[vcf-midatlantic] OT: Re: Is it just me or.....

Matt Reynolds mattreynolds04 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 12:00:47 EST 2018

As it's off topic I will stop replying as well, but will reply to your
points.  First and foremost, I don't see you as a villain.  You are
entitled to your opinion as am I, and am totally fine to agree to
disagree.  It would be quite a weird world if everybody agreed and thought
exactly as I.

I realize more features costs more, and wasn't discounting that.  I'm sure
as en engineer in your career you have seen machines and devices (outside
of electronics) that were once expensive and more exclusive that have
become cheaper, more prevalent and available.  It doesn't matter how or
why, whether through counterfeiting, piracy, offshoring, patent expiration,
cheaper materials, or open source design philosophy, but it does and has
happened.  I'm assuming that this trend won't stop.

Some 3D printers already have the ability to make their raw materials
proprietary.  There are some brands that have readers\chips and associated
software embedded into the spool to make sure you use what they want you to
use.  I realize in a techie world\group this would look like something that
is easy to defeat, and that's not my point.  My point is there is already a
parallel to proprietary cartridges.

I do not desire to do your homework question.  I don't think it's that far
fetched to believe that as a technology becomes easier to use and more
prevalent that it can change a society, good, bad, or otherwise.  I have to
assume you've had to have seen it happen many times over in your life.  I
don't have to know the exact future or details of a new manufacturing
process is to make assumptions on what the impact could be to a world where
things can be made from home (or at least in more locations and cheaper).


On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 11:28 AM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> I'm sorry I'm the villain in this discussion. This will be my last reply,
> it's off topic and I'm repeating myself. Really, my only goal is to say "3D
> printing futures will not be "like" the history of personal computing was".
> OK? I'm no 3D printer expert otherwise.
> Personal computers got better/cheaper/faster because CHIPS got
> smaller/cheaper/faster. Computer size was evolutionary: box to laptop to
> smartphone took decades. Whereas, costs of 3D printers go down with
> production *at the same quality* - no shrinkage allowed. Cheep 3D printers
> don't produce the same quality of parts as expensive ones, or they print
> slower, or they use proprietary supplies or fewer kinds of supplies.
> I'll say this much - 3D printers may be "like" inkjet or laser/toner
> printers, in terms of history of production and performance and use. The
> catch - proprietary printers use proprietary ink-carts or toner-carts,
> those pay for those cheep printers.
> the more sophisticated the industrial printers get, the more
>> sophisticated the home ones will get
> Oh yeah? And what pays for that "sophistication?" better print heads or
> lasers cost more. good lead screws, better bearings cost more than threaded
> rod. More mechanical features ADD to costs. These are not computer-bits of
> intellectual property that cost zero in production. These are physical
> tangible items that you can't "shrink"  like shrinking chip-logic. Compare
> the physical features of your $200 printer, to a $1000- $3000 3D printer.
> One more comment. There's another commonality between 3D printers and
> early personal computing. "A relatively small amount of money, with tons of
> potential." That sold computers in the past, when it was real work to make
> them useful (and they cost more). Today, computer use is standardized,
> software functions are standardized, expectations are set. You buy for use,
> for job and personal life. That's not true for 3D printers - printing a
> part is like baking a cake; most people just go to Dunkin' Donuts.
> Homework question: describe the world where ordinary people just "print"
> physical items for use instead of ordering/buying them. If you evoke
> "instant 3D printing", explain the physics of spraying PLA plastic at speed.
> Herb Johnson
> cursed to be an engineer
> On 3/5/2018 10:05 AM, Matt Reynolds wrote:
>> I agree with BIll.
>> I understand Herb's point but just want to comment that even if the home
>> printers don't evolve above printing plastic (which I don't believe will be
>> the case), they can already have a decent impact on society.  If it becomes
>> commonplace and intuitive enough for the average Joe to use, a lot of
>> things that are bought retail would no longer need to be bought.  There is
>> a lot of plastic stuff out there that people use every day beyond eating
>> utensils.  Replacement parts, toys, gifts, all small things in a sense, but
>> still quite neat to be able to make yourself.  I just bought a home printer
>> for myself in December.  It was a retail i3 clone marketed by Monoprice,
>> and cost 200 bucks.  A relatively small amount of money, with tons of
>> potential.
>> The impact on the industrial side will be a bigger wave when it comes to
>> pass, and the more sophisticated the industrial printers get, the more
>> sophisticated the home ones will get.  It doesn't even need to get to a
>> point where every Average Joe knows how to use them.  Enough people having
>> more knowledge on small scale\personal manufacturing enables even more
>> people who have an idea or vision but lacks the equipment\skills to get
>> something prototyped quicker and cheaper than in the past.
>> I guess only time will tell.
>> Matt
> --
> Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
> http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
> preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
> email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
> or try later herbjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT info

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