[ExI] [Hplus-talk] Working toward an Optimal Future

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun Oct 20 17:00:39 UTC 2013

On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 7:24 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> If there are some kind of high-melting-point metal bits needed for a 3D
> printer, we can imagine using a small collection of machines made almost
> entirely of 3D printed parts which includes a lathe and mill which can make
> the remaining bits from castings of high temperature material.

Ah, that's the trap, settling for "almost entirely".  Then the printers
can't actually make themselves completely, so more printers does not
directly mean more capacity to make printers.

That said - why not 3D print the lathe and mill?  A plasma torch is, I
hear, capable of making itself (with proper feedstock and robot arms +
vision to guide it).  Perhaps a self-creating multi-tool is more feasible
than a self-creating 3D printer specifically.  Certainly, a typical machine
shop can create all the components of another typical machine shop (and
manipulators to assemble it), no?  So how do we miniaturize this, and in so
doing get the total cost down to something any hobbyist can easily afford -
and then, ramp production up further until fully robotic manufacturing on
large scales, and then on small scales, becomes significantly cheaper than
even the cheapest foreign labor?
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