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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:05 pm 
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I am not the greatest when it comes to technology, but I saw something at work last week that is set to change the way we use our PCs, almost to the same extent as the world wide web has. It was a new machine which allows '3D printing'. I have read about it and seen a feature on TV, but now I have sen what these machines can do, I am blown away.

One way in which it can work is to scan an object in what looks like a similar method to a MRI medical scanner. The scan copies an image of the cross section of the item to be copied and creates a 3D image in a PC. When complete, a special printer which uses a sort of plastic powder recreates a 3D copy of the item in plastic.

But that's only half of it. The new copy is not just a solid block the same shape as the original, it also contains the same moving parts!. Imagine a pair of pliers is copied by the system. The result is a perfect working copy - in plastic - complete with moving parts.

I saw a test sample which consisted of a large open frame with numerous gears inside. When a handle is turned, all the cogs and gears rotate. However, this was printed in one piece, not several bits which are later assembled. Also, this was made from a CAD drawing, rather than copied from a sample

I rarely get excited about IT stuff, but it's amazing. In years to come, it's likely we'll all have such technology. For example: Some can use sugar rather than plastic and make amazing sculptures for cakes

More here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/n ... world.html


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:39 pm 
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seen that before making the moulds for WW2 aircraft engine parts...as you say amazing :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:28 am 
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.... and the cost of this printer ?

Amazing technology though

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:42 pm 
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You won't get much change out of £80K for the one I saw (but PC World probably do cheaper ones :D )


I wonder what would happen if the scanner caught a fly as well as the subject to be copied. They should make a film about it!!


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