Laser Sintering 3D Printing Patents Expiring in 2014Next year, one of the most promising 3D printing technologies will be blown wide open and accessible to hobbyists.The popular narrative around 3D printers is that, at some point in the near future, a desktop printer in every home will revolutionize manufacturing as we know it. 3D printers are already revolutionary products--most of them are still just a little too pricey, and more importantly, just a little too hard to use, to see that mass adoption. But prices are falling dramatically quickly, and there's a good chance 2014 will see some of the biggest 3D printing shakeups yet. Some major 3D printing patents are set to expire.
and there's no way the patent trolls would be camping on these
pffft, they're probably printing scads of lawyers as we speak
only a .22 LR single shot... Not sure that'll do the trick...
Quote from: Renegade on July 26, 2013, 03:57:28 AMonly a .22 LR single shot... Not sure that'll do the trick...One lawyer at a time... Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78...
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
The takeaways I have from my brief time with the two devices is that the inexpensive Printrbot is actually a hell of a little machine. It's not a great first 3D printer, since making it work well and produce good results requires a whole lot of time, attention, and skill. But $299 in kit form or $399 assembled is a hell of a bargain. It fits very nicely into the niche its creators are carving out for it: it's an inexpensive way to get a good-quality 3D printer out there for those who can't afford a Replicator or something similar. If you pick one up, you can expect to be required to immerse yourself into the world of mods and tweaking, chasing that perfect printing experience forever.The Makerbot Replicator 2, on the other hand, is both magical and disappointing. When it works, it's awesome. When it doesn't work—which, in my experience is about 75 percent of the time—it's incredibly frustrating. The little Printrbot gets a pass for needing aftermarket tweaks to work properly. The Makerbot Replicator 2, which costs almost eight times as much, gets no such pass. If I paid $2,200 of my own money for this device as it currently exists, I would have long since returned it. The Makerbot folks continued to work with me up until this article's deadline on trying to get the Replicator 2 working correctly, and those efforts are still ongoing, but as of this moment I still have a very expensive machine that wastes a lot of filament with failed prints.And yet those moments when everything works properly and the Replicator produces a perfectly formed print are magical. The Printrbot, even at its best, produced rough and sometimes saggy prints. The Makerbot Replicator's output is clear and smooth, with sharply defined edges and facets. When it prints, it prints very well. I've got a big dinosaur, a bunch of Ars coasters, some Companion Cubes, and a Walken-embossed cowbell to prove it. It's a wonderful machine—it just feels like it's designed to fail and only manages to print successfully on accident.Truthfully, I wouldn't buy either of these devices. The Makerbot Replicator is ludicrously expensive for a hobbyist purchase, and the Printrbot requires too much time to get it working right. However, maker-types with an itch to tinker should absolutely consider the Printrbot Simple. For all its flaws, the $299 kit is still a good value.
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