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The 3D Un-Printer

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the other-half-of-the-replicator dept.

Hardware Hacking 91

An anonymous reader writes "3D printing is on its way toward becoming ubiquitous. Of course, if you have such a printer and want to print something, you need raw materials — the plastic filament that's fed into the machine. It's also likely that while you're learning the ropes, you'll print a bunch of terrible attempts at objects, and end up having to throw them out. Now, Wired is reporting on a device aiming to solve both of those problems. Tyler McNaney's 'Filabot' will break down failed projects as well as many other plastic items from traditional manufacturers, turning them into a filament you can then feed through a 3D printer. 'So far the plastics that work are HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON. More to come on the different types that work.' McNaney sees it as a 'closed-loop recycling system on your desk.' The Filabot's Kickstarter campaign succeeded easily in 2012, and now he and his team are getting ready to launch."

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Still waiting... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42629879)

For Mr. Fusion.

Why waste time with recycling when I can just convert matter to energy?

Re:Still waiting... (3, Funny)

zackeller (653801) | about a year ago | (#42630131)

Fire converts matter to energy pretty well.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630251)

Fire's efficiency is abysmal. Pollutant as hell too.

Given how much you can get out of a ton of fissioned nuclear fuel, and how much you get out of a ton of fuel, fire can hardly be considered to create energy "pretty well"

Re:Still waiting... (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about a year ago | (#42630325)

Take a look at rocket mass heaters. They are very efficient wood-burning heaters.

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42632243)

Even if they were 100% efficient of extracting chemical energy from wood, they would only be accessing about 0.1 parts per billion of the mass energy within wood. Fission reactions in Uranium can access about 0.09% of the mass energy, almost seven orders of magnitude more.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632239)

Well, the last time I tried starting a small fission reaction at home, a bunch of people came over, made me stop the reaction, then made me stay in a small room for a long time.

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633907)

fusion != fission.
With fusion you don't need to 'stop the reaction' ( problem with fission) , the problem is actually keeping the reaction going.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42635787)

The Sun disagrees with your statement.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42637575)

I apologize for implementing a fission reactor instead of inventing cold fusion.

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633915)

Fire converts matter into energy very efficiently. You can't use most of converted energy, but the conversion itself is still efficient.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

RanchNachos (1239826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42634843)

whoooosh

Re:Still waiting... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42630269)

Um, no. It converts matter to other matter and release the potential energy stored within it. There is a theory about some 0.001% of the matter disappearing, but it's nowhere near "converted well".

Re:Still waiting... (4, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | about a year ago | (#42630597)

Um, no. It converts matter to other matter and release the potential energy stored within it. There is a theory about some 0.001% of the matter disappearing, but it's nowhere near "converted well".

Mass and energy are the *same thing* for these purposes. Whatever energy is released in the burning of a fire is manifested as a decrease in the mass of the reaction products. It's a tiny decrease, but real. The conversion is perfectly efficient, too. So although burning stuff may not be able to convert very much mass to energy, it does so "well" by most definitions.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630705)

I assume that the mass you're talking about is the mass inherent in the energy from the chemical bonds that are broken. To say that mass is decreased then should depend on how you define the "reaction products". If the reaction products include the heat that comes from the reaction, then shouldn't the mass of the heat account for all of the lost mass?

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631183)

Yes, he's talking about the reaction products that possess rest energy, as opposed to kinetic energy.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632001)

But so it was a form of energy that still possesses mass in some way before, and a form of energy that still posesses mass after, so if it's counted in the reaction products, then there was never any mass lost to the reaction. If it's not counted in the reaction products, then there was mass lost.

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631175)

chemical energy has nothing to do with mass changes, its a change in the free energy of a molecule due to differences in stability of different chemical bonds

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631995)

Fission is more efficeint. Fusion more so. Anti-matter+matter is 100% efficeint. Fire hardly does "well" by any reasonable definition.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

EngnrFrmrlyKnownAsAC (2816391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632125)

GP is talking about combustion, not nuclear reaction. In this case, "tiny decrease" is still a huge understatement. For all intents and purposes, the energy released is from the change in chemical bonds, not conversion of mass->energy. Mass-balance is taught in chemistry and thermodynamics because (short of nuclear reactions) it works. Combustion is quite inefficient in engineering terms because (current) technology is incapable of realizing all of that released energy. It often does well enough but we can and should do better.

Sorry, anyway... I'm really excited for the Filabot! It's about time we started closing loops.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42666563)

Not just combustion. Even nuclear and chemical reaction systems follow the same rules.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

EngnrFrmrlyKnownAsAC (2816391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42688593)

?...Yeah, I'd have to agree. Like you said:

It converts matter to other matter and release the potential energy stored within it. There is a theory about some 0.001% of the matter disappearing, but it's nowhere near "converted well".

Re:Still waiting... (3, Informative)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631285)

No fire releases energy stored in the molecular bonds all the matter is still there after. Fire is a rapid decomposition releasing the stored energy as heat and light.
Nuclear is far far more efficient. http://xkcd.com/1162/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Still waiting... (1)

memnock (466995) | about a year and a half ago | (#42634049)

Do you need that much energy?

Unrelated, I have no idea about the manufacture or recycling/destruction of plastic: are there some risks related to toxins? For example, would there be poisonous fumes to worry about with printing or the unprinting? Just curious.

Transmetropolitan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42629907)

Gathering garbage to feed your maker.

Re:Transmetropolitan (5, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#42630315)

I have long wondered what it would take to recycle soda bottles, being they are all made with the same high quality plastic that withstands the pressures of carbonated water ( sometimes heated carbonated water ) without exploding.

Yes, it would be worth it to me to clean the bottle if I could feed the bottle into some sort of machine which would reform the plastic into a more usable form.

It would make a market for used soda bottles, and get them off the street and out of our landfills. Our congress would also have to set the framework for original bottling to make sure all bottlers used the same plastic formulation so the reformers could use it.

I can well see the day when darned nearly anything plastic, especially things like pipe and fittings, could be made to order on the spot. Plastic things no longer wanted could be offered as feedstock to make something else.

Can you see going to Home Depot for some half-inch irrigation pipe and be able to pay for it in either dollars or recyclable plastic... and having them set their machine to extrude what you wanted right on the spot?

Re:Transmetropolitan (4, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631387)

Oddly one of the first things I got off the internet was a method for reusing plastic drink bottles. It was a book in postscipt form called "The Jolly Brewer" from alt.rec.brewing :)
Full recycling into anything other than bottles is slightly more involved so makes most sense in bulk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_terephthalate#Processing_examples_for_recycled_polyester [wikipedia.org]

A lot of this material has been recycled near where I live for what seems like twenty years. Initially that meant that the black recycled material was a lot cheaper than anything else since you could throw in a lot of PET and if there's a bit of green or brown stuff in there you can just hide it all with black. That meant lots of cheap recycled black plastic for industrial purposes or things like wheelie bins (wheeled plastic trash containers around four foot high). Improved sorting and drink manufacturers mostly standardising on the same transparent PET means that now the transparent flakes are just about as cheap and then whatever color is desired gets added later, although there's probably just enough impurities that you don't want to use it to make a transparent plastic.

Can you see going to Home Depot for some half-inch irrigation pipe and be able to pay for it in either dollars or recyclable plastic... and having them set their machine to extrude what you wanted right on the spot?

Bottle blowing machinery using plastic granules to feed it circa 1990 isn't really all that far removed from that and pipes could certainly be extruded using PET or similar. Something like a large "Home Depot" probably does have the economy of scale to make the granules if their customers are bringing in the right sort of plastics. The tricky bit seems to be sorting, and if the customers are doing that themselves before they bring the plastic in that makes everything a lot easier and possibly viable. I know I'd be happier to pay a bit more for a 620mm length of pipe made on the spot than cut it down from one metre.
In the construction industry at this point the amount of material wasted is enormous since the cost of materials is much cheaper than wages. The earlier practices of joining offcuts or even finding one long enough to do a job are gone. Being able to extrude parts to correct sizes onsite would save a lot of waste. Of course you can't easily do that with materials like steel, but steel is already so easy to recycle that it has a high enough scrap value that little is wasted, and the energy cost of remelting is not paticularly high.

Re:Transmetropolitan (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632293)

Steel gutters are basically made to size, on site, now. They come in pulling a trailer that has the steel rolled up on a spindle. The workers measure the size they need, and the machine rolls out that length, bending it into the proper gutter shape as it goes. The only seams are on the corners. Not exactly making the steel on the spot, but they are making the gutters on site.

Re:Transmetropolitan (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631685)

I've seen a place that regrinds recycled plastic into pipe, and it requires some huge equipment, and careful processing to get anything consistent enough to make safe long term pressurized plumbing pipe. To have a miniaturized version of that place that ran even remotely efficiently (without even having to buy the machine) so you could make the pipe for less than 5X what you would pay for it in the store (even if the raw material was nearly clean and free) and then including the cost of your labor... /.ramble
They had 3 X 250 HP reâ"grinders that fed the whole thing. That had big stomper feet that smashed the containers into these augers that fed it into a grinder, that fed into an extruder. It was pretty amazing what went into the process of making pipe from (mostly) recycled scrap plastic.
Lots of heat, and energy went in to squirting molten plastic around, and forming it.

But yeah it would be cool to 3d print your pipes, direclty off the AutoCad model of your new house of the future, from a hopper of old milk jugs.

Perhaps Someday...

Re:Transmetropolitan (1)

anubi (640541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632413)

Yes... it would be answered prayer for me if we progress to a point ( both technically and legally ) that I could draw up something and take it into Kinko's and have a custom part made to that drawing in my choice of materials. God knows how many perfectly good things I have had to throw away because I broke the little doohickey off the plastic thingamabob that held the battery in.

I have several almost perfectly good Gardner-Denver wirewrap tools... the black bakelite ones, I hate to throw such beautiful tools away. They are right at fifty years old, run on Sub-C Ni-Cd cells which I can still readily get today, and I have all the fittings for them for all kinds of wire...

And every darned one of them has a broken nylon clutch.

I see the day coming I can draw up the clutch part that broke, have Kinko's run me off a dozen, and let me put my tools back into service.

Nylon? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42629931)

That one is so easy to find from bags that it may be worth using those with this instead of throwing them away when you can't use them.

Re:Nylon? (4, Insightful)

lisaparratt (752068) | about a year ago | (#42630027)

The same nylon that outgasses cyanide upon heating, you mean?

Re:Nylon? (5, Informative)

Thantik (1207112) | about a year ago | (#42630189)

You mean the same Nylon that was tested and didn't even come close to any levels that could be considered toxic?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Is-3D-Printing-Safe-or-DIY-Testing-for-HCN-from-/ [instructables.com]

Re:Nylon? (3, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | about a year ago | (#42630595)

The people that tested it did not use an independent lab (or ANY lab, really...), and they also sell it. Grain of salt required here.

That said, cyanide offgassing is more of a problem when nylon is burning or severely overheated. Either way, caution is required.
=Smidge=

Re:Nylon? (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632757)

You mean the special nylon formulation for printing, rather than any old crap off the street?

Re:Nylon? (1)

anethema (99553) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633791)

If you would have opened it you would have seen they tried both. Weed whacker line was the stuff they used as non-3d-printing nylon.

Re:Nylon? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42630309)

if your printer is outside, you're probably ok with most types of nylon.
but there's a variety for home printing that can be printed at ~235-250 temperatures, it's pretty cheap but harder to print than even abs, but makes very strong and flex tolerant parts (google for taulman 3d).

but alas, it doesn't stick too well and strings easily.. but well worth checking if you're into 3d printing.

personally it's not the recycling of the plastic that's limiting for me. it's the time for printing that is, big parts take a long of time.

Re:Nylon? (1)

wjsteele (255130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632815)

The temperature at which nylon melts is significantly less than the temperature of ignition, which is where the toxic gasses occur. Many people have been using nylon in their 3d printers with no issue... In fact, it turns out to be a great filament to use in them and makes very nice products.

Bill

Re:Nylon? (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#42630033)

What I don't see on their site is how many milk jugs are needed for X inches of filament. Anybody have any idea on the volume of the source requirements?

Re:Nylon? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42630287)

Go by mass (weight).

Re:Nylon? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631723)

You can find the density of PLA and ABS on wikipedia, so you can convert from a given weight of milk-jug plastic to a number of inches of 3mm thick filament. Most 3d printing enthusiasts don't even use volume or length of filament though, they just use weight.

Re:Nylon? (1)

EngnrFrmrlyKnownAsAC (2816391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632145)

Do you mean the plastic grocery bags and vegetable/meat bags? All the ones in my house are marked "2" for HDPE, which is on the list. Of course, they might gum it up still:

Think a meat grinder on top of a pasta maker and you get the general idea.

Will need to do some hacking work on HP 3d one (4, Funny)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42629969)

Will need to do some hacking work so this can work with HP 3d printers.

Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (4, Funny)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#42629981)

Who needs an icicle when you can just Un-Print your knife?

Re:Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (1)

flatt (513465) | about a year ago | (#42630181)

Too messy. If you're not using your unprinter to process Soylent Green, you just aren't trying.

Re:Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631343)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_of_the_human_body#Elemental_composition

If practical atomic level removal and fabrication is established, that is exactly what you would get out of the average human, though most of it is just oxygen. You still get bout 32 pounds of carbon out of the deal, so it could be useful for building yourself a couch or maybe a toilet.

Re:Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633333)

Exactly! These printers could take Soylent Green to the next level from its beginnings as Boca Burgers.

Re:Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633633)

If your knife is made of ABS, you can unprint it with some warm acetone, or a blowtorch. I don't think this really makes disposal of plastic murder weapons significantly easier than it already is.

Re:Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648117)

But I can unprint the murder weapon, make a plate and cutlery set and dine on the victim's liver with it.

Re:Murder weapon? What murder weapon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633873)

What blood? That isn't blood, it is my red nylon filament you buffoon!

diamond age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42629995)

Matter compiler's here we come!

Re:diamond age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630429)

Not even remotely close! And please learn what the apostrophe is for, asshead!

Re:diamond age... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42630701)

Obviously it denotes the' centre of the sentence.

Re:diamond age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631759)

Even the grammar Nazi's suck in this country. Don't use "and" at the beginning of a sentence, or use dangling prepositions at what should be the end of a sentence. Put a comma instead - only the most irritable sphincter will notice. More importantly, name call. When possible, begin your argument with an insult, and end with a pejorative.
Schmuck!

Mr Fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42629997)

Reminds me of Mr. Fusion. Just grab a pile of crap from the bin and throw it in there. It'll work.

HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42629999)

But not all at once. Or that pesky #7. Or PP. Or PE. Or PEEK. Or UHMWPE, or PTFE.

I can see this going very poorly for your average consumer very quickly.

Re:HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON... (5, Funny)

pavon (30274) | about a year ago | (#42630047)

I can see this going very poorly for your average consumer very quickly.

You mean the subset of people who are capable of operating a 3D printer, but can't read numbers in a recycle label.

Re:HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42630951)

3D Printers will not always be hard to use.

Re:HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON... (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631743)

While you have a point, most plastic things I've looked at in the hopes of recycling them do not have sufficient information on them. Or, any information relevant to recycling at all. Am I just that blind?

Re:HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42634571)

Yes.

DIY extrusion solved? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630077)

I was under the impression that extruders to create the feed filament were still pretty expensive.
Plastic pellet feed stock is cheap industrial commodity, a lot cheaper than the plastic spools that are ready to be fed in to your 3D printer.

Hell with feeding this with bits of old plastic. If you can just feed it a bag of pellets, and it's cheap to buy, we'd have solved one of the bigger issues with DIY 3D printing.

thiDs FP for GNNA?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630107)

BSD style.' In the your own towel ing of aal legitimate

As someone who is a large part of the community... (5, Informative)

Thantik (1207112) | about a year ago | (#42630231)

The Filabot has more marketing than it has engineering. The Lyman filament extruder has already surpassed the filabots noisy and slow output. Makible, makers of the soon to be $200 3D printer the Makibox (http://www.makibox.com), are releasing a 1.75mm extruder (dubbed the "ramen) that they've already demonstrated working in previous google plus hangouts. The filabot is overhyped and overplayed. They got huge funding via a kickstarter a while back and ever since then, produced a prototype machine that's on the level of the very first filament extruders the reprap project had to begin with.

Gary Hodgson has released the history of reprap development on his site: http://garyhodgson.com/reprap/reprap-developer-bookshelf/ [garyhodgson.com] - and if you look through the reprap ebook, you'll see people doing what the filabot is doing now....3 years ago.

This is a complete non-story that publications love to jump on, I just wish they would do their research first.

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630539)

The big difference between the Lyman and the Filabot is that shortly you'll be able to buy an assembled Filabot and have it shipped to your door.

I don't care how much more awesome a Lyman is if I have to build it myself.

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630545)

"The Filabot has more marketing than it has engineering."

You just described the whole 3D printing fad. Can someone explain to me why when Don Lancaster was talking about Santa Claus machines over two decades ago, no one noticed? Ah, it was because virtual reality was on everyone's mind because VR was going to be the future!

Seriously, 20 years ago we had stepper motors, computers and hot glue guns... Why now?

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (3, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630773)

It is becoming cheaper and cheaper. When the cost is low enough, more consumers will buy and it becomes profitable.

Once people put out designs to buy for stupid things that teenagers like, it will fly off shelves. Print out your own cell phone cases or designs you can stick on your text books.

Also, you have tinkerers who will think it is fun to play with at that price.

All it will take is one killer product and everyone will start wanting one.

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631189)

Once people put out designs to buy for stupid things that teenagers like, it will fly off shelves. Print out your own cell phone cases or designs you can stick on your text books.

Already happened: Nokia To Release Lumia Case Design Files For 3D Printers [slashdot.org]

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631467)

I can see the retired guys in woodworking clubs starting to play with these things for months on end and producing designs we are not capable of imagining. Take a few accumulated centuries of mucking about with woodcarving and remove a lot of the materials and fabrication limits they keep banging up against and who knows what will come out of it. That 3D printing example from the 1990s of a rook chesspiece with windows and an internal spiral staircase is just a hint of what is possible.

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42632215)

Yeah just like computer-controlled sewing machines took off in the 1980s. Remember when teenagers all designed their own patches and made their own clothes? Oh right, never happened. Oooh, I know, virtual reality will totally take over and people will walk around with VR glasses and design their own surroundings! Oh wait, that never happened either. What makes you think that the majority of the population thinks like you do and wants the same things you do? We invented mass production for a reason. Because we want someone else to design the damn things we use so we don't have to spend time at them.

Only a small percentage of the population have the time, inclination, energy and money to spend on what amounts to overly-complex time-consuming ways of making disposable plastic trinkets that no one else will care about.

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (1)

vik (17857) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632695)

"Remember when teenagers all designed their own patches and made their own clothes? Oh right, never happened."

I call bullshit. Did happen lots. Still happens. Happens more the further back you go and the poorer you get. Just doesn't apply to rich white folks anymore.

VIk :v)

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633023)

computer-controlled sewing has a noticeably smaller niche than 3D printing may be able to service, especially given the way that designs will be shared between users now vs in the 1980s. That said I'm not sure the idea of 3D printers in every house is viable. Most people aren't going to want to buy, maintain, understand and use it. However 3D print shops able to handle different materials, electronics etc in every town will happen (obviously in my opinion).

VR is a bit of a strawman example. VR hasn't happened yet so it's impossible to say whether it would be as big as people thought it would. If cheap, high quality VR systems were available then I'm certain we'd see more around.

How do the filter crap out of the plastic? (1)

vik (17857) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632147)

I have a few reservations, and big disclaimer here - I make 3D printer filament. The main one is that the tiniest bit of crap in your plastic will inevitably find your printer's nozzle pinhole. If it does not fit through, you will block.

The other is that the machine does not yet seem to be fully functional and they're already welding up all the pretty boxes. Priorities, guys.

Re:How do the filter crap out of the plastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42633943)

Are you trying to recycle poo bags?

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (1)

daid303 (843777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42633647)

Not sure how you could build a $200 3D printer. I did a BOM for my TITAN 3D printer. And I'm on about 300 euros. Just steppers and steppermotor drivers sets you back 100 euro. Leaving a 100 for hotend, rods, bearings, and all other parts...

Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673483)

well. maybe they're using 5 dollar steppers.. http://dx.com/p/28ybt-48-stepper-motor-with-uln2003-driver-dc-5v-126409 [dx.com]

can't imagine other way to make it that cheap. (disc. I got a replicator and the reps on the rather expensive side imho for what you get..)

Closed loop? (1)

CityZen (464761) | about a year ago | (#42630281)

So you'll print something, then have a robotic arm remove the finished product and place it in the unprinter, where it becomes a filament that feeds back to the printer?
That's even better than the printer-paper shredder combo I've been hearing about. I suppose it will still need energy input.

Say, I've got a black box sitting here that does all that, no energy input required. Except you can't look in to see the inner works, because that would break the loop.
But it will definitely manufacture anything you can possibly imagine, then recycle it back into the stuff that dreams are made of.

CRAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630329)

You mean I could have been stockpiling all my water bottles after years of giving them away for free to the trash man?

3d printing ubiquitous? Even color printing ain't. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#42630471)

>> 3d printing is ubiquitous

Really? Talk to me after offices start letting people print in color again...

Re:3d printing ubiquitous? Even color printing ain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631363)

Use a laser color printer that is not from HP or xerox, and you should be able to get toner cartridges cheap (assuming you recycle used toner cartridges)

Re:3d printing ubiquitous? Even color printing ain (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632267)

Of course it's ubiquitous! That's why you need, why everyone needs this doohickey that the anonymous submitter certainly isn't involved with developing or selling!

A great disturbance as if a flame war was coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42630531)

good now all those plastic bottom sliders can be unmade.

Closed loop (1)

mruizcamauer (551400) | about a year ago | (#42630567)

I forget who, but someone made a 3d printer conceptual art project, where the printer uses wax to build something, and when its finished it melts it all and starts over, forever...

If only it could do polycarbonates... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630851)

I have a bag full of CDs that need to go away.

Re:If only it could do polycarbonates... (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631871)

I know someone managed to print polycarbonates on a Reprap-style machine. Chewing them up shouldn't take too long either.. but CDs have more than just plastics in them, so I'm not sure if it'd work well.

Still, it'd be a good way to give -everyone- a decent stash of material to play with.

Africans, yet again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42630885)

From the article: " I also see a lot of potential for helping out third-world countries. With a Filabot and a 3-D printer people can now make things as simple as a fork or cup."

Yes, because Africans are TOO STUPID to make their own shit, so 'whitey' has to produce a magical machine that will make EVERYTHING for them.

Or they can always move to WHITE COUNTRIES and just cut out the middleman, right? Then they can have a first world standard of living, without actually having to MAKE IT THEMSELVES.

Re:Africans, yet again... (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631531)

It's not about being stupid, it's about being able to do stuff without an industrial base because your economy has been screwed over before it built one. Building a factory to make X can be bloody hard if you need Y and Z to do it and both are coming from the other side of the world instead of from down the road (9/10s of China's success in electronics production at this point).
So what if it can only produce cheap plastic crap? The 1970s showed us that you could do a lot with cheap plastic crap. For a start about 90% of decent plumbing can be done with cheap plastic crap.

Sporks! (2)

Cigamit (200871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631397)

Awesome, now I can melt down this drawer full of plastic spoons and forks and print me some nice sporks.

Not a printer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42632687)

Printers actually *print* things. These are fabricators.

I hate the dumbing down of what these are, apparently so idiots can understand a term.

Scan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42634665)

Where's the scanner capability?

Then we'd be one step closer to teleportation (of matter)

old 2d printers become 3d things (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | about a year and a half ago | (#42635665)

I've been buying old inkjet multifunction printers and tearing them down for the useful parts, mainly motors, steel rods, gears, wheels, encoders, glass, axels, mechanical switches, tubes, opto-switches.... lots of stuff in them, for virtually free. The gutted out printer shells themselves though are a problem, so mostly I've just cut them into relatively flat sections (with an angle grinder cut-off saw) and stacked them in a corner hoping that one day I might have something like a filabot that I can feed them into, turning 2d printers into filament which can make new 3d things.
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