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Frank Discusses Strange 3D Things Happening in the World

Published on April 9, 2014

This week, Frank talks about discovering strange things that are happening in the world. A Hershey Chocolate 3D printer, a 3D robot, and futurology are all included in Romano's crazy mixed up world! Oh...and there's the shirt. What's up with the shirt?

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By Hal Hinderliter on Apr 09, 2014

Wow, that "printer created by a printer created by a printer" part made my brain hurt!


By Charles Gehman on Apr 11, 2014

Frank, this existentialism is getting dangerously close to "The Singularity." I think you should do a piece on it!

But seriously, I was thrilled to read that 3D Printer sales are completely sucking wind, and the companies that make them are tanking. Now maybe my Google Alert for Printing will actually have some boring old printing industry items in it.



By Eric Vessels on Apr 11, 2014

Haha Chuck. So true about Gnews alerts for "printing". So very true.


By Richard Gwyn on Apr 11, 2014

Love the shirt, Frank. Could you make your name in red chocolate?


By Pete Basiliere on Apr 14, 2014

". . . at some point (3D printing) will start to do something that will change our lives . . ."

3D printing is changing lives today and has been for years.

The speakers for my hearing aids are within 3D printed molds. Most in-the-ear hearing aids have the microphone, speaker, processor and battery in custom 3D printed shells. Invisaligner braces are made with 3D printed molds. Surgeons are using 3D printed models based on MRI scans to visualize, plan and practice before performing surgery.

And there's more.

Check out Project Daniel for TRULY live altering use of inexpensive 3D printers: http://www.notimpossiblelabs.com/#!project-daniel/c1imu


By Charles Gehman on Apr 15, 2014

Pete, yeah, "it" has amazing applicatoins. I guess my main point about 3-D Printing is: It's not printing. My dentists have been making crowns on a cool machine in their offices for the last 8 years or so.

I never heard a dentist say "I'm printing your tooth". Reason: it's not printing.

It's CAD/CAM, where the manufactured item is a single, personalized unit.

It's being called printing to make it seem as simple as pushing the green button. Pure hype.

The applications you mentioned are great examples of it NOT being green button simple. Perhaps someday it will be, but that will require major advances in AI, IMHO.


By Pete Basiliere on Apr 15, 2014

Well, until we come up with another word for "it" then we are stuck with either 3D printing or additive manufacturing. Neither is wholly accurate when considering all 7 technologies that currently make up the field.

3D printing may not apply well to material extrusion technologies but it does apply to binder and material jetting technologies that use inkjet printheads, for example.

Neither I nor my colleagues use the term 3D printing in order to "make it seem as simple as pushing the green button." Far from it.

In fact, the term "3D printing" has its origins in the maker world of about 8 or so years ago. The term arose as projects like RepRap were trying to develop a printer that could make its own replacement parts.

Nor is 3D printing either computer aided design or computer aided manufacturing, terms which describe design and manufacturing techniques. 3D printers start with a 3D model. The 3D model may derive from a CAD drawing but it can also start as a 3D scan or, recently, output from a 3D model created in Photoshop.

I did not say that this is a "green button" technology. In fact, we have been saying for years that the ecosystem for consumer desktop 3D printing is much more complex than personal paper printing's ecosystem.

But the technology doesn't have to be green button simple for it to be adopted. Simplicity will enable quicker adoption in certain markets, sure.

For "printing companies," the key question they have to answer is "What is our technology adoption profile?" Is our company one that lives on the bleeding edge, or waits some and is a fast follower, or wants all the bugs worked out before adopting a new technology? There are pros and cons to each approach that must be considered given the company's circumstances and its current and potential markets.


By Jack Maynard on Apr 16, 2014

I never heard printing described as "Green Button Simple". Printing includes the efforts of thousands of technologies to arrive at the ink on paper. And you have to include bindery and finishing. As far as 3D printing goes it's a no brainer to predict a hugh presence in the future of our world. Right now, its getting a footing and discovering new applications daily. That's how our economy works. Find a new and go fill it. What better place to get a piece of the action than the printing industry. I remember when printers were printers. Now we are typesetters, designers, prepress producers, web-site designers, mailers, etc, etc. Printers have had to add many new skills and services to there mix in the last 20 years. At least one more toe in to test the water would be a good idea!


By Ed McMasters on Apr 16, 2014

How do you "clean" a 3D Chocolate Printer?

NOW... are those shirts for sale yet? Leave a comment get a FREE shirt, is that how it works?


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