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I Witnessed 3D Printing in Real Life! It Was Awesome!

3D printing is to production and distribution what the internet is to information and knowledge.

I witnessed real 3D printing in real life two days ago while visiting with a product engineer about a new product idea my bro and I are working on.

The printer was pretty freaking awesome. The part the engineer was working on will make the inventor millions! It was so sweet, and my mind hasn't stopped imagining the possibilities since I was introduced to 3D printing several months ago.

So instead of ink running through the printer, there are very tiny diametered plastic fibers on a spool...kind of like a welding wire through a MIG welder, but on a smaller scale. With any 3D file from Solidworks or any 3D modeling program, the 3D printer can print it out, just as it looks up to a size that fills a 6" cube. Other more expensive printers can print larger objects.

I'm going to buy one as soon as I can afford it to prototype all my inventions...and yours too if they're good enough! ;)

Does anyone have any experience with Solidworks or any other 3D modeling programs?

Most people around here are already familiar with 3D printing and the work being done by Defense Distributed out of Austin, TX, but I just thought I'd share this and see if any folks here at the DP know much about 3D modeling. Any resources you could offer would really be appreciated. I have an extensive background in marketing, packaging, design and graphics, but I've never worked in 3D.

I've posted about creating an Industrial Incubator before, but I'm starting to think why invest in all that machinery I can't afford if it already exists nearby. I just have to build a network of libertarian inventors, investors, vendors, designers, and manufacturers. It's an ambitious goal, but there seems to be no shortage of creativity around here!

Once I figure out and perfect a system for bringing our ideas from concept to customer, which theoretically could help create more libertarian millionaires, I'll be looking for other entrepreneurs who want to get started on making their ideas become a reality.


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Ooh, that one looks

Ooh, that one looks cool.

Same problem as all the other bots though... It has a pretty small build platform.

And that is pretty much the sole reason that I've been talking about the Lulzbot. It's platform is 1 foot squared -- which is huge.

Although the platform for the bot you linked shows a 10" x 10" x 8" platform...

With all of these 3d printers available.

I am still going to make my own because many have basic things wrong.

A moving build platform is one of the most obvious mistakes and only a few moved in the direction of a build platform that only moves in the Z direction. When building thin or high parts the rigorous shaking of the model will destroy it, if builds get big the mass to move will be to great to maintain speed. Only solution would be to slow it down by up to 90%, but that is not done and the results are failed prints.

Instead you should move the extruder, which has a constant weight, on the x and y axis. The slowdown needed for thin parts is only about 50%, because the plastic still needs some time to get rigid enough before the next level.
This is also not done by most and again results in failed prints.

For big builds you don't need to do anything because the Z moves only in one direction and that is also the direction gravity takes it. Currently only the makerbot replicator 2 does that.

Second obvious mistake is that the printers are build flimsy, using plastic, thin aluminum etc. This will result in a coarse finish and very often needed calibration. A rigid frame not unlike what is used with cnc is necessary and can be made pretty cheap when steel parts are used. Again only makerbot replicator 2 does that.

Third mistake is 'climate' control. Most 3d printers are open to the surroundings, this will cause differences in temperature and results in less then optimal prints. It should be enclosed and kept within a few degrees, opening a door or window in your house should not influence a print.

As prints can take several hours and very often the finest details are done the last it can ruin a print in the last minutes. Only because such easy things as rigidity, temperature control and

Unfortunately the ones that don't have these basic mistake start from around 2700US$.

I am not a makerbot fan but they are the only one that is moving to a good printer, it is not open source anymore.

Yes, this actually is an

Yes, this actually is an issue. At the expo I went to where there were about 20 different 3D printers setup.. mine was really the only one with a platform that moved so much. Most of the newer bots only move the nozzle.

And yes, vibration can get the best of your prints, but after you get all the excessive movements eliminated from the machine, things are greatly improved.

I've done lots of hacks to mine to eliminate vibrations.

This is the one I want...

Here's the website: http://formlabs.com/

Here's the kickstarter that really exceeded expectations: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affor...

This one is incredible, and uses better technology.

The build area is only 5x5x6.5, but just checkout what it can do!

This is the method the big boys uses scaled down to fit on your desktop!


I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Seriously all these printers move the object not the printer?

that's just stupid. Besides the weight of the thing being printed is the vibration factor which is bound to set things off a little.

Wow. Now I understand why my techie friends weren't interested in the first generation droid phones...

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.


. This invention will change the world as we know it, just imagine never having to buy a flat head screwdriver again, or cups and plates, (for us bachelors), the list is endless. This invention could bring down corporate America.

We all have to remember the MIC is not just companies contracted to make weapons, it consists of companies that make screwdrivers as well.

NASA has a 3D printer on the

NASA has a 3D printer on the Space Station (although quite different than the one's posted here) that is capable of printing necessary parts while out in space. Tools, Screws, Connectors.. whatever they need.

And did you check out Thingiverse.com? They have all the screw drivers, wrenches tools and things that you need.

Just do a search for tools and see what all pops up. Anyone can download and print almost anything they want from there.


NASA has already tested a 3D printer on the International Space Station, and recently announced its requirement for a high resolution 3D printer to produce spacecraft parts during deep space missions. The US Army has also experimented with a truck-mounted 3D printer capable of outputting spare tank and other vehicle components in the battlefield.

As noted above, 3D printers may also be used to make future buildings. To this end, a team at Loughborough University is working on a 3D concrete printing project that could allow large building components to be 3D printed on-site to any design, and with improved thermal properties.

Another possible future application is in the use of 3D printers to create replacement organs for the human body. This is known as bioprinting, and is an area of rapid development. You can learn more on the bioprinting page, or see more in my bioprinting video or the Future Visions gallery.

I view it a little

I view it a little differently. It means in the near future, many things could potentially be built on demand to fit the exact specifications / needs of the customer. This paradigm could also extend to industries that typically carry a lot of inventory that ends up being discounted if it cannot be sold immediately, or sent off to landfill if there are no buyers (in this case it could be clothing, shoes, etc. using automated CAD-tailoring systems). Customization will be expected, not the exception.

Video Of The Makerbot In Action

Sorry that took me a while. It took over an hour to upload the video to Youtube.

Here is a video that I made just for my friends here at the DailyPaul which shows the 3D printer in action as well as some stuff that I've done and am doing with the prints.

For those who stated they were having trouble wrapping their head around the whole concept -- Just think of it as a Souped-Up, Automated Hot-Glue gun. The nozzle drops small amounts of plastic and stacks the layers on top of one-another until the print is complete.

Feel free to ask questions...



That was pretty cool! Thanks for posting the video! I sent you a private message! When you said an automated hot-glue gun, it clicked! That's a great discription!

My bro and I always wanted one of these:


So I'm really familiar with the mechanics.

I just downloaded Google Sketchup, and I'm messing around with it.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Yeah, like a CNC milling

Yeah, like a CNC milling machine.

So that's what is really cool about the Makerbot. There are all sorts of different nozzles and various hacks that can be done. One of the things that can be done is CNC milling.

The free-ware program that is used to generate the code for the bot is called ReplicatorG. That program has default modes for CNC milling. I would simply need to replace my heated nozzle with a Drimmel type head and then I can cut objects directly out of metal (AR-15 lower anyone?)

Also, Makerbot has the Frostruder. Basically, a syringe instead of a heated nozzle. You print stuff out of eatable materials such as peanut butter or chocolate.

Check out this video on the Frostruder.

All this stuff is totally cool and I've geeked out on it for a few years now and still not bored with it.

Like in the Arthur C. Clarke

sci-fi novel, Rendezvous with Rama.

Good friend bought one

The software licensing was the most expensive piece of the puzzle. After he got it he realized he got fucked big time and is trying to cancel because way better machines and software came out almost right after he got it. I guess that's how technology goes.

Btw, it's still cheaper to have the Chinese make our stuff, we can save money on the prototyping

One step closer to being able

One step closer to being able to "shit" out a part on demand! LOL My co-workers and I have always joked when we don't have a part in stock that one of us will "shit" the part out since our company is so cheap and won't keep the necessary inventory we need.

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

wow! i wish

it could print out a 3D model of an Honest Politician.



we can use Ron Paul as the model!lol

"OH NO! He has a SON?" Neoconservatives and Liberals EVERYWHERE!

Rand Paul 2016

Ah, if


There is a model of Ron, done for the High Tide video. I did some animation on that and from what I remember, the mesh was pretty good... Maybe getting in touch with Nathan Evans, he might help out. In any case, a 3d print of RP would be great.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression.
Frontline: The Untouchables

Someone suggested this same

Someone suggested this same thing about a year ago and I did infact email him asking for the 3D mesh of Ron Paul. Never heard back from him though and I had forgotten about it until you made the comment.

Maybe if someone knows him, they could ask for the 3D obj of Dr. Paul. I'd be more than happy to print people a few copies if I could just get the base model.


Im still trying to wrap my head around a 3d printer!!lol
can it print a WORKING computer or something as complicated as one?
Do things it prints actually work? Like a gun?

"OH NO! He has a SON?" Neoconservatives and Liberals EVERYWHERE!

Rand Paul 2016

You're having the same shock that I did when first finding out!

Definitely check out Defense Distributed!


Also printing skin and kidneys!


Or how about Peter Thiel's printed meat?!


How about a house in 20 hours?!


A commenter below had some great links:

Thingiverse: www.thingiverse.com
Printable AR-15's: http://www.cncguns.com/downloads.html

Some things work fully, and others are limited to the materials.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!



OMG that is too freaking awesome!
I will being reading the links.

"OH NO! He has a SON?" Neoconservatives and Liberals EVERYWHERE!

Rand Paul 2016

I believe they use .stl files to print from

a .stl file is for stereolithography. any 3D modeling program will be able to output a .stl file from the model. I model in Pro/E for many years. To me it is the easiest and best 3D program. But I only have seen UniGraphics NX as a comparison.

How much does one of these machines cost?


There are inexpensive one, with decent accuracy and portable. one suggestion prinbot jr at 400. other suggestions, but over 1000, ultimaker and cube...

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression.
Frontline: The Untouchables

Not much...relatively speaking!



Or you can make your own for about $1000


I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Or if you are crafty, not

Or if you are crafty, not even that much.

Everything is OpenSource and there are no patents on these parts.

You can buy the main electronics and nozzles from various sites:

Once you have the main components (nozzle, stepper motors, Extruder, Mother Board and Extruder Controller) you really have all the main components.

At that point you simply need a chassis to hold everything together and a mechanism to move the nozzle around the platform (smooth rods that extend the length of your bot and a stepper motor and belt can easily move the nozzle around {just like the LOLZBot}).

So really.. if you are crafty and good at tinkering with things, you can probably build yourself a unit for around $600 or so.

(Still working on my video.... it's uploading to Youtube right now.)

Those must be for small stuff

GE Aviation where I work has some that make big parts. We routinely build model engines with plastic parts.

The engineer next to me makes parts all the time on the 3D printer. I haven't yet.

Hollywood used a huge 3D

Hollywood used a huge 3D printer to print out a one-of-a-kind Aston Martin so that they could blow it up in the recent Bond movie.

That car.. was printed on a 3D printer.



These are desktop printers, but if you check out the reprap designs, you can pretty much build as big as you need.

I posted a link to a huge conceptual one used for houses and buildings. They estimate it would build a house in 20 hours.

I imagine the technology is scalable both up and down. I'm interested in prototyping my inventions and fine tuning them before approaching manufacturers.

I cannot even imagine the satisfaction of seeing a conceptualized part I dream up being printed in a few hours in my room. I'm a 2D graphic artist now, and I just download Google Sketchup to see if it's intuitive.

I dabbled in Pro E when I was an engineering student in college, and I'm very experienced in Photoshop and pretty good at Illustrator. Plus, I work for a big manufacturer with presses, roll formers, and a full machine shop, so I know a little about manufacturing. I'm hoping I can learn some modeling program pretty easily, and save up or build my own printer.

Then, woah...if you put a printer in my hands, crazy things will happen!

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!