Limits to Distributed Manufacturing

I asked Dr. Joshua Pearce from the Michigan Tech’s Lab in Open Sustainability Technology: What kind of reception have you gotten on your 3D Printers Save You Money paper? Dr. Pearce is a leader in open source 3D printer research. The question remains: if 3D printing saves you money on making practical products, why is nobody doing it? Discuss this more at the OSE Workshops FB page.
For the most part pretty postive – lots of press – see list at bottom. There was some skepticicm – -mostly from people that had some experience that was bad with 3DP. We did another article where we took aim at some of the criticism (e.g. normal people could not build a 3DP )– so we used a Lulzbot to replicate the study — same results: Emily E. Petersen and Joshua Pearce. Emergence of Home Manufacturing in the Developed World: Return on Investment for Open-Source 3-D PrintersTechnologies 2017, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/technologies5010007
It seems that people are not catching or acting on the potential of 3D printers.
It is still most engineers – but I think there has been a lot of build out in schools, community centers, makerspaces and the like ….even many libraries now have it as a service….so it is coming…but the OS fall of Makerbot really hurt us in terms of speed of uptake.
Do you have thoughts on what is currently missing for practical production (ie, billions of $ of product, or at least 1% of the plastic industry) to happen more often with 3D printing as part of the circular economy?
I have looked at these numbers – we still need a lot more growth in 3DP – this means more printers, more good designs, more trust in them. We are working on AI/machine vision correction of printing errors in real time…that should help. More low cost high quality machines will do – but it looks like most non-chinese firms are moving up the food chain away from prosumers.
My thoughts are: 1. lack of quality curated design repositories, 2. lack of uniform production engineering 3. lack of 3D printers with high-temperature print chamber 4. Lack of reliable filament production/recycling infrastructure knowhow.
1. is a real problem – we need a NPO to set up something equivalent to thingiverse but have it free from all IP and leaching concerns. See my wish list
2. hoping the ai/mv work we are doing will address this
3. We have 1 and are building a second to make it more replicable — <$1k
4. This is a major issue — I am now of the mind to move away from filament — when dealing with waste recycling – you essentially have to get 2 things right…the printing and the filament …and the latter is actually really hard with non uniform feedstock….we are moving rapidly to FPF work with re:3D and working on a high T version  (3) and a desktop model….
I’d like to prepare a compelling documentation of 3D printable items for a promo video that shows the full power of 3D printing. Have you curated/created more updated 3D Printable Product lists that you could share?
We have done a lot of examples — it really depends on what market you want to aim at. If you have an idea I can send over anything we have done – -best is to use Yeggi for general ideas. The higher quality designs are normally showcased on the various sites.
What is the best example of an on-demand printing service that you’ve seen that is producing common (not custom) 3d printed consumer objects?
Shapeways is probably the leader in that space.
Here is a boatload of feedback on the article in the media:

5.1 International

in America and the Caribbean












Costa Rica

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