Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

MIT Media Lab Researcher Prints Playable Flute

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the flouting-his-skills dept.

Music 85

conner_bw writes "What if making an acoustic instrument was a matter of hitting 'print'? MIT Media Lab researcher Amit Zoran did just that. He created a flute using the Objet Geometries Connex500 3D printer. The instrument is playable and the results are surprisingly good for a first attempt. As an aside, rumour has it that Amit has a bumper sticker that reads: My other printer prints food."

cancel ×

85 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763440)

In all these years, i've never ever been this close...*sniffle*

Could he possibly.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763460)

be the first?

Skin Flute ... (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763474)

... I've been playing that skin thing for years. Now, in High School, I played trumpet. But no-one seemed to be able to find sexual innuendos for that instrument. Does anyone have some bassoon jokes?

And the folks at the Classic concert might not be amused with whit the, um results.

Re:Skin Flute ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763502)

Blowing your own horn? It was an awkward interview moment when someone used that phrase right after he was arrested for being caught with a prostitute in a public place. That's the only reason I remember it.

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763522)

I'm pretty sure anyone sporting a "Skin Bassoon" would be forced to limit his amorous endeavors to large animal husbandry...

Why yes Mrs. Smith, our man Johnson performs cow inseminations... why do you ask???

I heard an off color Tuba joke once. Would that count?

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763726)

I've always wondered why they call it animal "husbandry"... I mean, c'mon, the animals are not married. Wouldn't "fatherdry" be more accurate?

Re:Skin Flute ... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763844)

"Husbandry" is "the management of domestic affairs and resources".

Historically, both your wife and your livestock were classified under "domestic affairs and resources". Today, we tend to step carefully around the lingering etymological implication that "husbands" are those who engage in wife management, unless some other sort of husbandry is specified; but that is still why the word is what it is, even though women have actually been promoted to human status in a number of parts of the world.

Um... Happy Wednesday, everybody?

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767558)

Nowadays, wives engage in husband management. :P

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34774936)

"Husbandry" is "the management of domestic affairs and resources".

Sounds related to "oikonomos" (oikos means house).

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34781008)

Another little historical irony... The word you mention is the root of the term "economics"; but, despite the fact that the root word explicitly applied to household management, one now must specify Home Economics, or something having to do with investment banking and currency arbitrage is assumed...

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34847196)

The word you mention is the root of the term "economics"

Kinda' my point :)

something having to do with investment banking and currency arbitrage is assumed

That's sad; I hope it also makes people think about things like production, trade, consumption, market structures (i.e. competition vs. monopoly), industry organization (small vs. large firms), the first and second welfare theorem and the use of dispersed knowledge in society.

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

burisch_research (1095299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763566)

In the category of sexual innuendos relating to orchestral instruments, I must hang my head and confess to being a Trombone player. I believe Trombone beats any other instrument, hands down, in this category.

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763744)

I believe Trombone beats any other instrument, hands down, in this category.

Indeed, it takes both hands.

(I played the trombone in elementary school, but I grew out of it.)

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765236)

The trumpet is rare among wind instruments in that it requires only one hand.
** insert dirty joke here **

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765296)

** insert dirty joke here **

I'm out of dirty musical jokes, but I do have a skin flute.

(...aaannnnd we come full circle.)

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764300)

So, would someone who plays a 'bone be a 'boner?

Re:Skin Flute ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766966)

Was the trombone rusty [wikipedia.org] by any chance?

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34773876)

I play bagpipes. Blow hard into the blowpipe, finger the chanter, and the drones create a background, so you provide your own accompaniment.

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764058)

Does anyone have some bassoon jokes?

Q. Which is better, a bassoon or an oboe? A. A Bassoon - it makes more toothpicks.

Re:Skin Flute ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765654)

Does anyone have some bassoon jokes?

In Italian, "bassoon" is "fagotto".

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767448)

"Pianist" as well.
reminded of musical comedian Billy C. Wirtz's album title "Pianist Envy"

this isn't instrument-based, but:
using "Free Bird" to refer to the middle finder
rock/cock jokes

Re:Skin Flute ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34768916)

Well, bassoon in Swedish (and German and I assume a few other languages as well) is fagott. Should give you a starting point at least ...

Re:Skin Flute ... (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34772844)

... I've been playing that skin thing for years. Now, in High School, I played trumpet. But no-one seemed to be able to find sexual innuendos for that instrument. Does anyone have some bassoon jokes?

And the folks at the Classic concert might not be amused with whit the, um results.

idk any trumpet jokes, but "trombone players do it in seven positions"... (actually trumpets also have seven common fingerings but it's more of a trombone joke)

Amazing post.... Got me thinking! (-1, Offtopic)

superblog (1970928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763488)

This is amazing and a true breakthrough into what is to become the future of product design. Will Tweet. Thanx! http://gibler.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]

I want one! (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763560)

When will these 3D printers become affordable for the home user and easy to use? In other words, when will it become cheaper than printer ink?

Re:I want one! (5, Informative)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763592)

It's not really for home use yet, but you can have your stuff printed relatively cheaply (not yet printer ink "cheaply", but yeah) at some places. For example, see i.Materialise [materialise.com] for an online printing service.
Disclaimer: I work for a sister company ;-), I've seen a lot of 3D printing stuff. This flute thing doesn't impress me that much - this folding chair is much cooler [chairblog.eu] .

Re:I want one! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766450)

Can 3D Printers print fabrics?

Re:I want one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34769108)

No, but they CAN print mail (a.k.a. chainmail).

Re:I want one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763634)

Cheaper than printer ink?!? Compared to HP's printer ink, it already is cheaper!

Re:I want one! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763638)

When will these 3D printers become affordable for the home user and easy to use?

About 6 weeks before all manner of manufacturing industries start campaigning to have them outlawed, I'm guessing.

Re:I want one! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764250)

Darn, beaten...

Re:I want one! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765182)

I don't think manufacturing industries are all that worried.

1) Economies of scale. You can't compete with a dinky "3D printer" at home against experienced users of large industrial machines.

2) Feedstock. Where are you going to stockpile your raw chemicals?

3) How are you going to keep track of all the different chemicals needed for the different materials, and stock them, and keep track of their shelf life?

"3D printing" is another of those geek things that geeks get excited over and attribute absolutely incredible capacities to. Except all it is is crude prototyping out of flimsy materials, to do things more expensively, more complicated and more fragile than the old way.

So yeah, I don't think anyone's worried, at all.

Re:I want one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34767976)

Manufacturers aren't. The middleman is. The manufacturer can create a plastic dashboard bracket for $0.50, far cheaper than the $5-$10 it would take to print one off. The middle man, though, is not going to be able to charge $75 for the bit of plastic anymore. That's who is worried.

Re:I want one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34768100)

There's no middleman in getting a 3D printer or the feedstocks? It falls from the sky?

Re:I want one! (4, Informative)

Jarnin (925269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763682)

I just did a quick search and there's a manufacturer selling a desktop 3D printer for $10,000. It uses a different process in the build; more like laying clear tape and cutting it at each layer to produce a model. The next cheapest I could find used the more traditional "goop" like resin and was $15,000. The last time I checked prices about two years ago and they were hovering around $30,000. At this rate you'll probably see models in the $1500-3000 range in about 3-7 years.
The question then is, what do you build with it?

Re:I want one! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763754)

900£ anyone?
http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/

Re:I want one! (3, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764246)

Yeah there are way too many cheap/DIY options to be spending the cost of a car on a 3D printer for home use.

I particularly like this one:

http://hacknmod.com/hack/diy-high-resolution-3d-printer/ [hacknmod.com]

(the source page is currently offline for maintenance)

Re:I want one! (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34805308)

Well, sure there are a lot of cheap 3D printers. I have a Makerbot Cupcake. Loads of fun. I've also seen several different commercial 3D printers, and talked to lots of owner/operators of those. The big difference between the commercial version and the homebrew printers is that the commercial versions have a commercial level of reliability. Homebrew/kit 3D printers are *not* turnkey, they are a chosen lifestyle. If you like to tinker, tweak, repair, and experiment, they are outstandingly good humor. If you want to hit "print" and walk away.... get a commercial 3D printer. Even then, the commercial ones are temperamental.

Re:I want one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34764588)

How about $1k - $1.2K at MakerBot: http://makerbot.com/

$2-3K to build the one from Fab@Home: http://fabathome.org

Re:I want one! (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766026)

The question then is, what do you build with it?

More 3D printers, to keep driving the prices down!

Re:I want one! (3, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767728)

Our company got a 3Dsystems V-Flash, which I'm presuming is the $10K model you saw. It works pretty well, but some of the parts have significant distortion as the plastic cures. It also had a problem with the reel mechanism: it feeds out a layer of material on a plastic tape, cures some, then feeds back in, and if a flake of hardened material gets on that tape it'll shadow out and prevent curing of everything in the rest of the part above that, which can lead to swiss cheese parts. The feed material is also breathtakingly expensive. But it sure does clean up easily and nicely. We also got a Stratasys, which I believe is what's being sold by Hewlett Packard in the US, and it had *excellent* accuracy, within 10 mils, and has a very nice appearance. The printing material's pretty cheap, too. But you have to use weird solvents to get the part out of the backing/support material.

The next model that 3D systems offers, the ProJet, seems to have vastly better accuracy and stability during cure.

We build prototype cellphone cases, speaker cases, outlet switch boxes, light bulb reflector backing structures, to make sure everything fits mechanically and looks good, and then go to plastic injection molding companies to have the production runs done. We found that a single mistake on an injection molding die cost about as much as the V-flash. And meanwhile the two gamers at work are running off about a zillion RPG miniatures on the machine.

Re:I want one! (1)

scribblej (195445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34773836)

If you hurry, you can get the Cupcake ULTIMATE kit from Makerbot.com for $200 off the usual price of $899 for one more day (good through the 6th) using the coupon code; I think it's on their site (MAKERBOTFRIEND or something).

Otherwise, check out the other models they have, as well as stuff from makergear.com, and the various sellers of repraps. You can get a decent 3D printer for your desktop for under $1000, easy. You'll have to build it yourself, but it's not hard.

These printers print with ABS, the same stuff LEGO is made from, so it's pretty sturdy. Check out thingiverse.com for a nice gallery of free things to print and examples.

Re:I want one! (5, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763802)

These 3D printers are for rapid prototyping, and they are far from new. They have been around for years.

They do NOT create durable goods. You will NOT be able to print working cars, bikes, computers, houses, women or whatever else you want. The output of these printers do not serve any real purpose other than a 3-dimensional prototype of an object. Even if this so-called flute is playable today, it likely won't be in a year's time if it's handled a lot.

I guess your username says it all, but how exactly do you think this will somehow magically be cheaper than printing in 2D on plain paper with standard ink?

Bottom line: You cannot "manufacture" durable goods using 3D printer technology. It's nice to dream, but dreams have their place.

Re:I want one! (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763842)

These 3D printers are for rapid prototyping, and they are far from new. They have been around for years.

They do NOT create durable goods. You will NOT be able to print working cars, bikes, computers, houses, women or whatever else you want. The output of these printers do not serve any real purpose other than a 3-dimensional prototype of an object. Even if this so-called flute is playable today, it likely won't be in a year's time if it's handled a lot.

I guess your username says it all, but how exactly do you think this will somehow magically be cheaper than printing in 2D on plain paper with standard ink?

Bottom line: You cannot "manufacture" durable goods using 3D printer technology. It's nice to dream, but dreams have their place.

Mod up. Even the prototype didn't play right.

It is a notable achievement that we can conceive of a 3-D object and have it printed that day, but this story is more flash than substance.

Re:I want one! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765856)

It is a notable achievement that we can conceive of a 3-D object and have it printed that day, but this story is more flash than substance.

And most people on Slashdot hate flash.

Re:I want one! (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764200)

Bottom line: You cannot "manufacture" durable goods using 3D printer technology. It's nice to dream, but dreams have their place.

Not yet anyway. Who's to say that in a century or so we won't be able to produce a lot of goods from home using 3D printers? Also there are a lot of areas where these can be put to good use, for example, I'm particularly interested in the modelling field right now, as in teeny tiny models of big things, these don't need to be durable. I'd love to know about the level of detail the printer can achieve, like rivets on a model airplane, or what.

Re:I want one! (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764298)

They can print durable goods, TODAY, depending on what it is you're printing, what materials the machine uses, and what finishing you do to the product. To say these things are categorically useless for printing durable goods is just wrong.

Re:I want one! (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834618)

This is true. The company I work for does rapid-prototyping based small production runs, for things like VERY small production supercars.

Re:I want one! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834726)

You know that RepRap machine, most of them had their frames printed from other RepRap machines. They can print in ABS plastic. The same material used in most electronics casings, and Lotus Elise/Exige body panels.

And if you can print a RepRap frame I see no reason you couldn't print a PC case.

Re:I want one! (3, Insightful)

Obyron (615547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764366)

With all tech advances we've seen in our lifetimes it amazes me that people can still have this attitude. Maybe not now, but give it 10 years. The next Steve Wozniak is out there somewhere, reading about this and being inspired. There will be some killer use for this thing that you or I haven't thought of, and I suspect in 20-25 years they'll be as common in houses as refrigerators.

Re:I want one! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765212)

"Bottom line: You cannot "manufacture" durable goods using 3D printer technology."

Wasn't that you who told us 25 years ago:
"You'll never be able to print letter quality with these computer printers."

Re:I want one! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765820)

Not durable? Well, the two prototypes trackballs I have on my desk may not be as sturdy as moulded plastic, but are plenty robust to handle a fair amount of handling. As long as you're not expecting them to handle extremely rough usage, they should last pretty much indefinitely.

Re:I want one! (2)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765882)

I wonder if the current tech of 3D printing can make an object of sufficient complexity/detail that could subsequently become the master in a lost-wax type casting process.
The end result of that would definitely be durable (being bronze, brass, or some other metal)

Re:I want one! (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34805266)

Sure. The custom jewelry makers already have high resolution wax printers for exactly that process. SolidWorks->Wax->Hot metal casting

Re:I want one! (3, Insightful)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766146)

how exactly do you think this will somehow magically be cheaper than printing in 2D on plain paper with standard ink?

Have you seen how much printer ink costs? It's more valuable than gold! Everything is cheaper than printer ink!

Re:I want one! (2)

bziman (223162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766180)

Bottom line: You cannot "manufacture" durable goods using 3D printer technology. It's nice to dream, but dreams have their place.

No, but you can use the parts created by the 3D printer to make forms for injection molded plastic and dies for cast metal. And for something sophisticated with a lot of precision parts (like a car), printing the forms for the assembly line directly from the model, rather than trying to carve each one by hand will save you a LOT of time and money when trying to take something from model into production.

Re:I want one! (2)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767184)

Not true, depending on the materials your final product requires. The Objet technology used in the article can't do metal etc, but it can do a wide range of plastics (including blends of different plastics) at a quality comparable to traditional plastics manufacturing processes. The resin-based process eliminates air enclosures and structural problems that plague other technologies like FDM (basically what the reprap project does).

Disclaimer: I am using a lower-end Objet on a regular basis, but I am not affiliated with these guys.

Re:I want one! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34767700)

I guess your username says it all, but how exactly do you think this will somehow magically be cheaper than printing in 2D on plain paper with standard ink?

I think that bit might have been intended as a joke given that ink jet ink costs more per unit volume than the finest wines sold at auction.

What we really need first is affordable CNC. That works today and results in durable goods, it's just expensive.

Re:I want one! (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34768036)

You most definitely can print durable goods, commercial 3d-printing services are already offering printing glass and metal objects.
See http://www.shapeways.com/materials/ [shapeways.com] for example.

Re:I want one! (1)

_Stryker (15742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34774336)

The page you link to doesn't seem to agree:

Warning: Please note that the 3D printing materials we use for manufacturing the designs make the products suitable only for decorative purposes and they are not suited for any other purpose. The products are not suited to be used as toys, to be given to children. The products should not come in contact with electricity or food & drink and should be kept away from any heat sources.

Re:I want one! (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34774420)

I wouldn't sell even a wooden block in USA without a ten times larger disclaimer stating that it's not meant for anything, the last decades of litigation have taught everyone that.
The materials are very different - some are flexible, some are brittle, of course they might not be safe for kids as you may easily make small or pointy objects that are considered hazards; of course they should not come in contact with electricity (as for most objects), and the chemicals most likely are not rated as food-safe.

Still, the disclaimer doesn't mean that a frigging glass blob is somehow non-durable or not permanent, no matter how it got made.

Re:I want one! (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34768586)

A company called Stratasys makes machines that print parts out of ABS plastic, the same stuff used in happy meal toys. Sure, they take longer and are more expensive per part than an injection molded part, but you most definitely can make durable parts from those machines. Where I work we have Stratasys Dimension machine, and I have made camera and medical device housings that are being used "in the field".

Re:I want one! (1)

pigphish (1070214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34771774)

Will someone please mod the moderators who modded this guy insightful.

Re:I want one! (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34772104)

These 3D printers are for rapid prototyping, and they are far from new. They have been around for years.

They do NOT create durable goods. You will NOT be able to print working cars, bikes, computers, houses, women or whatever else you want. The output of these printers do not serve any real purpose other than a 3-dimensional prototype of an object. Even if this so-called flute is playable today, it likely won't be in a year's time if it's handled a lot.

I guess your username says it all, but how exactly do you think this will somehow magically be cheaper than printing in 2D on plain paper with standard ink?

Bottom line: You cannot "manufacture" durable goods using 3D printer technology. It's nice to dream, but dreams have their place.

I remember people saying photos printed with an inkjet aren't as good as developed film because it won't last 30 years. But when my photos get wet or something, I just print another one. In fact, that's something I can't do with film. Assuming the price of 3D printing comes down over time, how big of a problem is the material only lasting a few months if you can just print another one? In fact, maybe in that time you'll get tired of the current one and want to download and print the latest model anyway.

Re:I want one! (1)

scribblej (195445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34773818)

I'm not familiar with the particular 3d printer in the story, but a RepRap or MakerBot CupCake/Thing-O-Matic prints with ABS plastic. That's the same stuff LEGO and car bodies are made from. I've got LEGO that are probably older than you and still get played with and snap together good as new. Those printers cost (much!) less than $2000 and can sit on your desktop.

Also there's several 3D printing companies (see: shapeways.com) that'll print your design in anything up to and including stainless steel... so, tell me that's not durable.

You probably haven't looked into this industry in years.

Re:I want one! (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764360)

When will these 3D printers become affordable for the home user and easy to use? In other words, when will it become cheaper than printer ink?

Affordable for home users? Basically never. Even ink jet printers aren't really cost effective anymore. But that is not really an issue, as instead of owning the printer, you simply order the part you want to have printed, just as you today can order a bunch of photos instead of printing them out yourself. Shapeways [shapeways.com] and a few other companies are offering that service right now already. All you need to do is model the thing you want to have printed and send it to them, you can chose from quite a few materials while doing so.

Re:I want one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765388)

"Affordable for home users? Basically never."

I paid 10,000$ for my first postscript Laserprinter.

Re:I want one! (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765760)

I paid 10,000$ for my first postscript Laserprinter.

The issue isn't so much total cost, but the "is it worth to have such a thing around" part. 3D printers might very well drop below the $1000 mark, maybe even a lot below it, but then that will be a very basic printer with limited materials, limited size of the printable object and plenty of other limitations. Why bother with that when you can just order the part you need to printed with the most high quality printers on the market? You will have a better printout, larger choice of materials and not have a bulky printer in your home.

As said, just look at photo printing, sure ink jets are easily affordable, but I can order a professorial printout of better quality for less per image then it would cost me to print it on my own printer.

Now that of course doesn't mean that 3D printers won't be popular with hobbyists, but I seriously doubt that we will ever see 3D printers in as widespread distribution as we have seen 2D printers in the past, there is just to little use of them and its to easy to just order the parts online.

Re:I want one! (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766766)

well, while i don't entirely disagree...you're discounting the value of convenience. And your ink jet example proves it. Yeah, you get a crappier product and it costs more to boot, and yet we having a thriving industry churning out the home printers nonetheless. if I can print out the replacement [insert thingamabob i need] right now, and not have to go to the store or wait for it to come in the mail, that's worth something. Whether it will ever be worth it *enough* to me personally? I don't know, but I wouldn't discount it being a real market, one that extends beyond hobbyists. The tech will have to be a lot better...the things you can print a lot more useful, but I'd certainly not bet against it.

Disappointing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763630)

This was pretty disappointing; it's printed on a commercial 3D printer. We all know these can be used for printing complex objects like product prototypes. It's a bit like someone posting a news story about being able to play zork on a mainframe in the early 80s.

Now, if someone can do this on a reprap, fab@home, or some similar consumer-targetted 3d printer, that'll be really good news.

Re:Disappointing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763756)

If fab@home could use a motor that costs less than $800 that would be really good news too

Re:Disappointing (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764400)

We all know these can be used for printing complex objects like product prototypes.

Yes, but there is quite a differences between a simple prototype and a fully functional flute. 3D printing has traditionally been used to print pretty things to look at, not so much to build real products that you can actually use. So while it might not be a mind blowing revolution, its certainly an interesting next step.

Re:Disappointing (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765712)

I've seen whistles (complete with the ball inside) printed from a reprap. Worked great, too. And Shapeways has panflutes you can have printed out for you.

Sam Neill (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764006)

He "printed out" a raptor skull in Jurassic Park.

I can't view flash (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764404)

So does it look like a real flute, or is it more like a recorder or ocarina?

Re:I can't view flash (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764542)

It looks like a real flute, but with curly springs instead of flat ones. And keys that don't seal right, for some reason.

slow news day (1)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34764562)

Is it really news that a 3d printer prints a flute? They've been printing all sorts of objects for a long time.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34764912)

Why is a MIT employ wasting his time with pretty commodity tech?
Some 17 year old could probably do the same (wouldn't surprise me if some undergrad actually did the heavy lifting, and the supervisor is the one named in the f**ken article).
15 hours of wasted resources IMHO.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765524)

MIT is no longer the cutting edge, scientific engineering school it used to be. Why? Because it doesn't matter anymore.

Beware the media lab (2)

snsh (968808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765546)

If you ever meet someone from the MIT Media Lab, ask them what floor they work on. If they work on the first floor then you're safe - typical electrical engineers working in a basement lab. If they're from the 3rd, 4th, or 5th floor, then run away before they get a chance to show you cute but mostly useless demos in the academic equivalent of Q's workshop from any James Bond movie.

ne year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765672)

... at band camp.

one day, (1)

one cup of coffee (1623645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766282)

One Day, they will make a printer that is capable of printing a fully functional replica of its self.

I bet there's a soviet Russia joke in there....

Re:one day, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34767368)

In Soviet Russia, 3D printer flutes You !

Re:one day, (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34768972)

The trick is to have it print a fully functional, but half-size replica of itself.

So what! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34767770)

These guys print monster sex toys with a 3D printer!

Flute, pffft => http://www.bad-dragon.com/ [bad-dragon.com]

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?