The Other I

March 9, 2011

3-D printing

Filed under: Just Stuff,The Economy: a Neophyte's View — theotheri @ 8:14 pm

Dimension 1200es Series 3D Printers It might not quite be quantum physics, but I find it amazing.  Stratasy, a company headquartered in Minneapolis, is making printers that produce three-dimensional plastic objects which are designed on the desktop.  It works just like a printer, except that what you design and then “print” isn’t a manuscript.  It’s an object.

There a defense company in Europe that’s doing the same thing for metal airplane parts.

This isn’t a pipe dream.  It’s actually already on the ground working.

It’s going to make it a lot easier for individuals to design things and to produce a proto-type to test.  It’s already being used by educators to give students design experience, engineers, and architects.

For the DIY inventor who already has everything else,  consider a 3-D printer.  You can get one for under $20,000 (well, I did say it was for someone who already had everything else).

It is certainly going to revolutionize manufacturing and the factories that make everything from toys to cars.  The advantage that countries have gained by providing cheap labour to produce things to be shipped to developed countries will be greatly reduced.  On the other hand, all the factory jobs that are lost won’t flow back into the developed world.  They will simply disappear.

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