Jacob   7/16/2014 12:15:01 AM
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"Any new technology when its introduced first its very expensive and then later on as the demand grows the cost comes down and availability of the technology gets very common. The same will happen with 3D. Just have to wait and have patience."

SP, why its become expensive. it's a business trick; since there is no completion they used  to keep the premium at high level, so that they can maximize their profit at a lesser time. When real competition starts, they start declining prices with raining offers.

Ariella
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Re: 3D Printing not a panacea
Ariella   7/14/2014 8:56:59 PM
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@Rich "Remember 200 MHz processors? " Honestly, no. You have to conceive of the 3D printers rather like 2D printers. There are different types of printer. Some are affordable enough for home and small business use, but some print jobs require a much bigger printer that you're not going to attach to your desktop. That's why printers are still in business. Likewise, there will be a lot of inexpensive 3D printers used by individuals in the future. But the huge machines will still be out of reach of most and only purchased by businesses that focus on making prototypes or providing other specialty 3D printed items for individuals and businesses. 

Jacob
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Why only 3D printing
Jacob   7/14/2014 1:14:21 AM
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"The relatively young country faces some of the same problems the US does, namely taking a major hit to manufacturing hubs as a result of globalization. While there is no magical remedy for that situation, applying new technology, including 3D printing, can help the industry get back on course"

Ariella, why it's looking only for 3D printing, any particular reason? They can be looking for other types of industries too.

Rich Krajewski
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Re: Why only 3D printing
Rich Krajewski   7/14/2014 2:13:40 PM
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"Ariella, why it's looking only for 3D printing, any particular reason? They can be looking for other types of industries too."

But if you go to the blog, it says

"While there is no magical remedy for that situation, applying new technology, including 3D printing, can help the industry get back on course."

[Emphasis added.]

Ariella
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Re: Why only 3D printing
Ariella   7/14/2014 9:00:45 PM
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@Rich quite so. Southway's view is not that it is a magic bullet but that it can be part of one of the legs of the stool he posits -- and remember there are two additional ones. 

Jacob
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Re: Why only 3D printing
Jacob   7/16/2014 12:09:13 AM
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""While there is no magical remedy for that situation, applying new technology, including 3D printing, can help the industry get back on course.""

Rich, thanks for the clarification and it seems that its one among the new technology.

Ariella
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Re: Why only 3D printing
Ariella   7/14/2014 8:58:41 PM
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@Jacob perhaps so. I did frame the question around 3D printing though as I saw articles that quoted Nigel Southway on the potential the technology held for manufacturing in Canada. 

Jacob
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Re: Why only 3D printing
Jacob   7/16/2014 12:10:27 AM
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"I did frame the question around 3D printing though as I saw articles that quoted Nigel Southway on the potential the technology held for manufacturing in Canada. "

Ariella, yes I think its good for manufacturing and production industry.



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