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Old 01-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #1
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3D Printer Flute From My Company

This is a video of a flute that was printed out on one of the 3D printers that my company makes. This project was done by MIT labs in Cambridge, MA. It is a pretty impressive display of our technology. These printers are not designed to be used as production machines, but more for prototyping so the fact that this player thinks he can play this flute for a few days is pretty impressive in itself.


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Old 01-06-2011, 09:28 AM   #2
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Yeah, that technology is potentially world changing, I think.
VERY VERY cool.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
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GB a couple years ago, I had questions about 3D printing, and you helped me out with information, thank you again.

The last company I worked for would design new shapes for our product and then we'd use a 3D printer to 'make one', then the marketing department would use them with customers to see if there was any interest. The item was made of some kind of composite, painted, designed to look just like the shape they were introducing to customers. Having a prototype of the shapely product made it more effective in selling to custormers because they could see what they might be buying.

I've bought thousands of printers, but never a 3D printer. GB knows more than most anyone I've ever met about 3D printers. There are many kinds of materials used in 3D printing, from many companies. They are very expensive machines, and awesome in what they can do.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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They are very expensive machines, and awesome in what they can do.
Yes they can be very expensive. We are (slowly) working on changing that. I would guess that within 10 years 3D printers will be in as many homes as regular printers are now. When I first started with this company 4 years ago our lowest priced printer was around $70,000. This year we launched a printer that is less than $20,000. It is still not to the point where the average individual will buy one, but we are getting there.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #5
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Ok, that's just too cool. What a fascinating job you must have GB!
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:25 AM   #6
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Way cool! It was nice seeing how it works. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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It is rarely boring around here Alix.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
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It looks like it would be a pleasure to go to work and learn something new everyday. Keeps your brain fresh!
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
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Well I don't know about it being a pleasure everyday , but I really can't complain.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #10
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Yes they can be very expensive. We are (slowly) working on changing that. I would guess that within 10 years 3D printers will be in as many homes as regular printers are now. When I first started with this company 4 years ago our lowest priced printer was around $70,000. This year we launched a printer that is less than $20,000. It is still not to the point where the average individual will buy one, but we are getting there.
Technology is amazing isn't it? I remember back in '96, I attended a conference in Chicago. There were many potential technological prototypes at that conference. One was a flat screen high resolution monitor, light weight, thin. They were being marketed for use in hospitals for tens of thousands of dollars, to look at x-rays and other medical tests.

And now 15 years later, most of us have flat screen monitors in our homes. (not the large heavy CRT monitors previously used) It has been marketed as a space saver, more convenient (lighter in weight), and .. more advantages.

I wonder how 3D printers will be marketed when the prices work for consumers? The only thing I can think of that is similar to the product of a 3D printer is a 'sculpture'.

Let's say you want a certain type of seashell and no way to get to the ocean to find one, if you find one. You could have one made with a 3D printer. (marketing--to homecrafters?)
Similarly, you go to your clay firing workshop and want a certain shape to make a present for your friend, you could design one on a 3D printer, it will be EXACT.(marketing--to homecrafters?)
Or as an artist wanting to create a 'sculpture', maybe this or that rock is too difficult or uncertain (due to natural fracturing) to chisel, soap too soft for that kind of detail, a 3D printer could provide both the detail needed and take out the uncertainty of natural materials and still provide the product required.(marketing--to artists?)
What else? Headstones for cemeteries, food for photography purposes, ...

A 3D printer object could be compared to a 2D photograph. A photograph is 'like' a painting, a 3D printer object is 'like' a sculpture.

It's facinating.
I'll be watching to see how the next 10 years brings about 3D printers to the general public.
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