Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Developments - Peachy Printer

What is additive manufacturing? Additive Manufacturing (AM) is 3D printing by stacking layers of shaped material on top of on another. These materials range from plastics, metals, concrete to maybe one day tissues. They take in information from 3D modeling software, and builds the image into an actual object. The current uses of additive manufacturing are as
  • a design tool
    • rapid prototyping
    • design visualization
  • to produce production parts in small quantities
  • as a hobby to produce knickknacks
I've recently seen an interesting product that seems to lower the cost of entry to hobbyists called the peachy printer.
Its a stereolithographic printer which means that it uses a laser to harden a resin into a solid. The idea behind it to drastically lower the cost of production is that it takes data from the audio output of a computer, runs it through a pic to change the position of a mirror to direct the laser to the correct positions, which lowers the cost to $100 or less!

Its interesting to think about this and its relation to Globalization. Although it seems like everyone is big on expanded markets, buying products from around the globe, this brings things back more locally. If the accuracy of this technology can be improved on without an increase in cost, why would construction workers, for example those in home improvement buy things from stores when they could just print out the parts they need? This might grow to threaten the existence of businesses such as Home Depot, or other places that sell cheap furniture such as IKEA. Thoughts?

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