Weekend Open Forum: Will you get a 3D printer?

By Shawn Knight · 31 replies
Aug 23, 2013
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  1. This week we learned that Microsoft will implement a new 3D printing format in Windows 8.1 that promises to eliminate all of the current headaches and shortcoming associated with the technology. It’s still an expensive endeavor to bring home a...

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,952   +1,286

    If I can get one for $75. Yes.
  3. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,350   +292

    I use a 3D printer at work (for quick prototypes and fit testing). I'm going to get one for home (for some hobby and side project use), just contemplating several different models to decide which one to go with. You can get fairly inexpensive 3D printers, and it really parallels other tech in the past (remember how much laser printers were when they first arrived?) The prices will go down as the product and market develops, just like every other trending technology does.

    Now, to be honest, Microsoft has absolutely nothing to do with my use and future purchase of 3D printers. Microsoft's 3D printing support has no impact on my decision, primarily because Windows 8.1 will not be used on my high end workstation at work, nor on my home computers. It's a great move by MS, but if they make it a Win8 exclusive (like they do with DirectX versions), it's just wasted effort. Make it universal across all Windows versions, and I'll be impressed.
  4. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Hey Shawn. Take those figurines and sell them for $20-$25 and you have a new hobby that far and away supports itself. That's what I do. Well, my wife does the little statues and sells them but you get the idea.

    And I am looking forward to see what MS has in store.

  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,795   +1,202

    I expect consumer 3D printers to be outlawed within the next five years. Criminals will use them extensively for questionable purposes, which will make them a popular bogeyman for politicians or busybody organizations.
  6. andyo

    andyo TS Member

    I just wonder if it will end up like current 2D printers and costing less to buy the unit than it is to get a new cartridge. sounds crazy when you think about it now. but its no less crazy four our current printers.
  7. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah they have to worry about people 3d printing guns.

    I would get one if they were like $100-200.
  8. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,128   +129

    I've got my eye on a FABtotum personal fabricator. If not the FABtotum, I definitely plan on getting a 3d printer in the near future though.
  9. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,128   +129

    It's perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms for personal use without a permit according to the ATF as long as you don't sell them. Just because someone "might" sell a printed firearm, or use a 3d printer for other unscrupulous activities, doesn't mean they will be outlawed for everyone.
  10. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    Nope...maybe in a decade...if I see a need for it.
  11. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 505   +141

    But if it became a widespread problem, there is absolutely no reason they wouldn't have the right to pass legislation regulating 3d printers. Really, I bet the only reason it isn't illegal to manufacturer firearms is because those with the skills aren't stupid enough to be criminals. If it becomes a problem, then its spoiled for everyone.

    On a side note, wonder how many ladies are going to make homemade di.... erm better not finish that thought.

    Me myself, feasibility wasn't in my mind when thinking of 3d printers. I don't suppose I've contemplated what I could do with one.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    You do understand that 3d printers, (at least for the time being), won't print with tempered steel. With that said, only the arming / ejector slide on a Glock is polycarbonate, the barrel is solid steel.

    This topic was the subject of an episode of "C.S.I.". The plot was the gun would fire maybe once before catastrophic failure. If you want to blow your hand off with a home made gun, just get an old car antenna and make a zip gun, and you don't even have to spring for a printer.
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  13. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    When it can do, in a contiguous alloy in 1 step, what my 2.5 axis CNC machine and TIG welder can do in 3-5 steps, then we'll talk. Till then it's something best left to the comicon figurine builders and HS design classes..
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    Not only that but, given the massive ripoff the prices of standard printer inks represent, I wonder what the outrageous tariffs will be on the modeling materials for 3D fabrication....

    Given what I expect will be a very limited selection of materials available to work with these printers, their uses may be limited to figurines, at least for the foreseeable future.

    Sort of like the car manufacturers body stylists making full scale mockups of next years "must have chariot", by modeling it in clay.
  15. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Posts: 253   +19

    Only if it will print new organs for me.
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

  17. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Booster Posts: 115   +17

    I don't see it as being "outlawed". It is certainly going to change the consumerism game for any objects that can be made using these printers, but probably not for a decade or so.

    Personally, I am waiting for a "recyclable" plastic to be used in the printer (make an object, use it, melt it down, make a new object).
  18. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,332   +135

    A friend of mine convinced me just the other day that a 3D printer is great for parents. You can print pretty much any plastic toy the kid wants, and with some toys it can save quite a bit of money in the long run. For example if you want basic lego bricks it's easy to print a collection of them for a fraction of the price buying the originals would cost.
  19. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    I'll consider getting one when they have the capability to work with metals.
  20. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 505   +141

    You do realize that it only has to look like a gun? It doesn't really have to fire like a gun.
  21. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    The idea of a 3D printer would be of interest to me, but I would like to know how accurate they are before purchasing one. I have in the past built model railways so I would use one for component parts. For example cab ends and underfloor equipment.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    You do realize that most inner city store owners have real guns nowadays, don't you?

    My point being, if you show them yours, they'll show you theirs......(wait for it)......and......BANG.....(you're dead)!
    davislane1 likes this.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    The only drawback to printing in metal is, where the hell are you going to put the optional blast furnace?

    After all, somethings miniaturize better than others. I guess you'd only need a tiny one if you were going to print knockoff Rolex watches. But then, the Chinese versions are already so ubiquitous.

    Besides, if you try to sell them, you'll be accused of, "funding terrorism".

    So, if you think your Email is being read now, watch and see what happens after your watch scam hits the fan....:eek:

    This hysterical, paranoid, outburst is a memo from the desk of "captaincranky"....:oops:
  24. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Given my views on a wide range of issues, I'd be surprised if I don't have a "file" already.

    Getting back to business... China has the Rolex gig on lockdown. I'm more interested in bringing Montblanc's Villeret 1858 collection to the masses.
  25. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    That FABtotum sounds interesting.

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