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Comment: Re:This is so 2012. (Score 1) 75

by rijrunner (#47942929) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

Honestly, I think FDM is not the future of 3D printing.

Stepping back though, I am thinking of the hundreds of computer companies that have come and gone. There were some very big names that stepping into the PC business at the time as well as others who were big in other areas who moved into this field trying to position themselves. They ran on the potential of the market, not on how to make it happen or on what it would look like. The ones who moved on were the ones who saw the growth market. Altair, Sym-1, Aim-65 were for hobbyists. TRS-80 was one of the few who had it right, but they were early to their window. (I'd argue that Radio Shack was a much, much bigger name then than Dremel is now for the kind of stuff you're talking about. ).

FDM produced parts on this class of hardware is, to be frank, rather crappy. There are over 200 printers listed on and I seriously doubt more than 10-15 will survive the next 3 years and that does match the weedout of the 1st generation of PC manufacturers. (Granted, there were a lot fewer as the barrier to entry then was much higher, but almost none had the engineering and market position to move into the PC clone market. It was not IBM taking the business market that killed most of the 1st generation as much as the fact that they created what amounted to a industry standard that very few were positioned to exploit or have viable alternatives for income. The standard that will need to be met going forward into the second generation of the current 3D printer wave is appliance like behavior with good part quality).*

The main difference here between then, and now, is that major players in the 3D industry are not sitting back. They are very active and have a huge backlog of patents to draw on. HP is already out there with its business class 3D printer. Dremel priced their printer at exactly the same price as the 3D Systems Cube 3 and has almost the exact same specs.

*A discussion for another day. I would be very interested to see if there is any correlation on who survived and who could run Lotus.

Comment: Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (Score 1) 75

by rijrunner (#47942147) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

You might want to step back for a second.

Your first list is items that deal with engineering issues and, as you say, can be engineered around. 2 of those 4 items do not apply to the 3D dremel printer.

The second part.. has absolutely nothing to do with running a 3D printer and everything to do with part design. You could send me your CAD files, I should be able to run them through slic3r, and print them sight unseen. Parts design requires a lot of skill. Printing out a part, not so much. But, with so few variables, g-code conversion is a relatively simple procedure.

Comment: Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (Score 3, Informative) 75

by rijrunner (#47942083) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

I build CNC machines
I build 3D printers.
I am guessing you have never used a CNC milling machine. Let's look closer:
Some variables for CNC milling (Not exhaustive):

type of bit (material and shape - probably 20 base shapes in a beginner shop. dozens of bit materials)
geometry of bit (literally thousands of options here)
new or worn, and what is the wear pattern (variable every time. Usually not an issue unless you are doing very precise work, in which case, you need to mike the wear and enter it into the tool table)
number of flutes/teeth
helix angle
center cutting
roughing or finishing
tool coating
step over percent
cutter offset
surface cutting speed
spindle speed
is spindle speed variable
feed per tooth
depth of cut
conventional or climb milling
material being machined
coolant feed enable
coolant feed type
tool changer
tool number in tool table
homing and limit switches
All of these variables play off each other. You can change one variable, it can then cascade into changing 4 or 5 others easily. Many of the variables above can destroy the bit, machine, part, or injure you, if you get it wrong.

The fact of the matter, I can take yoda.stl, run it through slic3r, stick it in a 3D printer and not worry much about it. Someone needs to know the g-code along the workflow, but realistically, it is the coder for Slic3r in this example and it is automated. If the machine is calibrated, it will print. If I run a milling operation through CAM software, it needs to be test cut to verify it won't damage anything. Just not inserting the milling bit all the way can damage the machine.

Now, look at it from an appliance situation. Do I know as the machine designer, what material or bits will be used? Do I know what sort of shape they are going to try to machine? I would have to lock down that machine to a ridiculous degree to get it to behave like an appliance, and even then, I can't be sure it won't damage anything. The Dremel 3D printer looks to be locked down with very few variables. It is designed for people to just load a file and hit "run". From a marketing and legal point of view, which is a better product to market?

Comment: Coincidence? (Score 2) 141

by PopeRatzo (#47941983) Attached to: Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

It's interesting that this story hits Slashdot the same day as the story about Apple double-pinky swearing that they'll never, unh-uh, not ever unlock your iPhone for law enforcement any more.

I don't believe a fucking word. They'd throw a baby off a bridge for a $2 bump in their stock price. It's the same with any corporation, but they're closed ecosystem just means there's no way to protect yourself.

All this "canary" bullshit begs the question why, if Apple really cared one little bit about their customers, don't they just come out and say what they have to say. Apple may be one of a very small handful of corporations that actually could stand up to the surveillance regime. As far as I'm concerned, tacit complicity is worse than loud complicity. Especially when your selling yourself as someone who can be trusted with peoples' mobile payments and personal information and when you pretend you "Think Different". Remember the famous 1984 Apple ad? They are now part of the problem.

Comment: Re:Scam (Score 1) 117

I'm using the example that was often cited in the 90s, you're 3 hours into your vacation and are worried you might have left the stove or coffee maker on.

Here's a radical idea: an automatic shutoff. You know, like those $10 electric water kettles have had for years that shut themselves off when they reach a boil? You could have a stove that simply shuts itself off if it fails a state check. Come on, your example sucks. A 50 cent circuit that does automatic shutoff is a hell of a lot less expensive and intrusive than giving your stove and coffee maker an IP address and having to connect to it via a cell phone. And I hope you're vacation isn't on some relaxing beach or national park where there isn't cell phone service, or you're screwed. Meanwhile, the auto-shutoff would be looking out for you even if you happen to be water skiing without your cell phone clipped to the belt of your swim trunks. Yes, your example sucks.

Otherwise you have to worry the whole time, or call somebody and beg them to visit your house

So it's easier for you to accept an "Internet of Things" and all its attendant costs and loss of privacy, than it is to make friends with a neighbor you can call and actually check on your house?
Maybe you need a different type of "connectivity" in your life, friend,.

Networked coffee makers were, of course, already decades old, though most were custom built.

I have a cheap coffeemaker from Target that turns itself off after 2 hours. Which is great because coffee only gets nasty if it sits on a heating element longer than that.

I find it... unlikely... that you truly cannot find your own examples of where information about "things" is useful to the owner of said things.

It's not about not finding examples. It's about those examples not being worth the cost in terms of money, effort or the loss of privacy. Read my post. That was the punchline: It's not worth it.

Comment: Re:This is so 2012. (Score 4, Interesting) 75

by rijrunner (#47940983) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

"Dremel 3D pre-sale starts Sept. 18, 2014, on and, with in-store availability at select The Home Depot® stores in early November."

That's a WOW right there.

I've been through the PC boom in the late 70's and the Internet boom in the 90's. That "no one points at 3D printers" is no more true than when it was said about PC's in 1979 or the Internet in 1994. (I heard that exact sentiment expressed those years).

This is what a boom looks like right before it goes off.

Comment: Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (Score 4, Informative) 75

by rijrunner (#47940965) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

From personal experience..

Trying to design and build a CNC machine to function as an appliance is very, very difficult. There are simply to many factors that impact how well the machine would work. A person who writes g-code for a milling machine has to be able to understand how it will work - balancing the motors, speeds and feeds, materials, and working head. A 3D-printer requires very little, if any, skill on the part of the person using the machine. They can just load pre-packaged items, if they feel like it. It is a much more consumer friendly product with a huge upside.

Comment: Re:Underspecced? (Score 2) 75

by rijrunner (#47940877) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer

I've seen dozens of printers listed with better specs, but most of them are dummy specs. You couldn't run most of those machine anywhere near the specs they list. How many 3D printers out there actually achieve the speeds they claim, or the print area?

Honestly, if they can deliver a machine that works at those specs out of the box without tinkering or having to recalibrate, it just might be worth that amount. It looks reasonably solid and rigid and, from an outside view, well designed. (No idea where the spool feeds from from the pics).

Comment: Re:We need to rethink things (Score 1) 117

Of course, none of this will happen, because it requires that we create a set of standards that everyone abides by.

It won't happen because our lives have been monetized for the benefit of a very few. It won't happen because now we are the consumables. The Internet has become a tool of tracking, behavior modification and political control.

Comment: Scam (Score 1) 117

The "Internet of Things" is a solution without a problem. There is nothing about the Internet of things that could not be accomplished without the built-in violation of privacy. When are people going to figure out that a large percentage, if not the majority of all new technical "solutions" are actually methods of taking something from you, instead of providing you with some service or improvement to a product? Once you get past the novelty, it's actually quite an ugly picture. From "smartphones" to mobile payments, "connected" appliances and all the rest, it's not meant to make your life better, but to alter your relationship to your possessions in order to enrich someone who does not have your best interests at heart. It's not enough that they've turned the Internet itself from a revolutionary platform for communication and the sharing of data into a shopping mall where the product is you. Now they have to turn your very life into a terrarium for their own enrichment.

And the worst part of the Internet of Things is that it's just not worth the price, no matter the price.

Comment: trust but verify (Score 1) 436

by PopeRatzo (#47938303) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

And we should believe Apple why? Who thinks that if Apple gets a national security letter that they're not going to comply? And what about access to the increasing proportion of data that is stored on Apple's servers instead of the local iPhone? Is Apple going to say no to the NSA/FBI/CIA on that, too?

We've heard these promises before.

Comment: Bring it, "Draftsmen"! (Score 1) 87

by pla (#47937325) Attached to: Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back
because as you and I have seen over the years, every time there's a court ruling it just means that you have to word the patent claims differently.

Good! Let 'em try to twist it into something still allowed but borderline, like business method patents - That knife cuts both ways, and for enduring a few more years of patent abuse, perhaps we can finally get those banned as well.

Comment: Re:How long is rent going to go up before?dun dun (Score 4, Insightful) 71

by AuMatar (#47932765) Attached to: Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

Because face time is important. Interacting with coworkers is important. Being able to go over a design at a whiteboard together rather than reading the same powerpoint slide separately is important. THe best ideas I've had in my career have been created as a result of talking to my coworkers over lunch/coffee break/tangent from another discussion. Telecommuting is a loss to productivity even if they are perfect about actually working (which having done it for a year- its not an easy thing to do, there's a lot of temptations). Its not only easily worth 15-30k, its worth 2-3 times that to have then onsite. That's ignoring the fact that a large number of people won't be on point when working from home- many without even meaning to cheat the system.

Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 1) 202

by AuMatar (#47932567) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

I doubt you paid much attention to this. I do, I've been developing keyboards for 5 years now. Some of those at Swype, some at a second startup (I left Swype a few months after the buyout and have had neither residuals nor stock in the company or its new owner since May 2012), and now well its still on keyboards but I'm under NDA preventing me from stating where. Do all Android users use continuous path input? Of course not. Not even a majority. But a very solid percentage do, and a majority of those wouldn't use a device without it for a phone sized device (answers differ on large tablets where swyping isn't as efficient). So no, I don't think I oversold the importance of the technology- its a blocking issue for millions of people moving to iOS. Would they have moved had it been available when they were making their OS choice? Some large percentage of them would have. Will they now? Who knows- now they're locked in by various apps and expected behavior. We'll see.

Time sharing: The use of many people by the computer.