3D Printing Hype

3D Printing Insider Myths and Truths

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Is the 3D Printing Hype Over?

Here are 10 European startups still betting on the technology

Nowadays, there are many real-world applications of 3D printing – from medical tools such as prosthetic limbs to building a 90-square-metre house or even making food. 3D printing can also be used in art and jewelry, where 3D scanning technologies allow for the replication of real objects without the use of moulding techniques. In the automotive industry, its application has led to the production of a supercar that utilizes many 3D printed components.

But what is 3D printing, anyway? 3D printing was first conceptualized by David E. H. Jones in 1974, when his idea was “printed” in the New Scientist. The technology was first realized in the 1980s when Chuck Hull designed and printed a small cup. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D-printed objects are created from a digital file and a printer that lays down successive layers of material until the object is complete.

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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 Companies and the Business of Pump and Dump – 3D Printing Stocks

Makism3D Corp… If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
http://www.hotstocked.com/article/71652/the-sec-suspends-makism-3d-corp-otcbb-mddd.html

The SEC Suspends Makism 3D Corp (OTCBB:MDDD) – HotStocked

http://www.hotstocked.com Fri, 13 Dec 2013 16:00:20 GMT

It’s Friday 13 today and the people who didn’t manage to get out of Makism 3D Corp (OTCBB:MDDD) on time should know this. Especially now that their…

 

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3D Printing stocks going higher?

Whitney Tilson Says 3D Printing Stock Is Going – Business Insider

http://www.businessinsider.com Mon, 06 Jan 2014 16:29:00 GMT

Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson thinks the rise in 3D Printing System’s stock “will end very badly.”

 

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Why I’m Happy 3D Printing Stocks Declined

 

After hearing about a great new technology called 3-D printing two years ago, Fool.com contributor Matt Thalman has patiently waited for what seemed like an …