Will 3D Printing Change Everything?

Submitted by: PixelMitch 3 years ago in Science

The future is coming! What can you expect?
There are 14 comments:
Male 40,762
@Angilion: Hope you read this! It`s a subject that`s fascinated me for ages.

Rather than ripping matter right down to pure energy (Star Trek style) you`d just rip it molecular levels. Ripping molecules apart is REALLY energy-heavy! Producing or requiring a LOT of it!
Ripping matter to small size, the re-arranging it SEEMS to me to be much easier. A way to permanently arrange the bits is required by both methods, eh? No difference there.

So you could toss literally anything in the "mass mulcher" and produce pure gold. The only difference would be efficiency.

>The amount of "pure energy" required per Kilo of matter is staggering.
>Breaking down matter to energy is a million atomic bombs worth of power, and some matter (mass) would be lost in the process.

So I figure a "half-way" solution would be best. You could still (in theory) do it the Star Trek way too.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Ripping matter down to energy and back to matter might prove inefficient: perhaps matter could be more easily "transformed" into similar stuff? Thus to make a desk? You toss some sawdust, woodchips and a few chemicals into the "printer". Some brass for the knobs, some metal for the hinges...[/quote]

That would be far less efficient because it would require sufficient supply of suitable materials everywhere all the time. You`d also need to spend energy to break down the materials and more energy to reform them. How would it work, anyway? Nanobots working on a molecular scale?
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Male 5,626
This has already changed invention.
If your object is compatible with required wall thicknesses and is under 6 cubic inches or so, you can get pieces for mockup or substitution in hours rather than weeks.

Medical 3d printing already went into experimental application this year.

"As long as evil exists "
Dude: Stop listening to doom-gloomers. Really.
Actual statistic show the planet is becoming more passive the more educated and aware people are of the world outside of their own little corners.
My own opinion is "$1M in schools and internet is more devastating than $1B in military solution."
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Male 2,579
As long as evil exists these types of technologies will never be used for the good of the many.
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Male 7,931
This probably will change humanity for the better I hope. Of course with all things there`s the ability for this to be abused to empower evil people but with that said. The applications of th is could be endless. This could literally create a utopia. Everyone has everything they would ever need. No need for economics as they currently stand. Interesting.
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Male 39,927

[quote]"I`ve heard the term "star trek replicator" used, though I have no idea what that is." [/quote]
By the 23rd century humankind will have discovered that matter and energy are interchangeable. Replicators to make dinner or transporters to send you across the planet will be common place.
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Male 40,762
@Andrew155: Congratulations on 1,800 comments!
@Gerry1: Congrats on 30K!
Angilion: Congrats on 10K!

Now that the cheering has settled...

Iron bars aren`t that good, you need something that doesn`t rot or rust... gold for example! Platinum too (I think). Once "replicators" come to exist? Gold will be as valuable as sand... it would move us out of "resource based" economics entirely.
That would be true utopia! And massive overpopulation... un oh!

Ripping matter down to energy and back to matter might prove inefficient: perhaps matter could be more easily "transformed" into similar stuff? Thus to make a desk? You toss some sawdust, woodchips and a few chemicals into the "printer". Some brass for the knobs, some metal for the hinges...

It all depends on a source of power (electricity) in the "big picture" to make it work.

Just MHO of course.
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Male 12,365
Move it on a bit from that and you have the end of manufacturing industry. There would be hardly anything that it would be profitable to make or develop.

For example, I don`t know how to build a car. But if I could download the schematics for free and print all the required parts for a good car for £1000 of raw materials and electricity, I`d follow the instructions to assemble them. Or I`d pay someone else to do it. Who wouldn`t? So there wouldn`t be a car manufacturing industry any more. At most, if the printers themselves were too expensive, there would be local "pay and print" shops. Or maybe local resident associations would be formed for it - a hundred people club together and buy a printer for their own use. I wouldn`t care if my share of printer time meant that it would be a week before all the parts for my car were printed.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I don`t think 3D printers will change our lives.[/quote]

I think they will, though not much for a while. I think that over the next ~50 years they will have an increasing effect on an increasing number of aspects of people`s lives. Domestic manufacturing on any significant scale would radically change society because society is largely based on people working for money to buy things made by companies. If enough of those things could be easily made by a machine at home at a comparable price, the basis of society changes. Why buy, for example, furniture and have it delivered or transport it yourself if you can print it at home for a comparable cost and to your exact specs?

Printing won`t need to get to being able to produce food in order to change society. It just needs to get to be able to produce enough useful items at a low enough price to make it a viable alternative to centralised mass production.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I`ve heard the term "star trek replicator" used, though I have no idea what that is.[/quote]

A device that can convert between energy and matter. It`s theoretically possible - e = mc^2 in action. So you`d have waste disposal and power generation and manufacturing and food production all done perfectly in one device. You want 1 Kg of finest quality beef? Chuck in 1 Kg of anything and convert it. Need to dispose of 1000 tonnes of sewage from a town? Chuck it in and convert it to iron bars for easy storage and later conversion to whatever you want.

Need electricity for a whole world? Chuck in a few grams per second of anything. And there`s the problem - handling the ludicrous amounts of energy involved. Making that 1 Kg of beef would require handling the energy of a 40 megaton explosion.
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Male 39,927

flying Itj - Replicators didn`t start out as replicators. They evolved from 3D printers.

I don`t think 3D printers will change our lives. Yes they have great applications in industry & medicine but I don`t the average household having one until they do something more versatile...like make dinner & a dildo. So far, they can only make the latter.
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Male 339
Andrew,

Star trek replicators basically could dematerialize matter, then use the dematerialized matter to create new objects.

In other words, take your left over junk & uneaten food & snot out your nose, and dematerialize it all and create anything you want from them.

3d printers and replicators are not apples to apples alike, but the ideas are pretty similar.
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Male 2,578
As long as the government doesn`t try to control it. This is one of the glorious inventions that Capitalism gives us. It could have the possibility of ending poverty, creating basically a utopia. I`ve heard the term "star trek replicator" used, though I have no idea what that is.
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Male 61
Link: Will 3D Printing Change Everything? [Rate Link] - The future is coming! What can you expect?
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