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3D printers (can't buy one, but sure want one)


overwraith
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So I just found something really really cool today!

http://www.voxel8.co/printer/

I actually thought to myself, it would be really cool to have something were I could make a custom circuit board, except make it 3d. I go to google it, and apparently this already exists, or will eventually.

Initial thoughts are I could now make a raspberry pi about the size of an ice cube/jumbo dice, due to the fact that you could literally layer or mesh the electronics, or like the videos, actual robotics/drones which are made of uniform parts fused with both motors, etc and electronics.

Now this being said the reason we don't generally layer electronics is so we get some air flow (heat), but could one make a circuit board which took into account surface area and cooling and made modern computers essentially smaller due to the fact that they are layered? Could one make a 3d circuit board, and still have it reasonably heat efficient? I have seen some 3d print things where the objects printed had hollow internal structure, like a bridge superstructure or something. So if one had hollow spaces, or some kind of structure/plan I think manufacturers could take advantage of something similar to this for space compaction.

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Most hackerspaces nowadays have at least 1 3D printer. You typically only pay for the plastic you use in the printed model so this might be a cheap way to get access to one. An alternative is one of the many commercial 3d printing companies but there's always the shipping fee and they need to make money off of it too.

Bottom line:

if you want to fiddle, go with a hackerspace.

If you need something exotic (a.k.a. large) or already know your model is perfect and don't want to bother with joining a hackerspace (which, mind you, isn't free) go with a commercial company.

If you have money to burn (which you already made clear you don't) buy your own printer.

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Most hackerspaces nowadays have at least 1 3D printer. You typically only pay for the plastic you use in the printed model so this might be a cheap way to get access to one. An alternative is one of the many commercial 3d printing companies but there's always the shipping fee and they need to make money off of it too.

Bottom line:

if you want to fiddle, go with a hackerspace.

If you need something exotic (a.k.a. large) or already know your model is perfect and don't want to bother with joining a hackerspace (which, mind you, isn't free) go with a commercial company.

If you have money to burn (which you already made clear you don't) buy your own printer.

Not everyone lives near a hackerspace.

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