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  1. #1

    Rise of the Replicators

    In this month's issue of Popular Science (page 36) there is an article about 3-D printers that you have to see if you haven't heard about this yet.

    Essentially, they have a machine which, much like a 2-D inkjet printer, shoots out layers of plastic and wax to create a full 3-dimensional object. Once the "printing" is complete, the object is placed in an oven to melt the wax away and you're left with your object. Right now, it looks like they're doing coffee mugs and basic toys (things without moving parts), but the possibilities and amazing!

    popsci.com doesn't have a link to the story on the web so you'll have to pick up the magazine itself, but here is a link to one of the systems they talk about:

    http://www.3dsystems.com/products/mu...sion/index.asp

  2. #2
    I remember seeing that sort of thing an episode of Next Step on Discovery Science, looks cool. Just think of the possibilities too, get one SA CLone figure and use him as a template in a bunch of poses to print out Clones like the ones in the 3-packs.
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LTBasker
    I remember seeing that sort of thing an episode of Next Step on Discovery Science, looks cool. Just think of the possibilities too, get one SA CLone figure and use him as a template in a bunch of poses to print out Clones like the ones in the 3-packs.

    Yep, that's what I was thinking too. But that $30,000 price tag doesn't make it practical yet. The article says that Hewlett Packard has created a prototype that could sell for $1000. This could turn out to be Hasbro's "Napster" in few years.

  4. #4
    This technology will be quite interesting to watch develop over the next 20-30 years. As you stated, the possibilities are amazing.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    This could turn out to be Hasbro's "Napster" in few years.
    Probably not unless it gets a very convient price tag, I mean to make a functioning figure you'd probably have to take it apart on each seperate piece and build each one. It could be great for Hasbro in the end though, just think if figure companies used this! No more physical production molding! Every figure could be replicated perfectly each time! Maybe even with color, so no more horrible paint jobs...

    This could be good, very very good...yes...
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LTBasker
    Maybe even with color

    There is a color version of the technology available.

  7. #7
    Yeah, I was thinking though that maybe stuff like pupils in eyes might need to be painted. Unless it can color in things itself, and not just print in color. Such as Hasbro's molding stuff like the Imperial Officer figure in black for the black suit to cut down on paint. If the machine can seperately paint, that would be great. Maybe they could even use real scan to get molds, scan the molds, and then scale them down in the machine to print for a figure.
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  8. #8
    Last year, Popsci had an article about a university converting discarded printers into living tissue builders, sounds to me like an extension of that idea.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #9
    just wait 'til quantum computers come into play about 30 years from now! Then your head will really spin! Is it Live, or is it Mem...The Matrix?!

  10. #10
    Right now, it looks like they're doing coffee mugs and basic toys (things without moving parts)
    I had a magazine a few years ago with an article about these 3D printers - moving parts can be (and have been) accomplished! I was amazed back then when I read the article - the designers were making chains with the machine, where each link in the chain was a completely individual piece (no seams or joins). They were also making balls inside of balls inside of balls, again each ball completely independent with no joins or seams.

    Amazing stuff!

    But that $30,000 price tag doesn't make it practical yet.
    If I remember correctly (probably not though ), a few years ago the price was about $150,000. Could only be a few years now before the household replicator is a standard appliance. I'll be making myself a SA Clone army! We can make Hasblow redundant!!!

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