Design Con 2015
DESIGN CHAIN     Today's Designs for Tomorrow's Innovations
This dialogue occurred on Wednesday, August 28, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

The advent of 3D, and now even 4D, printing may well be a boon to the supply chain. These new technologies will impact design, manufacturing and more. We've invited two of our popular bloggers, Jim O'Reilly and Susan Fourtané, to help us explore the latest printing tech. Join us at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT) on Wednesday, August 26.
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Yes, for Europe, too. 11am EDT would be better for everybody, and still a good time for those in the US on both coasts. 

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Thanks Hailey and hope you consider the request

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Bye

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Thanks everybody

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@Hailey, one suggession, if you are able to schedule the chat section by 11am or 12 pm EDT, its very helpful for us

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Hope to cath you all on next chat section

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Very informative and intresting discussion

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Thanks, Hailey and Jim for hosting this wonderful section

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Thanks everybody for making this section intresting

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"Safest way to test that printed gun is let someone else do it and watch the results on YouTube. "

@Mitch wagner, if everybody is thinking in same direction, then what will happen?

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"In all seriousness, how far off are we from 3D printing being something that mainstream consumers can use?"

@snuncy, it will take time to popularized the technology

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"I was excited to read that NASA is sending a 3D printer into space. Seems such a natural fit: Astronauts can 'print' certain parts, rather than waiting for the next spaceship to visit ISS. "

@Alison, 3D printers are already in use at space station. they are waitig for the 4D printer

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"is this 3D-printed stuff of a high enough quality to be used for anything important yet? If it's going to be used in healthcare, then it better be VERY reliable"

@Sarapeter, otherwise, NASA won't use it in space station for printing tools an related items

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@Jim C,

welcome to our community and hope you enjoyed this section

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"I can't wait to get started."

@jbond, what happens?

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@Michael, fifth genration/dimension, isn't it

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@Tom, i think most of our members sofar not sen 3D printing, so ur question will bounce back to you!!

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"taking out human factor often makes things less error prone"

@Rich, that may not true, only natural human prone errors can corrected, analytica & logical decessions won't be perfect with machines

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@Jim, i think aprat from passport, SSN weights more

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@Hailey, if the 3D/4D printings are help us to print some food materials, thats great for the under developed nations

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@Susan, i think on later stage, companies can provide such options through cloud printing

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@So what in the world is 4D printing? It sends the end result back in time before you started the print job?

sofar even 3D printing is not so common, its mainly using for high end specific applications

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@Hailey, maybe a next generation iPhone has 4D printing capabilities. 

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LOL, Hailey. :D Well, what cool tech would you like to have? 

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I want the tech  you all have...All i've got is an iPhone. :(

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You have your sandwiches, I think I'll 3D print some Welsh cakes now. 

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Cloaking device? I have a teleporter. :D

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Thanks Hailey

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Rich With that one I think I'll turn on my cloaking device and disappear

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What you mean - Human? I'm a Klingon and I have the passport to prove it!

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That's funny Rich. We thought you were a plumber with a heart practice on the side

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@rich, that's very true. I have seen some pretty funny stuff on FB.

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Rich Those ads are worth a thousand blogs!

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Thanks for the chat - this is certainly a hot topic!

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4D printing brings new possibilities to many manufacturing spaces.

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Thank you all for coming and asking great questions! and thank you, Susan and Jim O, for taking the hot seat. Make sure you read the blogs these two wrote on this topic--really great graphics, info and videos there!

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@Hailey, and yes, 4D printing is one of the emerging disruptive technologies.

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@Susan, i have to squint to see it...it's really mind bending but really exciting--taking out human factor often makes things less error prone.

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Great chat, thanks Hailey.

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This has been fascinating - but I have to jump off, actually. Thank you!!

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Hailey, I'd echo that. The great thing about all the hype is it will fuel the competition and start of that curve. Fundamentally, the lower price makes more sense anyway. The architecture isn't that much different from a dot-matrix printer, and they were very cheap.

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@Hailey, @Mitch, it depends on how you program them. If you have separate pieces they can self-assemble without the intervention of a human being. There is a video about this in tomorrow's piece.

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I want to be aware of time (especially for those worldwide folks). Do we have any last questions before i draw us to a close?

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@Rich and @Jim, there's a great green angle to this. Maybe we could keep stuff out of the landfil if we could get to the point where it was easier and not too expensive to fix stuff rather than replace it.

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I suspect that these printers will follow the curve of say, laster printers in the 90s. They went from $5,000 to $5,000 in about two years. They also got smaller and the consumables got more affordable. I think competition is the key... and also volume production.

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Rich That's an interesting point. 3D printing could reduce obsolescence by a big factor. Anyone ready to make a new bridge for a Stradivarius?

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Hi Hailey!

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@JimO, well, I don't know how well, or not, this 3D printer under 500 dollars prints, but if you need to print a prototype that doesn't require too much quality it may help. But again, I couldn't tell abou the quality of this printer, and I wouldn't like to assume anything.

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$d parts tend to be complex designs, just because the 4D propeerties are constrianed and need clever layout to work right. That's ideal for the precision printing process, which can change material thickness in ways that stamping or even molding can't touch

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Sara, it might have an impact on jobs in the prototyping fabrication field. That is an area that has strong representation where I am in Massachusetts because of all the R&D being done here. If those R&D shops can take prototype fabrication in house with 3D printers, it would hurt that sector. But 3D printing can't possibly replace industrial grade manufacturing. Too slow, too costly.

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@Susan, i'm interested in Mitch's question--can these materials transform more than once or back and forth? Or is it once and done?

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@Mitch: 4D printing adds transformation capabilities to 3D printed objects. 4D printing is an example of what Skylar Tibbits, who developed, and is working on this, calls smart materials.

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sarapeters. I think it might create some opportunities as well as replace some. Maybe the jewellry trade will increase overall due to better prices, quality and choices, for example.

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@sarapeters, i know we've discussed that question here and there's a lot of arguements to both sides. I tend to think that the jobs will evolve rather than disappear. Do you htink that makes me optimistic?

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Susan, I wonder how good a cheap printer is. Even so, prices will be dropping. A couple of years ago there were two makers. Now I suspect a dozen or more are cpmpeting.

The big industrial machines will be a bit slower dropping in price

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@Michael, i suspect that as these technologies evolve our nomenclature has to evolve with it. It's a real complexity--because we are trying to describe an inherent change in what we are doing. I remember when i first saw the internet, i couldn't imagine it being anything but a flash in the pan (there goes my predictive abilities)

 

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Of course I have to ask... how is this going to hurt employment? We're having a hard enough time creating a healthy manufacturing industry at least in the US. Isn't this going to eliminate even more need for jobs?

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Rich. I think you might be right on the self assembly, but this is still in its early days. I wonder if printing nanotubes is a possibility. I saw an article on self assembly there too0

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@JimO, there is a 3D printer for under 500 dollars. 

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With organ printing, Rich, we're talking not just about the scaffolding but about cell propagation -- is that considered printing? 

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But do they change once, or can they change back and forth, or can they have several operational modes?

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Today is a particarly good day for this chat as we just launched our new Design Chain section--we'll be looking at these types of topics indepth regularly.

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Sarapeters. I think you are right. I haven't built sintered metal 3D printed parts, but I would bet they are strong enough for production, and might find use in aerospace and hitech

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Healthcare is definitely a great area for 3D printing. I saw something about a university that expects to eliminate testing on animals through some work it's doing with 3D printers and cells.

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@Michael, you program the materials to do what you want, take the shape you want, change form, etc. They are special materials, as I mentioned. 

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4D is particuarly enaging when you start talking about the "self assembly" capabiities. Make sure you catch susan's post on this tomorrow. in the meantime, Susan, do you want to say a little bit about these capabilities?

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@JimO, excellent examples. I know a bunch of people in the entertainment props industry (think ren faires and videogame trade shows) and they are all chomping at the bit for the price and size capacity of 3D printers to change enough to meet their needs.

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Rich They've gone further and actually printed living cells onto those scaffolds successfully

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@Michael, they are programmable materials. 

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@Rodney, Why do you think "4D" is an unfortunate name? :/

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And perhaps right before the controlled substances, right?

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@Tom; Thanks for stopping by. :D Next time use the teleporter. It's even easier, faster, and you can have the scones on the way to NY

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@JimO, $90 coffee mug anyone?

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Hailey, I think Elon Musk had a moment of wild conjecture, and talked about design by waving your hands. That was right after a 2000 mile an hour metro train, if I remember.

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@JimO "You have to find niches where alternatives are expensive." That to me seems like the key to this whole conversation. 

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@Jim, what are the best use cases you've heard in the electronics industry? Do you see tohers coming down the pike?

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One of the problems I see is the number of ads that show a cup being printed. That's great, but hardly a serious justification given costs of good gear.

You have to find niches where alternatives are expensive.

Making fine blanks for the jewellry trade is a real value proposition, since the alternative methods, such as hand sculpting, take a lot of time.

Makinng molds for fiine wax blanks is another use.

I expect that trade to move extensively to 3D

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@JimO, Yes. And not only heart valves, a kidney has been 3D printed, and this will become a great aid in organ transplants

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Here's perhaps an unfair question: is this 3D-printed stuff of a high enough quality to be used for anything important yet? If it's going to be used in healthcare, then it better be VERY reliable.

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Thanks Susan. That is pretty intriguing, even if it does have the unfortunate name of "4D" printing.

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@Mitch: true enough. Why pay for anything, right? But then, how do creators make $$? Do they all have to get day jobs at Trader Joe's?

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@Tom, glad you could stop by!

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I think I get that, Susan. But how do you 'instruct' the materials to change form? 

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snunyc - I think it's inevitable and about 25 years out. But why order on Amazon? Just download a public-domain pattern and have at it. 

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I read something about 5D printing that suggested that this type of printing would simply let you think things and have it be printed. https://medium.com/pattern-break/a63536a66f58

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@snunyc  Great question.

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The healthcare/med devices market keeps coming up as a target for 3D printing. That market alone could make the developments worthwhile

 

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@Tom! Glad you like my scones, and Welsh cakes for your tea.

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Sorry...I have to drive across lower Manahattan at rush hour for the second time today. Must run. (Susan, please ask your space traveler friends if I can borrow a vessel next time I come to the NY area. I think they still have two saucers parked atop the NY State Pavillion from the 1964 Worlds Fair.)

Ciao!

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@Hailey: Nom Nom...

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@Michael, 4D printing is an example of smart materials. 4D printing adds transformation capabilities to 3D printed objects. The smart materials used in the printing processes were developed by Stratasys.

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@Mitch: LOL. In all seriousness, how far off are we from 3D printing being something that mainstream consumers can use? I get that it makes tons of sense for maunufacturing -- will this ever be cost-effective (and foolproof enough) for me to order, say, a kitchen item on Amazon and have it print out? 

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Mitch I would stand way back when they fired!

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@snunyc, it's the RED button.  They come out still warm, but it may take a few minutes. Remember, good food takes time.

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Thanks for getting that stuck in my head, Tom.

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@snunyc, it's the RED button.  They come out still warm, but it may take a few minutes. Remember, good food takes time.

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@Rodney  Ha! Well wasn't it Doctor Who who could reverse the polarity of the neutron flow (even though neutrons have no polarity)? Or was that the Ghostbusters? Either way, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the first guy to figure out 4D printing

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I want you to sing along with the Fifth Dimension...

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Hi Tom, Bring the tequila?

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Susan. Healthcare is one place where 3D can do wonderful things. Bio-Ink allows body parts to be printed, and substrate fab is also possible. The first demo of 3D I saw 14 years ago had a heart valve fabricated in 3D plastic.

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Welcome Mitch and Rodney, glad to have you with us. Susan, i'll trhow this one to you: can you offer a quick description of 4D and how it works?

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Guacamole scones...hmmm... Thanks Hailey. But after the bison burger I had last night, i think I'll pass.

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Jim O'Reilly - Safest way to test that printed gun is let someone else do it and watch the results on YouTube. 

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@Hailey @Susan: Can somebody tell me how to print out one of those Welsh tea cakes right now??

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(I remember the Fifth Dimension quite clearly, being a child of the 60s)

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@Alison, I hadn't heard that about space and 3D printers...that's a great example though!

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Sara, I thought I saw one of those 4D printers on the Tardis on the latest Dr. Who episode.

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Forgive me if this has already been asked, but what's 4D printing?

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Welcome Tom, and if you want to be reminded of home, the guacamole and chips are on teh table to your left.

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4D?  Sorry, what is the fourth dimension?

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JimC It got plenty of publicit. The gun "improved" to firing 14 times before self destructing!

I'm not sure it was good press, but the Holywood rule..Any publicity is good publicity probably applies

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@snunyc, not late...we're just getting rolling. Glad you could make it.

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Hi Guys.  Just stopped by for one of Susan Moonbeam's scones before I head to JFK for my rocket home to the Bay Area.

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@snunyc, not late...we're just getting rolling. Glad you could make it.

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@JimO, I saw you mentioned one of the coolest applications of 3D printing is in healthcare. I'd like to add that not only an ear has been 3D printed, but a couple of years ago in the Netherlands a 3D printed jaw was transplanted to an 80 year-old woman. 

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@Rodney  Thanks for asking the 'what is 4D printing' question. Clearly I've got some catching up to do on my printing technology and general understanding of physics.

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Rodney - lol. That'd be sweet. Just make a note to print an item on Tuesday, and it appears on your desk immediately

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I was excited to read that NASA is sending a 3D printer into space. Seems such a natural fit: Astronauts can 'print' certain parts, rather than waiting for the next spaceship to visit ISS. 

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@Michael, it's the stuff of the Transformers isn't it?

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@Jim  Do you think any of the limitations of 3D printing are dus mostly to inadequacies in the printers themselves, the high price point of the printers, inadequacies in the materials being printed upon/with, general lack of creativity on the part of manufacturers, or something else entirely? 

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HI Gang, sorry I'm late!

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Hailey, The consumables are expensive, and there are hidden costs like clogged nozzles and disposal of waste that have to be added.

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I just watched/read the blog about 4D printing, Susan. Can you explain a little about how the materials get their 'smarts' without electronics?

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So what in the world is 4D printing? It sends the end result back in time before you started the print job?

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Did 3d printing suffer any PR fallout from the whole gun thing?

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Welcome, Rich. Glad you could make it.

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From a sped viewpoint we are in very early days. I expect a lot of speed up over time, but this will be driven by demand and competition, which are still both building, so a couple of years yet

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@JimO,  you have expensive tastes! the consumables on these printers are also prohibitively expensive right?

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@JimO,  you have expensive tastes! the consumables on these printers are also prohibitively expensive right?

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 Hi, @Sara, @Alison, @Michael, @Rich! :D 

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Nice to have you with us, Sarapeters. Feel free to toss your questions in the ring.

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Welcome, Alison! Glad you could make it.

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Michael, I don't own one. The type I'd like costs $200,000

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@Susan, I've been hearing a lot about "disruptive technologies" and it seems like 4D printing falls into this category. I know that we have some apps for this now... tell us what's current and what's still on the horizon?

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HOw long will it be before we see a faster process?

 

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Hello all!

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For high-precision and complex parts, it can be a good process, though for strenght its often necessay to use the printed part as a mold for say investment casting.

That's the jewellry approach

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Scones and tea sound lovely

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Hi everyone! Interesting topic.

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Welcome, Michael. You have your choice of scones and tea...or guacamole and chips.

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Jim, do you own a 3D printer?

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Jim O, do you see any great boost in speed coming down the road?

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Glad you could stay up to chat with us! (We owe Susan a great vote of thanks... since her time zone puts her at bedtime)

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JO, and JC :D 

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I think the process is too slo0w for general fabrication.I used it extensively for modelling computer cabinets that had complex conformance requirements, but one box took all night to print.

However, we had a series of small parts, and fabricating a days supply of these took maybe a couple of hours, so it was a production process for that sort of work.

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Michael's here, too!

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Hello, Hailey, JimO, jbond, Jacob, JimC, ... 

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Glad to have you here, JimC... Jim O'reilly is on deck too so we'll have to use initials! :)

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Hi Hailey and Susan

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@Jim, our readers have had a lot of questions about whether 3D printing has applications in volume manufacturing. What can you tell us? Is it still just prototyping?

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Hi Hailey, Susan

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@Susan, I'm glad to see you here! And thanks so much for bringing treats back from your travels. Tell us a little about the cool stuff you saw. :)

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Welcome @Jbond. We'll be starting shortly...but feel free to post questions or thoughts before then! There's a lot to be said on this subject.

 

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I can't wait to get started.

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And always, please announce your arrival so we can give you a warm EBN welcome and offer you some guacamole. :)

 

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This will be a fun, fast, and friendly conversation, so please do not hold back with your comments or questions.  There are no dumb questions and we value everyone's point of view.

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Second, if you have problems posting, we suggest trying a different browser.  IE9 is a popular choice, but sometimes find Firefox, Chrome, or Safari work better.

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We will be starting at 11 a.m. PST/2p.m. EST sharp. First, though, there are two housekeeping notes:

First, please make a copy of your post before hitting the "post" button – just in case.  If the system "eats" one of your carefully crafted thoughts, please hit "Ctrl-Z" to recover it.

 

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Dear Earthlings, I am making good tea for everybody. I brought you special scones, and Welsh cakes from London for your delight, and this special occasion. :D Now you be nice Earthlings, and quickly read the background material for this chat on 3D & 4D printing, if you haven't done it before, that is. :)  

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Read the latest EBN content on these hot topics from our guest bloggers:

4D Printing & the Future of Manufacturing (And Part II will be available tomorrow!)

3D Printing Gets Beyond Star Trek

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Eagerly waiting for this wondeful event

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Hi, hope to attend

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