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Rakido
10th May 2012, 07:40
The world of printable electronics just keeps getting better. Several weeks ago it was the plastic solar cell and now this. Researchers at the Institute for Print and Media Technology of Chemnitz University of Technology (pmTUC) in Dusseldorf, created loudspeakers they printed on standard paper.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2012/05/06/sound-from-paper-researchers-create-printed-loudspeakers/

Dr Mordrid
10th May 2012, 13:36
100 years from now, or maybe sooner, to buy many small to medium sized products you'll just select it online and it will be manufactured by an in-home device, or a local fabricator for larger items. Bye-bye large scale factories.

Umfriend
10th May 2012, 23:25
And probably bye-bye with efficiency to boot!

Brian Ellis
10th May 2012, 23:32
100 years from now, or maybe sooner, to buy many small to medium sized products you'll just select it online and it will be manufactured by an in-home device, or a local fabricator for larger items. Bye-bye large scale factories.

Can I print a better crystal ball than yours? :)

Dr Mordrid
11th May 2012, 00:17
3D printing tech is already being used industrially (aerospace etc), and the time is very near when a lot of electronic circuitry and semiconductors (solar cells, OLED & quantuim dot displays first) will be printed as well as organic implants. In fact, printed urinary bladders are already in humans, artery grafts are next and synthetic bone matrices soon after that.

The tech is getting cheaper & smaller, and it's likely programmable matter using claytronics, quantum dots & wells, shape changing molecules, metamaterials and nanoscale robotics is going to meld with it to produce desktop manufacturing.

If anything, 100 years to consumer commercialization may be pessimistic - especially for consumer electronics.

Marshmallowman
11th May 2012, 19:08
3d printing is usually used to make the forms and moulds which the final parts are made/cast. not usually used for the final parts becasue the stuff is not so strong.

VJ
11th May 2012, 23:21
It all depends on what you make. For some 3d printers, their are open libraries of models to print. And for things likeboarsgame pieces or even simple toys, it is already possible. And 100 years is a long time...

Dr Mordrid
12th May 2012, 19:13
GE is on track to test 3D printed metal parts in jet engines in 2013/2014. This is just one application for GE - printed parts are going to appear very soon throughout their product lines including medical - one being ultrasound transducers which otherwise cost a lot to produce. Airbus is also getting ready to use printed parts from hinges to wing brackets.

It involves laser sintering; very fine powdered metal as the medium sintered into a solid mass a few microns per layer. This technique can now be used to fab titanium, which otherwise is a bear to work with. Other parts use a slurry, ex: ceramic and a polymer precursor, and UV.

3D printing is moving very fast. Alloys, aluminum, polymers etc. etc. are all now in the game for direct production.

Dr Mordrid
16th May 2012, 14:58
DoD is getting into the act -


NextGov.... (http://m.nextgov.com/defense/2012/05/pentagon-seeks-join-3-d-printing-revolution/55647/?oref=ng-HPriver)


PENTAGON SEEKS TO JOIN 3-D PRINTING REVOLUTION

AP--The Pentagon will fund an institute for agencies, companies and academics to advance three-dimensional printing techniques, with the eventual goal of cheaper and faster manufacturing of aerospace and defense parts.

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3-D printing uses special machines to make solid objects, layer by layer, from a digital file. Designers use 3-D printers to create cheap prototypes without needing to turn to an assembly line; hobbyists and tinkerers build do-it-yourself projects with the technology. Now the Pentagon wants to capitalize on 3-D printers to shave the costs of assembly tools.

The agency seeks to launch a $60 million 3-D printing research and educational program, documents show. Defense expects to fund $30 million from fiscal 2012 through 2014. The bulk of the funding -- $18.8 million -- is expected to be forked over in fiscal 2012. The 3-D printing initiative will offer a proof of concept on how to build a network of 14 institutes to spur ideas on improving domestic manufacturing, as part of a $1 billion White House initiative called the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The program will be managed by various federal agencies, including Defense, the Energy Department, and the National Science Foundation.

The Pentagon is soliciting nonprofit organizations and universities to launch the pilot. The institution should house additive manufacturing experts, have a business plan to ensure it is financially sustainable, and be able to protect the patent rights of inventors. A proposer’s day for the pilot program will be held May 16. Proposals are due on June 14.

“Due to the advantages of additive manufacturing, considerable capability improvements and manufacturing cycle time reductions can be realized for new platforms,” the solicitation notes. “In addition, parts needed for DoD legacy systems can have a significant cost and cycle time savings because assembly tools are not required.”

The Pentagon’s participation in the 3-D printing revolution would give additional boost to an industry that is expected to grow to $3.1 billion by 2016 and $5.2 billion by 2020, according to research group Wohlers Associates.