3D Printing Hype

3D Printing Insider Myths and Truths

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Is 3D Printing Over Hyped? What Are The Problem?

So, no revolution?

The main issue lies with raised expectations, build quality, price and usability. So here we go, my list of reasons 3D printing isn’t all you think it’s cracked up to be.

People’s expectations: They’ve seen a 3D printed violin; a crazy shoe, and a wrench (yawn) which actually works, straight out of a printer. A very, very expensive, high-end printer which uses lasers or resins. These people think that they can create objects as well without much input or training, on a machine which costs $800 or less. Imagine you’d lived on a planet that had never seen a car before, and all of a sudden the newspapers start reporting about the car, a vehicle which can do up to 250mph, carrying up to 10 people, and cost as little as $300. All true, but as we know, that’s not the full story.

The name: ’3D printing’ makes it sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Do you think if it were still called ‘rapid prototyping,’ people would be saying “I can’t wait to get a rapid prototyper in my house’?

Strength: 3D printed parts are not as strong as traditionally-manufactured parts. Their layer-by-layer technique of manufacturing is both their biggest strength and their greatest weakness. In something like injection moulding, you have a very even strength across the part, as the material is of a relatively consistent material structure. In 3D printing, you are building it in layers — this means that it has laminate weaknesses as the layers don’t bond as well in the Z axis as they do in the X and Y plane. This is comparable to a Lego wall — you place all the bricks on top of each other, and press down: feels strong, but push the wall from the side and it breaks really easily.

Surface finish: People hear you can print in plastic, so they visualise a plastic item. This is likely to be gloss and smooth. They don’t visualise a matt finish with rough layer lines all over. Many companies offer a ‘smooth’ surface finish, but often neglect to add the suffix ‘for 3D printing’. You can also post-process parts, but this generally involves labour and/or chemicals like acetone (really nasty stuff) and loses detail and tolerance on parts.

Cost: Cost is based on material used, so big things are expensive, and small things are cheap. That’s it. Nothing to do with complexity, and nothing to do with number of parts. The beauty of it is that there is no tooling — this opens up a world of opportunity to the designer, the creator and the hacker, but does it really help people who just want a replacement door knob? There is also no economy of scale, so one item is $X pounds, and a thousand items are $1000s. So, producing anything in bulk that is bigger than your fist seems to be a waste of time.

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3D Printing, Manufacturing and the Government – Can We 3D Print Some Jobs?

A new report released by the Brookings Institution points to the disproportionate impact of manufacturing on the U.S. jobs market. It employs 35 percent of engineers, accounts for more than two-thirds of private-sector spending on research and development, and produces fully 65 percent of all U.S. trade. “After 30 years of being told that the

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3D Printing, Manufacturing and the Government – Can We 3D Print Some Jobs?

A new report released by the Brookings Institution points to the disproportionate impact of manufacturing on the U.S. jobs market. It employs 35 percent of engineers, accounts for more than two-thirds of private-sector spending on research and development, and produces fully 65 percent of all U.S. trade. “After 30 years of being told that the

Read more ›

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3D Printed Exhibit of Tibial Plateau Fracture

Above is a sample of 3D printed tibial plateau fracture.  The sample above clearly demarks the fracture and facilitates understanding of the injury in question. This particular print took about six (6) hours and was made with ABS material. ABS is a common material used by 3D printers. Of course, the…

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3D Printed Exhibit of Tibial Plateau Fracture

Above is a sample of 3D printed tibial plateau fracture.  The sample above clearly demarks the fracture and facilitates understanding of the injury in question. This particular print took about six (6) hours and was made with ABS material. ABS is a common material used by 3D printers. Of course, the…

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3D Printing Jobs to Watch For

From 3D Printing MBA 1. 3D design Thanks to its growth, 3D printing will create jobs for 3D designers at 3D printing firms, in companies as part of creative teams, and as freelancers. 2. 3D computer-aided design (CAD) modeling 3D printing would not be possible without CAD experts, who have the skills and expertise to […]

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Business Podcast – Why is Sales Such An Unholy Word?

Why is Sales such an unholy word? Hear two sales guys talking about the sales stigma. Everything you see, from the moment you wake until the moment you sleep has been sold. Maybe some sales training will help?

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Business Podcast – Why is Sales Such An Unholy Word?

Why is Sales such an unholy word? Hear two sales guys talking about the sales stigma. Everything you see, from the moment you wake until the moment you sleep has been sold. Maybe some sales training will help?

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3D Printing Trends – Top 10 3D Printing Trends for 2015

10 Trends in 3D Printing For 2015 from Bill Decker

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Myths and Facts About International Business and International Negotiations

Click on this little chart for quick myths and facts about Global Business

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3D Printing Business Advice – Why is Sales Such an Unpopular Word?

Why is “sales” such an unpopular term?  Listen to a couple of guys whose careers started in sales discuss the use and misuse of the term: “sales”

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3D Printing and 3D Printing Business – Some Major Effects

The world will react to 3D Printing technology, and the trends are clear. Governments that protect labor pools will tax the technology. Many countries adopted protectionist measures to keep citizens employed. These measures were designed to stop foreign competition from selling products in protectionist countries. Nations put tariffs on, for example, Chinese, Japanese and even […]

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3D Printed Injury Exhibits as Persuasive Evidence in Modern Courtrooms

3D printed evidence of injuries presented in a Courtroom as demonstrative evidence may seem avant-garde. Frankly, nothing seems further from the truth. Presenting 3D printed exhibits in Courtroom should be fairly standard. These are just representation in different format of already proven technologies like MRI’s and CT-scans and the like.…

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3D Printing Hype Video Show Cartoon

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3D Printing And the Re Birth of US Manufacturing – Will 3D Printing Save Us?

Forbes has derided the notion of a U.S. manufacturing comeback as “a cruel political hoax.” And the New York Times recently ran an editorial by Steven Rattner entitled “The Myth of Industrial Rebound.”

A lack of detailed data has made it hard to assess what’s really going on within the U.S. manufacturing sector. To help remedy this, L.E.K. Consulting conducted a study of decision makers in 10 U.S. manufacturing industries, including aerospace and defense equipment, chemicals, industrial components, automotive equipment, and electronics. The study, which focused on large companies with more than $500 million in revenues, also involved in-depth interviews with high-level executives about the factors driving their decisions on where to locate their manufacturing. Will a consumer 3d printer change any of this?

The picture that emerges from this research is less black and white than either the cheerleaders or the naysayers would suggest. Overall, we see a modest improvement in U.S. manufacturing but not a wave of reshoring. More companies are investing in the U.S. or considering it as a location for new manufacturing facilities. But this is essentially a rebalancing after many years in which manufacturing shifted overwhelmingly to lower-cost nations such as China.manufacture chart

The media has been full of reports lately about a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. The cheerleaders cite an array of heartening examples, including a $4 billion investment by Dow Chemical to boost its ethylene and propylene capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast, an announcement by Flextronics of plans to create a $32 million product innovation center in Silicon Valley, and a decision by Airbus to build a $600 million assembly line in Alabama for its jetliners. These stories have prompted much talk about the “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. from China and elsewhere. Indeed, President Obama recently hailed “a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.”