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Comment: Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

by Thomas Charron (#46164005) Attached to: US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality

You know, in all of this, the whole Comcast Netflix charging thing is crap. People are making it seem like Comcast WENT to Netflix, and said, "Give me money or I block you out" which is utter garbage. Not a single ISP has done such a thing.

    And they have monoploy in a given area as they're on the poles. NOTHING is stopping ANYONE from providing internet access. Isn't that exactly what Verizon FIOS *IS*?

    "But.. But.. TOM! I want 30 Mbs! On my cable line!"

    Then suck it. If there is demand, then the service will come.

    Comcast DOES NOT HAVE a &*(^&*^(T monopoly on home internet. I have lived in 3 houses over the last 10 years, and I have YET to have comcast. And yes, I live in the woods. There are alternatives.

Comment: Re:Waiting to see commercial uptake (Score 1) 170

by Thomas Charron (#43314253) Attached to: Gartner Says 3D Printers Will Cost Less Than $2,000 By 2016

Because the quality of the part printed by FDM is horrible. No one wants this sort of quality. An engineer needs to touch up any 3d models generated with scanning.

It's ridiculous that people think that this sort of technology is ready for what your talking about. Do you actually own one?

Comment: Re:Well, so much for 3D printing then (Score 1) 170

by Thomas Charron (#43314179) Attached to: Gartner Says 3D Printers Will Cost Less Than $2,000 By 2016

Your assuming that they will become ubiquitous. Justify why this would happen, beyond just that it could? Given the quality of the FDM process, why would a user want to sit back and wait 4 hours for a towel hanger for their bathroom that will look like it was made up of small strings of plastic?

FDM based 3d printers will NEVER be trouble free. The companies which sell them sell you contracts with technicians who are on call to maintain them. It is a glue gun with a small hole. And it prints out in a few hour a piece that can be mass produced for penny's, to be sold at your local Wallmart for a dollar. Why would companies even WANT that to happen, really?

Your looking at a utopian dream which just isn't going to happen IMHO. These tools will be used just like they have for the last 20 years, by engineers or techies. Engineers will be able to have one on their desk, or even at home, as compared to a dozen people sharing one. Quicker design, as a dozen people don't have to wait for a dozen other people, to be able to do a 6 hours print.

Now the resin based printers would hold more merit to what your talking about. http://b9creator.com/

Comment: Re:Good enough for what they are designed for... (Score 1) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43287219) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Ok, I was a bit overzealous with the Apple comparison. But the fact of the matter is, I don't have blinders on, I've got capitalist glasses on. This response is being typed on a $600 cell phone, which by all rights should cost no more then $200, but we live in a capitalist society. The cost of a 3d printer could be driven down dramatically, but you will never get quality out of mass production. And you will NEVER get quality parts (end user quality) out of an FDM printer.

IF this sort of printing ever manages to take over in the home, it will be with resin printers.

http://blog.makezine.com/2011/04/03/homebrew-liquid-resin-3d-printer-gets-resolution-boost/

And the issue with them isn't the cost of the hardware, its the cost of the resin itself.

Comment: Re:No not at all (Score 1) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43278747) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

But that's part of the question. Can you laser sinter from powder, and then heat treat it after the fact, after you've made the part?

    I play with software and plastics, and make robotics move. Software guys make poor mechanical guys, and we're talking metal here, so I just don't know for sure.

Comment: Re:Good enough for what they are designed for... (Score 1) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43278737) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

No, but you STILL cannot buy a computer for the same price scale as the first Apple, Commodore, etc.. I'm not saying they are going to continue to go up. I'm saying they're going to stick around 2-3 grand, and stay there for the models which world relatively well.

You will find cheap ones that work crappy, don't print very accurate things, and gum up a whole lot. We've been working with these printers for years now. The cheap '3d printer in every home!' don't work for crap for anything you'd have an every day practical use for. The reason why they went up in price is, it's just not feasible to make them that cheaply. For example, your never going to get a cheap linear Z axis, because the precision required is, by definition, expensive to make. And they always have been. Combine that with 4 additional axis. This isn't just an inkjet printer, it has 6 axis to deal with an coordinate. X, Y, Z, Temp, and Feedrate.

Right now, your printing out shower hooks. If your engineering, you can print out small pieces which look like what you want to make. As a matter of fact, one of the BEST uses is to print it, and then use it to mold something which can actually MAKE your real part cheaply.

I'm not saying manufacturing won't evolve. But, in my opinion, it will NEVER evolve to be 'the replicator'. Things get cheaper as you manufacture them in mass. Even if you had a printer which was manufactured in mass, it's output wouldn't be, and thus, it's overall cost of operation is still going to be dramatically greater then someone making it. The assembly line took over manufacturing for a reason. A Carpenter could make you anything, but industry can make you millions of anything.

Comment: Re:Good enough for what they are designed for... (Score 1) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43278705) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Tools have matured. But it's all still the same. As a matter of fact, many of the front end applications have configurations to say this G means this, this one that. To make it even easier, generally the FDM printers slice the whole thing up into nice strait lines, making things a bit easier.

    But basically, the tools are exactly the same. Software guys have just gotten really good at it. :-)

    As a matter of fact, some of the slicers can slice *and* drive CNC paths. But the 3d printer ones have evolved. An example of a nice one is http://slic3r.org/

Comment: Re:Good enough for what they are designed for... (Score 0) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43278557) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Tell you what. You go ahead and make that gun, and let me know how it goes.

    As for the cost, the guns which they have printed where printed on a $20,000 printer, not a, 'Oh look, lego's at home!' printer. Second of all, those home printers have gone from $500, to 750, to 900, to 1100, to 1500, to 1800, now to 2200-2500. They aren't getting cheaper. What exactly makes you think that they're going to get cheap? FDM printers are notoriously finicky, and generally require service by either a technical user, or a support maintenance guy to keep them running. It's the side effect of having a very expensive glue gun.

    As for the laser sintering, common. The laser required is strong enough to liquefy steel. By your logic, why isn't my battery powered by little fusion reactors by now. I mean, it's just going to get better, cheaper, and mass produced, right?

Comment: Re:Good enough for what they are designed for... (Score 2, Interesting) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43278369) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Because when it blows up, it's going to rip your face apart. When it fails, it's going to fail and take your hand/cheek/eyes. And I doubt they'll come with a 3d printed emergency room.

It would be much easier to go to the hardware store, and make a gun. And you obviously haven't the foggiest idea as to how 'cheap' 3d printing really is, nor have you compared how much it is to buy a cheap 22 cal.

Comment: Re:Good enough for what they are designed for... (Score 2) 344

by Thomas Charron (#43278193) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Laser sintering of metal parts is not, in any stretch, going to be cheap for a home printer to do. Additionally, laser sintering cannot produce the hardened metal needed for the upper receiver. Go ahead and try it. You'll blow your face off as the barrel eventually bubbles and bursts.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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