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My place of work held a session today with a trade show component, all About the future of welding and fabrication. On hand were reps from 3D printing companies who had examples of printed material and printers demonstrating items that could be made.

I'm beyond words.

The parts coming out of those machines, made of metal, are astonishing. Stainless. Regular steel. Plastic. Composite. They had examples of every type of material. After seeing the possibilities, it won't be long till some of our parts will be made by such machines. Why get a quarter or fender stamped overseas when one can be MADE, printed, while you wait?

I encourage you folks to investigate this technology because while I've heard this will be disruptive, I hadn't seen anything but plastic dice and fragile models. The metal printers used lasers and a roll of Input metal to fuse the wire into a new part.

Have you had any experience with 3D printing? Do you work with this technology? I'm curious to get points of view on this. Localized, custom small batch printing is the wave of the future. It's still
Pretty expensive but those costs will come down.
 

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The company I work for sells 3D printers. They are good for making prototypes but not for mass producing parts. Although that could change as the technology progresses. We mostly sell them to schools and colleges for training purposes.
 

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The company I work for sells 3D printers. They are good for making prototypes but not for mass producing parts. Although that could change as the technology progresses. We mostly sell them to schools and colleges for training purposes.
Curious what company... I use 3D printing regularly. My process is to print, then mold using sturdy materials. On the high end with splintering, the parts are strong, in fact stronger than welding in some cases.
 

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Curious what company... I use 3D printing regularly. My process is to print, then mold using sturdy materials. On the high end with splintering, the parts are strong, in fact stronger than welding in some cases.
The company I work for is R J Young out of Nashville. Sounds like you have found a good use for the 3D printers. Right now our biggest market is educational, but who knows what tomorrow's graduates will do with them.
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Like tabletop CAD CAM introduced 15 years ago, 3-D printing will have interesting but limited application for legacy parts and technology. However, 3-D printing may be integral to new technologies. I wouldn't invest in it as I might in new technologies that might use it.
 

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What will they think of and do next ? Mike
 
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