Originally shared by David Fuchs "It is complete nonsense to believe flying machines will

Originally shared by David Fuchs

“It is complete nonsense to believe flying machines will ever work.”
— Sir Stanley Mosley, 1905.

I find that quote rather amusing, it is from two years after the first flight at Kitty Hawk. People keep saying that 3-D printing is for prototyping and will never be used for mass production. General Electric is producing 25,000 of the parts displayed below using additive manufacturing. It turns out that it is easier and cheaper to print them out, then it is to weld 20 small parts together.

#3dprinting #3dprinter
http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130426-ge-to-mass-produce-critical-jet-engine-part-use-3d-printing.html

I personally believe that the current print rate is far too slow for mass production. If you only need 10-100 it could be faster than tooling up a injection molder. I have no info on3d printed metals though

Some parts that cannot be made by molding (due to very complex structure) have been printed (in metal) for a while now. Boing have been doing it for years.

Plastic injection molding will probably always be cheaper for mass production, but is completely unsuitable for single-usage. For prototyping or low-volume runs (like, say, a house that sometimes needs a repair part to replace a broken knob or latch) 3d printing is very well suited.

My thoughts are that as an industry, there are not a turn of large air crafts made each year, in low volume industries 3d printers can make a lot of since. Making a few of one thing on a printer is quicker than making a mold. But general consumer products are a long way from being manufactured via 3d printing. It is a mistake to ignore any technology completely, it is also a mistake to rely on one technology wholly when sourcing materials for a commercial product.

All of that being said, some times it is fun to present your self a challenge. Limiting your resources to one technology does inspire creativity, but it does make the product more expensive typically.

Closing thoughts: doing it once is science, doing it 1000+ times is engineering.