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Industrial Machining Meets 3D Laser Printing

Posted January 24, 2014 8:31 AM by RTD Manufacturing

This ExtremeTech article argues that 3D laser printers will never be accurate enough, and will "invariably" require some type of secondary subtractive manufacturing to produce final metal parts. As engineers, do you agree with this assessment?

For that matter, is it reasonable to assume that there will never ever be enough technological innovation so that a 3D laser printer could do the work of a DMG Mori hybrid mill?

Isn't the author's assertion a bit like a computer scientist of the 1970s claiming that no one will ever watch a video on a "personal" computer, a device which (with apologies to Steve Jobs) no company would ever invent anyway?

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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North Carolina, USA
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Re: Industrial Machining Meets 3D Laser Printing

01/27/2014 7:58 AM

I have to agree with the article. The inherent limitations of 3D printing by depositing a layer or bead of material and heating it with a laser to melt or bond it to a substrate is never going to provide micron level dimension control.

However, I won't say that some other technology won't be discovered that will, I just don't think it will be what we now know as 3D printing.

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