3-D printer ping.
This really has some revolutionary potential, and it might even benefit US manufacturing.
For example, instead of buidling vehicles centrally and shipping them all over the world, they could be built locally and assembled on site.
Likewise, spare parts inventories could be drastically reduced and replaced with raw materials and the sintering machine.
Engineering revisions to parts would take effect immediately, and so would all spare parts created after the change.
Plus, a given factory could be switched to a different line or even product type quickly.
Conceptually, you could have major manufacturers who specialize in simply building/assembly, contracting to whatever design company needed the service. The same plant could produce vehicles, aerospace, whatever or produce spares for a variety of industries.
Granted, that’s only for components that lend themselves to these processes, but I’d guess there’s quite a bit.
I want speed racer from 70’s printed.
Not to be Johnny-rain-cloud, but it sound like “production” is over-optimisticly jammed in here.
I can see how it could be cheaper and faster than sand-casting for development prototypes, but I wouldn’t believe it for production runs.
The interesting thing, to me, would be the ability to make designs possible with no other process. Whole new concepts could be enabled that would make the slowness and expense worthwhile.
The University of Southern California has one of the most pioneering research programs ongoing in the rapid prototyping arena.
One of their building methods involves brass powder with saline solution as a temporary binding agent prior to sintering and this method produces finishes that are quite good for the build technology.
CSI NY’s last episode showed a felon murdering and stealing such a 3-D printer to “print a gun”. The second time it was fired, it exploded in his hand.
Should we expect the BATFE to require all 3-D printers to be registered, since they can be used to “print an unregistered evil gun”?