Technology of the Day

Technology of the Day

Postby Bayowolf » Jul 19, 2012 11:34 am

First off, wasn't there a thread of this sort before? I can't find it. Anyway:
3D Printing: The Game Changer

As told by Hugh Evans
VP at T. Rowe Price Associates

Hugh Evans is a vice president at T. Rowe Price Associates. He is the lead portfolio manager of the Distribution Management Service, and serves on the Investment Advisory Committee of the Small-Cap Value Fund and Small-Cap Stock Fund. Mr. Evans received a BA with distinction from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar, and an MBA from Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
I have a pretty unique perch at T. Rowe Price, as the person who's got one foot in the public markets and one foot in the private equity markets. I scan the venture capital world to make sure that we're on top of these private companies that the venture capitalists are creating, and get to know them two, three, four, five years before their IPO (Initial Public Offering).

It's a very useful knowledge pipeline for us, to watch developments through the eyes of the venture capitalist, and I've seen a lot of the most exciting things coming out of private equity.

From my vantage point, 3D Printing is right up there as one of the most exciting innovations I've seen in the 20 years I've been around here. I think it's going to change the way goods are manufactured across many industries.

THE BACKSTORY
In order to wrap your head around this, file away what your mind tells you about printing or pictures. A normal printer squirts ink onto paper, but a 3D Printer layers atoms on top of each other to create (or print) actual objects.

I can explain this in more detail by taking us through the history of the 3D-Printing industry. What we now call 3D Printing was called rapid prototyping for many years. An engineer would design an object as a CAD (computerized aided design) file, and then send that file to a machine to produce the real thing. (See our accompanying article, How 3D Printing Works.)

But for years, the plastics and the metals that were used were just not robust enough to create a prototype that you could be proud of. They resembled paraffin waxes. They could create the parts, but those parts tended to be flimsy. Because the end product didn't have structural integrity, the technology was really just for engineers who were creating a product in CAD and needed to see what it looked like in real life.

The revolution took place when companies like 3D Systems started designing radically new materials. (See the article Substance Before Form for more.)

They came up with nanocomposites, different blends of plastics, and different blends of powdered metals. They were then able to create a part that, if you held it in your hand, you'd think it was steel. You can throw it down on the ground against cement, and it looks and acts just like steel.

It's impressive how the industry has graduated from flimsy, waxy plastics to very, very robust materials that can literally be used as a machine part, rather than just a prototype of a part.

The industry graduated from just being about rapid prototyping—i.e., this is going to be something that's only an R & D function—to becoming a manufacturing strategy. We can make parts through this method, and the parts can go on the car, and the parts can go on the plane. They can also go in the human body, in the case of dental or medical applications.

THE FUTURE IS NOW
And so the invention of these new materials has allowed this industry to go from being bottled up in the lab to what many people call DDM—Direct Digital Manufacturing—and others call "additive manufacturing."

These new materials allow 3D Printing to be adopted by the aerospace and automotive industries. Jaguar is using the technology for rapid product development. So is the Bell Helicopter division of Textron. (For more on 3D Printing's use in the automotive industry, see Is 3D Printing Road Ready.)

It's amazing. I was at an event recently where these guys from Barcelona had a game console with a camera attached, and had sort of rejiggered it. For fun, they'd take a picture of you with it, and then print it on a 3D Printer. The things some of these people are doing—it's just amazing.



MEDICAL APPLICATIONS
It's pretty intuitive to apply this technology to the automotive and aerospace industries, and jewelry has always been a big market. But one of the most exciting areas is actually dental fabrication.

You might already have a crown that was built by a 3D Printer. Five years ago, that crown would have been made by hand—hand-sanded and hand-created. This technology is taking over that task. Now you go to the dentist, and you don't bite into the clay anymore to make a mold of your mouth. Your dentist just wands your mouth with the 3M wand and makes a digital file of your mouth. It happens instantly, and then the dentist teleports that CAD file and has the implant at his office the next day.

One company I'm excited about is using 3D Printing to make prostheses. It's a venture-backed company in San Francisco called Bespoke Innovations. There are a large number of amputees in America and around the world—I believe something like two million people have some sort of prosthetic limb or device.

The prosthetics industry had always been one-size-fits-all, but now they are taking Army vets and other people who need prostheses, taking a lot of measurements of their body movements and angles, and building custom limbs. Not every leg extension is the same. Some have different weight-bearing characteristics, different angles, a different way the feet move. Bespoke Innovations takes all this ergonomic information, imports it, and creates a CAD file, from which they can literally print out the limb that is used by the customer. (See our article Printing a Medical Revolution for more.)

That, to me, points the way to what's so exciting about the field. It's the epitome of mass customization: a product that is relatively similar for most people, but customized to fit you and your specific needs.

THE PROMISE OF INSTANT CAD FILES
The other thing that's accelerating the industry is the development of laser scanners. A company called FARO Technologies produces a handheld laser that you can point at an object, and the laser will create a CAD/CAM file of what you're pointing at in real time.

The data from the laser reading is imported into a CAD/CAM file, and so you can instantly create a CAD/CAM file with this laser technology. Even the labor intensity of creating a CAD file is reduced as you can create instant CAD files through this device.

So now you can picture yourself walking down the street, point, click, get a CAD file, and click again, and it's printed out an hour later. You saw a flower, you pointed and clicked, and now you've printed a replication of that flower, and it's on your desk.

A concern with these wands is how they fit into our notion of intellectual property, and how patent law is enforced in a world where people are empowered to replicate real-world objects on their own. It's a conversation that we've had around digital copyrights for years, but we should expect to see it cross over into the analog world as well.

That will be a concern, especially as the capabilities of this technology continue to develop. But even now, you can go on YouTube and search for keywords like "3D Printing and dental," or other related keywords, and you will find so many clips in which you can actually see the process.

3D PRINTING AT HOME
Six years ago the cheapest machine out there was $30,000, but most were $100,000. Today you can get a capable 3D Printer for around $1,299, which launched at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.

At that price, the marketplace opens up to individuals like us. It could be as soon as three years from now that people will have a 3D Printer at home to make toys, napkin holders, curtain rings, and whatever is needed.

That's why 3D Printing is so interesting. It's not just tied up in the engineering world anymore. It's impacting a large number of industries, and becoming more relevant to consumers. I'm seeing that even high schools now have 3D Printers. I just ran into a high school teacher the other day who teaches software classes, and he was telling me, "Oh, I just bought my first 3D Printer."

It's exciting to see this technology begin to reach its full potential. A few years ago it was a little ahead of its time, but not anymore. It's here today.
http://individual.troweprice.com/public/Retail/Planning-&-Research/Connections/3D-Printing/The-Game-Changer
H/T to Samizdata.net
"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."
~~George Orwell

"[A] nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
~~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User avatar
Bayowolf
Supporter
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Jun 10, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Bayowolf » Jul 29, 2012 9:50 am

bump
"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."
~~George Orwell

"[A] nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
~~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User avatar
Bayowolf
Supporter
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Jun 10, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Jul 30, 2012 7:06 am



United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Bearsy » Jul 31, 2012 1:23 pm

The 3D printer is going democratize small/basic manufacturing.

The video keeps saying all that is sent is data. But what about the raw materials? Will demand go up? Instead of transporting useful products will bricks of plastic be sent instead where half of it will be used to make useless shit?

Of course it didn't take long for an american to make a gun with it lol
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1335 ... rinted-gun
Radical Centrist
User avatar
Bearsy
Opponent
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: May 03, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Aug 01, 2012 12:10 am

Bearsy wrote:The 3D printer is going democratize small/basic manufacturing.

The video keeps saying all that is sent is data. But what about the raw materials? Will demand go up? Instead of transporting useful products will bricks of plastic be sent instead where half of it will be used to make useless shit?
If printer ink is as overpriced as it is, I can't imagine how much "printer plastic" or "printer metal" will cost. For the individual, I don't know whether a 3D printer will become an everyday utility or just a novelty item, so I couldn't really say if there would be a significant increase in demand for the raw materials. 3D printing does have serious implications for industrial manufacturing and building intricate structures like human organs or engine parts.

Bearsy wrote:Of course it didn't take long for an american to make a gun with it lol
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1335 ... rinted-gun
God bless America :lol:
United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Americalex » Aug 11, 2012 12:26 pm

Here's the real future of 3D printing:

3D printer could build a house in 20 hours
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/3d ... 56687.html

User avatar
Americalex
Supporter
 
Posts: 20145
Joined: Aug 27, 2004 2:48 am
Location: Quebec

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Aug 13, 2012 2:41 pm

United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Americalex » Aug 15, 2012 9:43 am

User avatar
Americalex
Supporter
 
Posts: 20145
Joined: Aug 27, 2004 2:48 am
Location: Quebec

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Bearsy » Aug 15, 2012 12:06 pm

Where are the oompa loompas?

Its a good idea but their machine is lacking in resolution. The results look rather sloppy
Radical Centrist
User avatar
Bearsy
Opponent
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: May 03, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Apr 17, 2013 3:34 am

United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Americalex » Jun 07, 2013 4:52 pm

Interesting, but a bicycle seems like a nice -and non controversial- leap forward:



This is a pretty accessible use for the technology, it offers truly effective design opportunities:

User avatar
Americalex
Supporter
 
Posts: 20145
Joined: Aug 27, 2004 2:48 am
Location: Quebec

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Sep 16, 2014 1:27 pm

United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Americalex » Sep 16, 2014 2:15 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
Americalex
Supporter
 
Posts: 20145
Joined: Aug 27, 2004 2:48 am
Location: Quebec

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Bayowolf » Sep 17, 2014 5:19 pm

NASA has announced that the Dream Chaser has been "down-selected" (meaning that NASA won't participate in the funding of the test flight phase of the vehicle's development). NASA had instead decided to go with SpaceX' Dragon V2 and Boeing's CST-100.

This is the CST-100

Image

That's right! A modified Apollo capsule. :lol: :lol:

WTF??
"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."
~~George Orwell

"[A] nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
~~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User avatar
Bayowolf
Supporter
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Jun 10, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Americalex » Sep 17, 2014 7:47 pm

I saw the new SpaceX capsule on their Facebook page and I support them too of course. Same for that Boeing alternative. Too bad for the Dream Chaser, it would have been a dignified and fitting way to perpetuate the evolutive legacy of the Space shuttle program. Maybe they can make it without the NASA financing for that testing phase? Or maybe their design is fundamentally flawed and the complexity of a runway landing craft as opposed to an ocean parachute craft is too much to get an acceptable price point. Landing on a runway feels so much more civilized though..
User avatar
Americalex
Supporter
 
Posts: 20145
Joined: Aug 27, 2004 2:48 am
Location: Quebec

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Bayowolf » Sep 18, 2014 6:36 pm

Yesterday, I didn't have much time to read the article thoroughly but, as I was skimming it, I saw something to the effect that the ESA is interested in the Dream Chaser. That makes sense, since the EU doesn't control vast stretches of ocean (for splashdowns) as the US Navy does.

Anyway, here's a link to the article: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/09/dream-chaser-misses-out-cctcap-dragon-cst-100-win/
"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."
~~George Orwell

"[A] nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
~~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User avatar
Bayowolf
Supporter
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Jun 10, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Sep 18, 2014 8:52 pm

Image



I've always thought that it would be an awesome idea to have a modular phone, where instead of replacing the whole thing every few years, you just swap out whatever components you need. Project Ara by Google is surprisingly far along and the first model is scheduled to be released Jan 2015. The phone is expected to be retailed at around $50 with just the basic set up of a frame, display, and a low end CPU. The phone will come in small, medium, or large frame sizes each having a small power reserve so you can swap out the main battery without shutting the phone off. Each module will be hot swappable, though I wouldn't mind tool access for every component but the battery.

I really like the idea of upgrading the hardware or adding new features by just swapping out some modules. I personally won't be buying it when it first comes out, but I'll be watching to see whether the project lives up to its potential.
United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Americalex » Sep 18, 2014 9:10 pm

The only problem with this concept is dropping it on the concrete floor during rush hour at the subway station lol
User avatar
Americalex
Supporter
 
Posts: 20145
Joined: Aug 27, 2004 2:48 am
Location: Quebec

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby dans » Sep 18, 2014 9:21 pm

Spaceplanes are kinda rough. They work well for landing on earth but offer no real advantages for liftoff or landing on an alien object. Ideally, we'd have some sort of Single Stage To Orbit Vertical Take Off/Landing craft. But, even lacking that, a SSTO Horizontal Take Off/Landing craft (ie a spaceplane that takes off like an airplane) is better than a Multiple Stage To Orbit craft in terms of reusability and simplicity of design.
Say YES! to Puerto Rico! Tell your Representatives, tell your Senators: "Just 51% for the 51st State!"
User avatar
dans
Supporter
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Aug 29, 2012 11:01 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Technology of the Day

Postby Glades » Sep 19, 2014 12:18 am

Americalex wrote:The only problem with this concept is dropping it on the concrete floor during rush hour at the subway station lol

Yeah, that's why I would be more in favor of a tool access design rather the hot swap modules. You don't want all your fancy new modules flying everywhere after you drop your phone. I'm thinking more of a phone with a shell that you can open up and replace the components like you would the GPU, CPU, or hard drive of your PC. The most important thing I want to be able to replace is the battery. I would keep spares around just so my phone never dies on me again. I have a feeling that over a few generations the design is going to be overhauled a few times before they get it right.
United we stand
User avatar
Glades
Supporter
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Jul 20, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Florida

Next

Return to Interests

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
cron