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3D Printers aka Stereo Lithography

 
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 2135
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:55 am    Post subject: 3D Printers aka Stereo Lithography Reply with quote

Another computer controlled, rapid prototyping technology, thats coming of age is a 3D printer.

http://www.desktopfactory.com/ has been around longer than most of these smaller scale machine makers, but still, most of the less expensive rapid-prototype machines fall into a couple of categories, some cost a lot more than others.

http://www.dimensionprinting.com/ is a pretty cool system, that can work in ABS.

http://www.modelin3d.com/overview.shtml offers another option.

Here is a video of a machine in action http://www.itg.uiuc.edu/vmil/equipment/Z406/timelapse.mov Sort of like the ones seen in the third Jurassic Park film.
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ewoki13
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Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I probably read about these machines once a year. Simply amazing and continue to fall in price. When I see a decent model drop to $1000 - $2000, I'll be looking more closely.

I wonder what my power bill would look like after a robotic arm moved around for 14 hours... Laughing
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Culvan
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the price tag on these systems has dropped from 6 figures to 5 recently, but that's still too steep for my pocketbook. There are do-it-yourself versions out there that can be done for around $800. They're nowhere near as sophisticated though. The basic principle is using something similar to a hot glue gun to squirt out plastic as it moved around. The basic machine is similar to a CNC setup except the head on it deposits material rather than removing it.

http://www.reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome

http://www.fabathome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Andy
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 2135
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The RepRap project seems to be getting better, but is still an early, early attempt at something like a rapid proto typer. A far cry from what I need/want in a machine.

I guess, if the rapid prototype machines made parts in a plastic similar to Derlin, or a really hard copolymer, better than urethane resin, I would be more keen on getting one. But has anyone handled a part made from one of the 'glue-n-dust' machines? I have and the part feels really fragile. Like someone used superglue and talcum powder to make the part.

I know that some machine will make parts out of a resin that has properties similar to hard nylon, and that is good.

a CNC mill that can machine a part out of aluminum or steel is what I want!
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coffeehedake
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Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 66
Location: Burlington, CT

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dunno about these smaller ones... but the company my father used to work for had one of the biggest Stereo Lithography machines available.

It made prototype fan blades for Jet Engines to test aerodynamics, and they prototyped patented tools to repair the engines with. I still have a couple small items that were made on the machine out of Corn Starch, I think... can't quite remember.

Oooh for the chance to use that thing... just once. *drool* think of the havoc, errhm, good I could do! Twisted Evil


They had all the fun toys... water jet cutters, laser cutters, cnc lathes & routers... come to think of it, they're trying to close one of the plants (not the one my dad worked at) here in CT. I wonder if they have any equipment that they'd like to get rid of...
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