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Open-Source 3D Printer Lets Users Make Anything

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the printer-for-the-people dept.

Printer 242

An anonymous reader writes "Picture a 3D inkjet printer that deposits droplets of plastic, layer by layer, gradually building up an object of any shape. Fabbers have been around for two decades, but they've always been the pricey playthings of high-tech labs — and could only use a single material. A Fab at Home kit costs around $2400 and allows users to print anything from Hors d'Oeuvres to flashlights."

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More Discussion (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204021)

You probably remember discussing this almost a year ago [slashdot.org] . Enjoy more on this at that coverage of the same story.

Any shape? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204139)

Can it make a spider-shaped object? Specifically, one in which all of the feet touch the ground, but the torso and head of the spider are above the feet (suspended by the legs), and the knees of the legs are above the torso and head of the spider?

You can't make that layer-by-layer in a single pass. You have to make the feet first, go all the way up to the knees, and then back down to the body.

Can it do that?

Re:Any shape? (5, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204315)

You solve a problem like this by laying down sand or another substance to act as the free space and support the structure.
After building you remove the sand and your 3d model emerges.

Re:Any shape? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204711)

Yes, but what about hollow objects, like an egg? Will the inside contain the "filler" sand?

Re:Any shape? (2, Informative)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204843)

Yes, but what about hollow objects, like an egg?

Squeeze bulb? [fabathome.org]

Re:Any shape? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204321)

I've read of 3d scanners that fill the whole area with material and make only the material that's wanted melt/glue/whatever together. The loose material would support the body until the leg connections are printed, afterwards it is filled back into the raw material storage.

Re:Any shape? (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204799)

You can't make that layer-by-layer in a single pass. You have to make the feet first, go all the way up to the knees, and then back down to the body.

I don't think the point of this is that it can assemble anything. If it can make all the parts (possibly changing materials here and there) and then I have to do some minor assembly, that's good enough for me.

Re:Any shape? (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205013)

Yes, it can. And object inside objects too. These system typically work by having a container of liquid combined with a base that slowly moves down. A laser traced out the intersection of the object with an imaginary horizontal plane. This causes a chemical reaction that converts the liquid into solid. This layer will bind to the layer immediately below. So as the base moves slowly down, the intersecting plane moves up along the height of object.

I've seen the results of these systems. They could model everything from differential gear systems to gearboxes and implicit surfaces.

Re:More Discussion (3, Funny)

The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204517)

The editors must have bought one of these for stories.

who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204047)

This thing will be like the Betamax once there are nanotech vats which will enable anyone to create anything as long as they have raw material i.e. household trash and whatnot.
If the price was more reasonable I'm certain people would be falling over themselves but considering the sticker shock of $2400 it just drives home the point that the technology isn't ready for prime-time and at best it'll be a curiosity in the future.

Re:who cares (2, Insightful)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204903)

the sticker shock of $2400 it just drives home the point that the technology isn't ready for prime-time

Back in the day, HP sold scads of laser printers to small businesses in this price range. $2400 isn't in your average hobbyist's pocket book, but it's low enough to open up a "We Make It" store-front in your local strip mall. Of course, there's no guarantee how long such businesses will last. If the price on these things drops into the $1200 range or lower, anyone who really needs the fab service would probably buy their own. That's probably a closer future than nano-tech vats converting garbage to gold.

Replicate some more web servers! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204083)

Slashdotted!

Re:Replicate some more web servers! (4, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204415)

"Slashdotted!"

No, they're just busy printing up another web server.

I'm not convinced... (4, Funny)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204089)

...until it can print another 3D printer.

Re:I'm not convinced... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204243)

Yeah, likewise. And if the new printer isn't smaller and faster and cheaper and lighter than the first one, I'll want my moneyback. Ad infinitum.

Re:I'm not convinced... (4, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204291)

I think they'll have some recursion protection inthere, to avoid the collapse of the universe.

Re:I'm not convinced... (2)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204319)

I'll get one when it can print "Tea, Earl Gray, hot."

Re:I'm not convinced... (4, Funny)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204463)

I'll get one when it can print something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Re:I'm not convinced... (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204681)

... or a strong Brownian motion generator.

Re:I'm not convinced... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204493)

> ...until it can print another 3D printer.

I'd be satisfied if it could just print me up a finite improbability generator. Then all we need is some open-source software to calculate the exact improbabilities of things.

Re:I'm not convinced... (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205115)

why? you already can make all underwear molecules of the hostess take a step to the left.

Re:I'm not convinced... (2, Interesting)

PybusJ (30549) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204621)

Then you ought to check out the RepRap project see:

http://reprap.org/ [reprap.org]

An open design from a project at the University of Bath. It has OSS control software and is specifically designed to be self replicating, using only 400 of materials.

Re:I'm not convinced... (4, Informative)

monopole (44023) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205091)

Erm, Rep Rap [reprap.org]
I know, it won't fab everything but the few remaining bits are easy to get.

Re:I'm not convinced... (2, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205117)

The RepRap [wikipedia.org] project aims to do just that.

This is a truly worthwhile undertaking with remarkable possibilities - I wish more people would get behind it.

Alas, slashdotted (4, Funny)

Mad Bad Rabbit (539142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204121)

Apparently it won't let them print more servers

Re:Alas, slashdotted (0, Redundant)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204371)

Well done! I had a joke all ready to go, something about the license plate number on the truck that hit their servers but you, Sir, have won.

-G

Can I make a 3D fake pussy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204123)

and fuck it all night long

Re:Can I make a 3D fake pussy? (1, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204235)

Er, yes. You could, actually. Just make sure you clean it when your done, if you really want to do that.

I could think of more... constructive things to do with it, but each to his/her own.

Re:Can I make a 3D fake pussy? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204345)

Can I make a 3D fake pussy? and fuck it all night long
I could think of more... constructive things to do with it, but each to his/her own.
You can think of more constructive things to do with a fake pussy than fucking it all night long? Like what, you sick bastard?!!

Re:Can I make a 3D fake pussy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204569)

How about hiding it in a church? That'd be bound to piss off filthy sexually-obsessed theists, way more constructive.

Re:Can I make a 3D fake pussy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204589)

Can I make a 3D fake pussy? and fuck it all night long
I could think of more... constructive things to do with it, but each to his/her own.
You can think of more constructive things to do with a fake pussy than fucking it all night long? Like what, you sick bastard?!!
He's probably a Mac user. Therefore, he'd rather print a dildo and jam it up his ass [kuro5hin.org] all night long. Really disgusting, that sick perverted fuck.

This is so cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204125)

Just as classical painters used to mix semen with their paints, basement dwelling slashbots like me can now put one of our favorite pastimes to good use.

Gives new meaning to (2, Insightful)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204131)

"This printer prints like... SHIT."

Atomic Structure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204149)

Useless until they don't get to atomic structure level, only then will our "Wired Science" fantasies be fulfilled.

in other news... (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204153)

the plastic storage container manufacturers of america have sent out their subpoena's against the first batch of kids "stealing" their products.

Throw some Chinese out of work for a change! (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204197)

Could make toys on demand!

Re:Throw some Chinese out of work for a change! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204247)

"Throw some Chinese out of work for a change!"


Only if it puts lead in everything it prints.

It could be very useful (4, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204263)

I've always thought something like this could be awesome for all sorts of geeky pastimes. Need an army for Warhammer 40k? Need a horde of orcs for D&D? Missing a piece to your favorite board game? You can print out an army, toss them back, then print out a new one the next day.

Re:It could be very useful (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204779)

"Warhammer 40k?"

I can picture there board room now:
"Did anyone else fell a tremor in the market just now?"

Re:It could be very useful (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204929)

Aye, mass piracy of miniatures. What a riot that would be.

Re:It could be very useful (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204967)

I've always thought something like this could be awesome for all sorts of geeky pastimes. Need an army for Warhammer 40k? Need a horde of orcs for D&D? Missing a piece to your favorite board game? You can print out an army, toss them back, then print out a new one the next day.

Yes, and you can print Magic the Gathering cards with current 2D printers. Can you actually use them to play against other people, thought ?

Anyway, what would be really awesome would be to use a mapping software to make a castle, landscape or a dungeon, then print it out in full 3D detail.

Re:It could be very useful (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205089)

Yes; you need to print them on card stock, though, and they won't be shiny with most paper that you use (and the ink will run on the shiny paper if you're not careful).

You also need to have some care in aligning the front and back parts, and if you want a good product, corners will be a bit difficult.

It's more trouble than it's worth to most people, though. But if you had a good printer with an attached cutter and you could just click a few buttons to print out your desired deck, you'd see that happening rather often, most likely. And if good Warhammer 40k miniature templates were available, and everyone had these 3d printers, you'd see the same thing there.

Re:Throw some Chinese out of work for a change! (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204491)

Once again, pr0n will probably lead the way. Need a prophylactic? DOWNLOAD these specs and BANG! Shazzam! You can have all the private fun you can print.

Not, that'll lead to INcursion protection.

Re:Throw some Chinese out of work for a change! (1)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204881)

Yes...SEX toys on demand. Now I can make that crazy 5-way dildo I always dreamed of.

New Organs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204221)

Im printing me a new liver :)

where's that beer....

Re:New Organs (5, Funny)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204609)

> Im printing me a new liver :)

We recommend having it professionally installed.

Oh! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204225)

Dang, I thought this was a dupe but then I remembered that I read it in Popular Mechanics weeks ago in print. The idea is very cool and hopefully the price for Fabbers will fall even more. I'm wondering though, can this thing lay out designes that have 90 degree turns in them? How would it lay down plastic on air?

Re:Oh! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204307)

i understood that the principle was to solidify dots on the surface of a pool of liquid, and slowly raise the piece out - like sculpting the bubbles in a bubble bath, its not printing on air, its printing on liquid

Re:Oh! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204615)

Oh! In that case I'm totally getting a fabber. I could make all kinds of neat things with it. Like tools or another drawer hold (The one for my kitchen drawer at home broke).

For some strange reason... (-1, Offtopic)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204231)

... for a second, I could have sworn I read 'flashlight' in the summary as 'fleshlight' [fleshlight.com] ...

Re:For some strange reason... (2, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204457)

"... for a second, I could have sworn I read 'flashlight' in the summary as 'fleshlight'"

You need to print yourself up some new glasses.

Re:For some strange reason... (1)

Ross D Anderson (1020653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204837)

and a girlfriend...

Re:For some strange reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204935)

Not to meander too off topic or anything, but given that misreading, perhaps there was truth to that old warning that I'd go blind if...

(Pay no attention to the fact that I have to shave my palms...)

material (4, Interesting)

deander2 (26173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204237)

very neat, but it seems like they're hampered by materials. (silicone adhesive is the most permanent of what i've seen with these types of machines) does anyone have any recommendations for more permanent but still liquidish-at-deposition options? plaster of paris? ultra-fine concrete?

Re:material (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204351)

two part epoxy resin.

it's suitably viscous, dries rather quickly, and its stiff flexibility makes it virtually indestructible.

Do remember to have the nozzels flushed with something more easily removed, like hot glue, after each pass.

Re:material (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204471)

How about hot glue? That's basically what one of the rapid prototype machines I've used made parts from. It was some kind of thermoplastic in bead form. Same premise applies, and hot glue is readily available most places.

Re:material (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204551)

Epoxy, with stuff (fibres, micro balloons...) added to provide appropriate mechanical properties. You'd probably want some mechanism to mix it on demand so you can use fast curing epoxy.

Re:material (2, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205011)

I saw one for military use that liquefied metal and deposited it in fine drops to build up a final piece. It was intended to build replacement parts in theatre so they didn't have to be shipped. The machine size was about that of a washing machine, and the company claimed it parts were as good as a machined original. You had to machine the final piece to get a usable say disk brake rotor but still very impressive.

Print a mold, plus Lost Wax casting (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204241)

I'd like to see a mode that allows the fab printer to automatically plot a mold for an object. You could then use the mold to create copies from more durable plastic.

Or . . . offer a special easy-to-melt plastic "ink" so you can use the fab to create the forms for lost-wax casting. That way you can make molds for metal objects.

Re:Print a mold, plus Lost Wax casting (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204427)

Yeah, I could have used that a while ago. I had to fab molds for some aluminum robot legs in plaster of paris, I ended up using a cnc machine.

Re:Print a mold, plus Lost Wax casting (1)

tsjaikdus (940791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204601)

This is done for decades already. It all started with yellow parts out of solidified resin, which had almost no use in mechanical prototype testing. Now, so many techniques exist and parts now can be made within hours that have mechanical properties pretty much equal to the offspring that will be produced in the injection molding proces later on. Metal parts can indeed be cast using the lost wax, but it is also possible to laser sinter metal powder in a single batch. The professional machines can produce beautiful things.

That's pretty cool... (1)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204245)

But just imagine there was a project for an open source self-replicating machine ...

"[RepRap] has been called the invention that will bring down global capitalism, start a second industrial revolution and save the environment..." [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's pretty cool... (3, Funny)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204451)

With wording like that you'd think they were making another Segway.

Yeah... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204265)

Yeah, but does it run Linux?

Make machine that can fab other products.
Make fab that can fab other fab machines. ...
Profit!!!

I for one, welcome our new fab overlords.

I think I got them all out of my system. Those jokes never get old, in fact I think they are quite fab!

Re:Yeah... (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204387)

On slashdot, YOU fab soviet russia jokes!

Re:Yeah... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204649)

How could I forget?

In Soviet Russian, printer fabs you!

Re:Yeah... (1)

drcagn (715012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204703)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these... you could fab buildings and cars!

Re:Yeah... (oblig) (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204795)

Yeah, but does it run Linux?

No, it's BSD. But the fabricated duplicates are Gentoo.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205093)

if it wasnt for people like you reminding us that someone is going to spew banal platitudes maybe they wouldnt get repeated so often.

whats sad is, when someone that isnt a techie at all uses those in real life, a room will laugh while i cringe a little on the inside

i hate you and people like you. i would tell you never to have children, but i bet you already do.

Flashlight? Fleshlight? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204277)

Am I the only one who read that last line as fleshlight instead of flashlight?

Re:Flashlight? Fleshlight? (0, Flamebait)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204531)

Yes.

Am I the only one who read that as "I'm a adoloscent social awkward person who sits in his room masturbating porn while wishing he was getting laid by a *flesh*light but is too afraid to actually buy one because he come home with a flashlight while shopping for a fleshlight because of his dyslexia"?
This brings "feeling unable and inadequate to mate" to a whole new level.

Manufacturing is a solved problem (4, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204323)

This is just an illustration, that manufacturing is a solved problem. Design, research, and development is where the minds and ideas are or should be going.

The growing emphasys on the Intellectual Property — the kind, that can be stolen by simple copying (thus leaving the original owner, seemingly, unhurt) — is another illustration of the same trend, like it or not.

Re:Manufacturing is a solved problem (4, Informative)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205009)

No it isn't. We still have one really major step to take (that we can see from here/now). Molecular level construction. I don't mean nano-tolerance specs for things this could print, but by building things at the molecular level you finally get the ability to do self-replication. Right now the problem is that you need a scale - if you have a stick you use to measure things by, you add to the error of *every* measurement with each generation... which prevents self-replication. If you use a molecule (or some universal constant) as your stick, though, you lose this problem... stack a certain number of molecules into a stick of a useful size, or use the speed of light (in some medium) to measure distance for your "unit length" as part of the replication process and you'll have the same error in every generation. We already do this for manual manufacture... just, because we don't try to make self-replicating fabricators, we only have to measure (using the standard of the speed of light in a vacuum) once every few years to replace the "standard" used in manufacturing rulers.

Molecular level construction could also be useful for, obviously, building really small things. Or for building really big things semi-automatically.

Once you can spec the atomic placement in manufacture.... *then* there will be no need for brains in manufacturing. That we can understand today. Who knows, maybe there is something useful beyond that level that we just don't understand yet. But for now this is the one major step left in the ability to manufacture things.

Re:Manufacturing is a solved problem (1)

radl33t (900691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205101)

Only an idiot would make the claim that manufacturing is a solved problem. It exposes a great ignorance about all things science. Ever heard of "nano?" Researchers have not even started on the real manufacturing problems. The advances that allow mass production (manufacturing) at small scales will be monumental...

tro7lkore (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204335)

A way to spend Slashdot's very sick and its I ever did. It By the politi$ckers

Horses' Douvres? (2, Funny)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204347)

Horses can keep their darned douvres in the field where they belong. I ain't going near them without wellington boots. Now don't get me started on cows...

Servers pwned (1)

Punker22 (844641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204361)

Too bad I can't load their site lol....Even the google cache is taking ages

hexagonal silicone thingies and cell phones (1)

tsjaikdus (940791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204367)

I didn't see the cell phones fit with transistors and batteries, but the hexagonal silicone thingies convinced me completely that this is possible

For around the same budget... (1)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204393)

I think I'd prefer a small bench top CNC setup. Etch plastic, metal, wood, assemble machined parts into working contraptions - seems more useful than a plastic blob printer.

Re:For around the same budget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204719)

It's called rapid prototyping. Printing something out in 3D in hours or overnight to get a working idea to present to the people with the purse strings and start seeing design flaws is far more valuable than the days, weeks, and months spent building more durable prototypes that will change drastically from the initial design.

Oh, you want that handle shaped different and on the other side? With your old school method and really, really cheap equipment ($2,400 ain't squat for decent machining equipment, try $25-$500k for a single piece of machinery) it would take days to get back to someone. With 3D prototyping it would take a day to turn something around, maybe a little more depending how fast the 3D CAD jockey can move.

Re:For around the same budget... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204907)

Yes, but could you get that for $2,400?

If so... I would enjoy knowing where... and do they sell lathes, etc?

Oblig (1)

MR.Mic (937158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204407)

Can you imagine a self-replicating beowulf cluster of these? A beowulf cluster cluster!

RepRap Is Even Cheaper (3, Informative)

Dean Edmonds (189342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204445)

A RepRap [reprap.org] machine costs less than $500 in parts, though it does require a lot more assembly work.

$800... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204559)

That site listed British Pounds, not dollars.

Still cheaper and cool - I like the idea of being able to add conductive threads in objects.

I know what I'd fab (1)

ThanatosMinor (1046978) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204455)

More fabbers! Then I'd use those to fab more fabbers. Once I've got enough fabbers to produce a mole of fabbers per yoctosecond, I would start fabbing baby monkeys, and those monkeys would be cute. Soon, the space will be so dense with cuteness that it will collapse into an adorable singularity with a Kitten Radius exceeding that of the earth.

As it has been foretold.

Re:I know what I'd fab (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204819)

I do not understand, but I believe it was profound. Where shall I invest large sums of money?

self-replication? (1)

halfelven (207781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204459)

If it can't self-replicate, it's useless.

Re:self-replication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204689)

Why would you say something so self-evidently false?

I tried to make a Gargleblaster (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204597)

But all I got was a wooden goblet filled with a hard resin-like substance not like tea.

So much to learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204605)

3dsystems.com desktopfactory.com zcorp.com stratasys.com and countless others

This technology is limited by the process and the materials required by the process limitations. And they do make molds for the lost wax process already.

Oblig. (2)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204641)

I, for one, welcome our self-replicating overlords!

we used to joke about... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204651)

...the 3d Xerox machine. How they could get the color of the fruit right but couldn't get out the taste of toner. Looks like we're getting one step closer to life imitating art.

Seems like you could make some really intricate hard candies with such a machine. It'd have to be cheaper, though.

Could be a miniature wargamer's dream come true... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204699)

The ability to produce as many miniatures as you want, simply by providing the raw materials and a 3d specification.

Obvious Use -- Make Fingerprints (2, Insightful)

Temeraire (913731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204847)

Yet another reason why biometric ID cards are nonsense!

Read a person's fingerprints etc, ideally remotely from an RFID passport, but more likely by hacking an official reader. Then 3D fabricate copies. No need to hack off their fingers now.

"Printers" I have built... (1)

adamziegler (1082701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204987)

Instead of and additive "printer" I have built a subtractive "printer" (aka CNC milling machines) http://images.myonlinesite.com/cnc/ [myonlinesite.com] http://images.myonlinesite.com/cnc_mill/ misc pictures / vids EMC2 (open source) happens to be the brain behind my machines.

'I see your "Way cool, might make everyone rich,"' (1)

John Guilt (464909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204997)

'...and raise you one "Way way cool, might make everyone immortal [treehugger.com] ."'
Of course, there are some who wouldn't enjoy being rich or immortal if everyone were so; they can go die then, the poor things.

'I have been told that Isaac has discovered, and will now reveal to me, the Secret of Immorality!'
[Whisper, whisper, whisper]
'Oh. Well, that wouldn't be bad either...."
----half-rememberèdly stolen from Book two[?] of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy.
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