I'm not, the code I maintain is to complex for that, and there are no real hotspots. 15% less runtime means a lot to me.
Go play KerbalSpaceProgram.
It's much easier to land on a moon then to get to an asteroid. Moons are quite large, have their own (significant amount) of gravity. Asteroids are small, have eccentric orbits.
We kinda do know how many planes there are flying.
Right now there are 10365 planes flying over the world. They also perfectly tracked the last few plane crashes up to the moment they disappeared. So position is covered.
Print heads can be tiny:
The problem is not slinging the head around. You could even do that with much more speed then is done right now.
However, the real problem is cooling and bonding. If you print quicker you need to cool the material quicker. If you cool it quicker, it doesn't bond to the rest of the material really well.
We generally speak in mm^3 / second when we talk about printing speed these days. As that's what counts in the end. Volume per time. With the accuracy we want, naturally.
- Daid, Ultimaker R&D. The Cura guy.
Did some programming&debugging from inside a 3D printer:
Pretty much all lies from the start.
First off, almost nobody is missing steps in their cheap 3D printers. They simply do not move fast enough for that to happen. And if they are missing steps you have a bigger issue, usually lots of friction somewhere.
Secondly, 200 steps per rotation is normal for motors. However, the drivers everyone is using do 16x microstepping, good for 3200 steps per revolution. Accurate steps per revolution. That's better then 4096 +- 2 steps.
You also lose the close coupling between the 4 axis that you need (the feed stock of the material is also an axis that you need to control), which is a big deal in running accurate prints.
The cheap hobby servos will also have mechanical play, which will cause vibrations to be transferred to the head, which will result in a reduction of print quality.
I'm also willing to argue that it's more expensive. But I didn't do the math on that part yet.
(Who am I to say so? Just a guy who has been working at Ultimaker for 2 years. Kinda know what's needed for quality 3D printing at a low price and what's not)
I worked in this area 5 year ago. The switches have been replaced by a 2nd CPU which handles safety, and cannot be overridden from the main CPU.
So, all-green cannot happen. But the systems are far from safe. System I worked on was based on Linux, had pretty much an open-telnet server running. But is intended to run on a private network, not connected to the internet. However, connecting to this network you could own all the lights in seconds.
But, as you say, the value of this would be low. You could disrupt traffic flow for a while. But that's it.
Printed on a "crap extruder" printer, without problems.
You're generalizing. Just because it does not work for metal does not mean it does not work for plastics. Plastics have a very different thermal conductivity.
Heated chambers are not patented. A specific implementation of the heated chamber is patented.
(Do have to agree that they concentrate too much on the machine. The machine is hardly the problem)
The day has come that we are launching the drawings of the Ultimaker 2 and share them with the world. We are excited to see what kind of ideas, innovations, improvements and products this will lead to. We will continue to share our knowledge and experience and look forward to achieving many remarkable 3D printing goals together.
I know a guy how consistently prints watertight cups.
PLA layers fuse very well. ABS is harder, which is why everyone is switching towards PLA.
More expensive is usually better. But, 20k machines from 3D systems are getting the same quality as 2k hobby machines.
For part design I've switched to DesignSpark Mechanical. It's not really 100% free. But I really like the interface and how stuff works. It's a bit like SketchUp on steroids, but then made for CAD.
Dropped my Ultimaker from my bicycle. Twice. Still prints without any adjustments. Most RepRap kits are not that sturdy. You get what you pay for in this case.
Standardization in 3D printing is STL right now. And a large standard commission is working on the next version (AMF).
Software, oh, did I mention this yet. 3D model to toolpath. OpenSource. A few options available. My own, Cura, started as a hobby project, after 6 months I got hired by Ultimaker to make it awesome. Which it is these days. Still OpenSource, now just more awesome.
3D model creation? Blender. 100% FOSS. OpenSCAD, 100% geeky. DesignsparkMechanical, only partially free, but 100% awesome.
Thanks for all the FUD.
Ok, there are a few major things WRONG in this article.
First of. Cura. Cura is my project, I started development 2 years ago. I started in my free time, and after a few months of development Ultimaker hired me to continue development. As every user was switching towards it. It has been open source, free, and released for 2 years now. (It is a perfect success story for Open Source and I think Slashdot totally missed the opportunity here to properly see this)
Thanks to Ultimaker Cura has seen a HUGE development boost and really became awesome for Ultimaker AND RepRap users.
Next, WiFi is not in the machine out of the box. It is an add-on.
The UM2 is a professional looking version of our already very successful Ultimaker-Original kit. It has great printing quality for a nice price tag. Yes, you can do cheaper, but not if you want the same print quality. If you want cheaper then the UM2, buy the UM-Original kit.
You are so right on this one. Makerbot is all marketing all the way down. Their machine isn't special (hotend+extruder copied from the UP!, Z platform copied and slightly improved from Ultimaker). Their move away from OpenSource also hasn't done much good to the "hacker crowd".
But, reporting from Ultimaker here (you know, the 15 man company from the Netherlands that sells 3D printers). Dual extrusion is possible in a good way. We're working out the kinks and don't think it's ready to mass sell as Makerbot does it now. But we are getting towards Ultimaker quality.
Reporting from Ultimaker. You know, the real OpenSource 3D printer, that actually DOES do open-source software development.
Our printer hit the market 2 year ago. It's still top of the line. Sure they are cheaper options, and even a Chinese copy. You know what, they don't get the same quality and speed that we do.
The Cube is noisy, slow, prints in low res (as it's not allowed to compete with the expensive Dimension 150) getting one of these will more likely disappoint you in the capabilities of 3D printing then providing you with something useful.
Stratasys buying Makerbot is surely interesting. As they are paying about 20k for each printer sold so far. So they are not paying for the current market, they must be paying for the marketing, and thingiverse. People have been pulling models off thingiverse already because of this deal.
As on the Ultimaker open-source side. We just released our new version of our Open Source software solution Cura. Which is all AGPL, the GUI and the engine. Everything is usable on RepRap machines, and you can follow development as it happens. No secrets here.