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3-D printers causing manufacturing revolution

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Ceewan, May 10, 2013.

  1. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished


    May 9, 2013

    Ryosuke Yamauchi and Tomoko Echizenya / The Yomiuri Shimbun Three-dimensional printers, which are capable of creating solid objects in a way comparable to printing letters and illustrations on paper, are sparking a revolution within the manufacturing industry.

    The high-tech printers can dramatically reduce the time and cost in manufacturing new products, thereby encouraging more people to start their own businesses.

    Because 3-D printers facilitate the conversion of ideas into new businesses, economists expect the technology will expand the support base of the manufacturing industry.

    The government has also begun assisting research and development for these 3-D printers.

    As careful and precise cutting technology is needed, molds for tridimensional objects can take two to three weeks to make. By comparison, 3-D printers utilize digital technology to convert an object's shape into data before spraying materials, such as resins, to create it.

    Koiwai Co., a mold manufacturer based in Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, drastically cut its production period to three to four days by introducing 3-D printers. Additionally, the firm has become able to produce more complicated shapes.

    The 3-D printer technology first came into practical use in the 1980s. The machines' accuracy and speed have improved at a time when patents for the technology's main features have expired.

    Now, individuals can purchase 3-D printers for just over 100,000 yen.

    The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry earmarked 150 million yen in assistance for developing 3-D printers in its fiscal 2013 draft budget and is aiming for a total of 3 billion yen toward that goal over the next five years.

    The ministry plans to increase 3-D printers' production speed by about 100-fold, as well as expand the scope of objects that can be made in terms of precision and materials. It also plans to assist efforts to make the products lighter and harder.

    Wide range of applications

    Panasonic Corp. has introduced 3-D printers made by Stratasys Ltd., a firm based in the United States and Israel, to manufacture frames for digital cameras. By doing so, the firm has shortened the time needed for development.

    In the medical industry, 3-D printers have been used for casting artificial bones and dental molds.

    The ministry is eyeing a wide range of applications for 3-D printers, such as producing higher-performance parts to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions for automobiles.

    However, advancing the capability of 3-D printers could be a double-edged sword as manufacturing complex and metallic molds has been a speciality of Japanese firms. If the price of 3-D printing were to fall further, it could deal a major blow to the Japanese manufacturing industry.

    Prof. Masahiro Anzai of the Shibaura Institute of Technology said: "Japanese manufactures will need to develop the level of their technology. They need to focus more on creating high value-added products by, for instance, making more sophisticated versions."

    In the United States, President Barack Obama has vowed to revitalize his nation's manufacturing industry and expressed his intent to support the research and development of 3-D casting technologies in his State of the Union address in February.

    According to a U.S. market research company, the market for 3-D printers in terms of hardware and related services totaled 1.7 billion dollars (about 170 billion yen) in 2011, and will expand to 3.7 billion dollars worldwide in 2015.

    Among Japanese firms, Keyence Corp., a major manufacturer of control instruments, tried to enter the market, but the majority of the global market share has been snapped up by Stratasys and 3D Systems Corp. of the United States.

    In a bid to maintain its advantage in 3-D printer technology, the United States is encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors.

    Newly established firms are also diving into the U.S. market. Established in 2009, MakerBot Industries LLC has sold about 15,000 3-D printers and counts the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and General Electric Co. among its clients.

    GE has used the firm's 3-D printers to produce parts for its new engine models.

    MakerBot Chief Executive Officer Bre Pattis said that by using 3-D printers, ordinary people can become designers and obtain whatever they want.

    3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson, who helped internationalize 3-D printers with his book "Makers," said a new industrial revolution is happening at people's desks.

    In his book, Anderson said the proliferation of digital technology that enables people to easily convert their ideas into products will give birth to a new era of entrepreneur-based creative manufacturing.

    Echizenya is a correspondent in New York.
  2. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    This is not new technology but it is nice to see it getting the attention it deserves. ThePirateBay has had a dedicated section for 3D printers for at least a year now, maybe more. It is called the "Physibles" section and data for 3D printers is freely shared there.
  3. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Pirate Bay Takes Over Distribution of Censored 3D Printable Gun

    A few days after the blueprints for the world’s first printable gun were published online, Defense Distributed has been asked by the State Department to pull them down, citing possible arms trafficking violations. The blueprints, however, are still available on The Pirate Bay and many other file-sharing sites, which adds a 3D chapter to the IP enforcement debate.The Pirate Bay says it welcomes the blueprints and has no intention of taking the files down.


    I actually noticed this posted at TPB when I browsed the Physibles section. To cool for school. You have to buy your own bullets though, just the gun can be printed.

  4. Honesty

    Honesty Active Member

    Yeah man. This is crazy news. I read about this a few days (week?) ago.

    I own a gun, however I am not a gun nut. I don't think they should be taken away from everyone either (outlawed); but I do believe they should make it 100% harder to own one. I think if you have nothing to worry about, no criminal past, etc etc, then going to apply for one, or something, shouldn't be a big deal.

    *WHEW* .. THAT SAID .. lol, I do think this is dangerous stuff. I mean, they're allowing small knives and other shit in planes now ... can you imagine people getting plastic guns through security?

    I fly to Japan a lot, and have a daughter now. This especially worries me. And what else -- places that guns ARE outlawed -- now they can just make their own ..
  5. rawblog

    rawblog Akiba Citizen

    nice techologi
  6. bananatree

    bananatree New Member

    it means nice future
  7. isityours

    isityours People don't dance no mo'

    saw an article on slate.com (maybe) about huge 3D printers that can (will be able to?) print houses in about a day. and someone used one to print an artificial leg too apparently. awesome stuff.
    1 person likes this.
  8. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Sometimes I can be a little casual about my pirating, especially after a few drinks (which is one reason I rarely drink), and I told this young cashier at a pizza joint about 3D printers. She apparently already knew about bittorrent (sounded like that is where she got her music from) but when I told her she could realistically download shoes to a printer one day you should have seen her eyes light up.

    I read the news at torrentfreak almost everyday and I can see old boundaries breaking down and governments worldwide freaking out about it. The internet is opening doorways people didn't even imagine existed. (Become a card carrying member of your local Pirate Party today! lol)

    1 person likes this.