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[转载]Disruptions: On the Fast Track to Routine 3-D Printing

已有 14328 次阅读 2013-2-23 13:33 |系统分类:海外观察|关键词:3D,Printer| Printer |文章来源:转载

The future of the Navy: Print me a cruiser!


April 4, 2013

The 3D printing revolution will radically change naval construction and logistics, writes two junior Navy officers in Proceedings, the influential journal of the U.S. Naval Institute.

Navy lieutenants Scott Cheney-Peters and Matthew Hipple think that 3D printing will impact the Navy on designing and building everything, ranging from ships, submarines, aircraft to everything carried on board.

The development of 3D printers could change the way Navy build ships. "The production lines and shipyards of the future could be, in effect, enormous 3-D printers that would maximize the economies derived from the additive manufacturing process." they write.

It will not be necessary to carry large stocks of pre-manufactured parts. Intead of tracking down a repair part or seldom-used consumable, engineers could just scan the discarded part and send the schematics to the nearest 3D printer. The ship will only need to carry the necessary material for 3D printing, which saves a lot of space and weight.

Of course fill material will be required, but the Navy can experiment to determine the optimal amount and mix to carry on board to minimize weight. Further, since the materials will be in liquid or powder form, they can be stored in configurations that reduce excess void space from oddly shaped finished pieces and the packaging that protects them.

Furthermore all the data can be stored in the computer and upgraded when needed. The two writers envision that in the future shipboard additive manufacturing will be more than just printing repair parts. 3D printing will move the factory closer to the sailor: 3D printers could use shipboard recycled waste as material, and the Navy can even develop "concept of biomining — harvesting resources from the surrounding seas or ashore—perhaps with purpose-built 3D-printed vehicles." The ship design could also be changed that 3D printers will be integrated into it with supporting systems. And special medical 3D printers can be used for printing medical tools.

"Most of these ideas are visions of the future, in some cases quite far off, should they ever really come to pass. Along the way there are many challenges for industry and the Navy to overcome to take full advantage of additive manufacturing." they write.

The professional 3D printers and the materials are still very expensive, and printers can't yet build with every material. In addition, "the Navy will also need to determine who verifies that a printed copy meets military specifications, and how."

Since 3D printing brings to America's competitors the same opportunities it brings to the Navy. There will be new security challenges and the Navy will need to secure them against cyber threats as well. Added the writers.

But they believe:

It will take years, likely decades, to overcome all these challenges. But they will not stop the development and evolving opportunities afforded by 3D printers. One of the biggest tasks for the Navy will be to evaluate each new breakthrough's impact on the shifting economic calculus of consigning any one of the thousands of shipboard parts to print-on-demand status. Better understanding of the link between printer developments and new capabilities will allow the Navy to focus research resources to achieve them. The potential cost and capability benefits are enormous. Let the great experiment begin.


"现在有我们可以做的事情。这些事情可以加速这一潮流。去年,我们在俄亥俄州的杨斯敦创造了第一个制造业革新中心。一个曾经的百叶窗式库房变成了 一个艺术实验室。在那里,新工人在学习立体打印技术。这种技术可以革新我们制作几乎任何东西的方法。没有理由这个在其他城镇不能发生。

  所以今晚,我宣布三个新的制造业中心开始建造。在这些地方,商业将和国防部以及能源部合作,把被全球化淘汰的区域转变成全球可以提供高科技工作 岗位的中心。现在我向这届国会提议,帮助创建包括15个这样中心的网络,并且确保,下一次建造业革命就在美国发生。我们可以做到。"(掌声)

February 17, 2013, 11:00 am

Disruptions: On the Fast Track to Routine 3-D Printing


Will the future be printed in 3-D?

At first glance, looking at past predictions about the future of technology, prognosticators got a whole lot wrong. The Web is a garbage dump of inaccurate guesses about the year 2000, 2010 and beyond. Flying cars, robotic maids and jet packs still are nowhere near a reality.

Yet the prediction that 3-D printers will become a part of our daily lives is happening much sooner than anyone anticipated. These printers can produce objects, even rather intricate ones, by printing thin layer after layer of plastic, metal, ceramics or other materials. And the products they make can be highly customized.

A 3-D printer on display at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press A 3-D printer on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Last week, President Obama cited this nascent technology during his State of the Union address — as if everyone already knew what the technology was.

He expressed hope that it was a way to rejuvenate American manufacturing. “A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3-D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything,” Mr. Obama said. He has pushed new technologies before, like solar and wind power, as remedies for our nation’s problems, and those attempts have only revived the debate about the limitations of government industrial policy.

But this one shows more promise. The question is, can the United States get a foothold in manufacturing one 3-D printer at a time?

Hod Lipson, an associate professor and the director of the Creative Machines Lab at Cornell, said “3-D printing is worming its way into almost every industry, from entertainment, to food, to bio- and medical-applications.”

It won’t necessarily directly create manufacturing jobs, except perhaps for the printers themselves. Dr. Lipson, the co-author of “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing,” said that the technology “is not going to simply replace existing manufacturing anytime soon.” But he said he believed that it would give rise to new businesses. “The bigger opportunity in the U.S. is that it opens and creates new business models that are based on this idea of customization.”

In addition to the lab that the president mentioned, a federally financed manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio, schools are embracing the technology. The University of Virginia has been working to introduce 3-D printers into some programs from kindergarten through 12th grade in Charlottesville to prepare students for a new future in manufacturing.

“We have 3-D printers in classrooms, and in one example, we’re teaching kids how to design and print catapults that they then analyze for efficiency,” said Glen L. Bull, professor and co-director of the Center for Technology and Teacher Education. “We believe that every school in America could have a 3-D printer in the classroom in the next few years.”

The education system may want to speed things up. The time between predictions for 3-D printers and the reality of what they can accomplish is compressing rapidly.

For example, in 2010, researchers at the University of Southern California said that another decade would pass before we could build a home using a 3-D printer. Yet last week, Softkill Design, a London architecture collective, announced that it planned to make the first such home — which it will assemble in a single day — later this year. The home isn’t that pretty, and will look more like a calcified spider web than a cozy house, but it will show it can be done. The price of 3-D printers has also dropped sharply over the last two years, with machines that once cost $20,000, now at $1,000 or less. That’s partly because Chinese companies are driving down prices. Yes, China sees the opportunity in these things, even though the technology may undermine some of its manufacturing advantages.

“When it costs you the same amount of manufacturing effort to make advanced robotic parts as it does to manufacture a paperweight, that really changes things in a profound way,” Dr. Lipson said.

This leaves us with one more question about the future: When will these 3-D printers be able to make us flying cars, robotic maids and jet packs?

E-mail: bilton@nytimes.com

A version of this article appeared in print on 02/18/2013, on page B4 of the NewYork edition with the headline: On the Fast Track To Routine 3-D Printing.


Share your thoughts.

    • Hugh Loebner

    • New York City

    The real revolution will come when we can 3d print a motor.

    • niklar55

    • France

    Metal 3d printers have been around for years. They print by laser-sintering metal powders. Bronze, and Stainless Steel are some of the materials that are used. The machines are too expensive to be 'garage' or 'kitchen'  utensils, but no doubt as quantity production of the machines increases, so costs will decrease.
    The size of machines required to produce flying cars, etc. would make them unsuitable for home use, but 'Treky replicators' are not too far away, and are seen as the future of manufacturing by some. Each model could be customized to order.

    • Feb. 20, 2013 at 6:58 p.m

    • Audrey

    • MA

    Medical researchers hope to use 3D printers to manufacture body parts such as skin or organs, all in short supply.

    • PJ

    • New York, NY

    The Internet, 70% of which is video and P2P file sharing (aka MOAR video), is, as stated here, most certainly a garbage dump. While it DOES have some extraordinary uses and game changing (as opposed to PLAYING) users, by and large, it is a refuse pile of the Common Man's Teevee fed dreams and delusions. For a Species that confuses crap with character, one can be fully assured the 3-D printer will only add to the mountain of garbage that Humanity creates at the expense of the Planet and actual intellectual development. Looking forward to my first 3-D printed 12 foot statue of "Honey Boo -Boo" in tribute to H. Sapiens Sapiens' Marvelous Technological Progress...zzzzzzzzz....

    • James Benet

    • Carlsbad CA

    3D Printers will not be confined to making plastic parts for a variety of markets.

    Solid metal will come and there are already printers that create meat and other foods from printing proteins and other organic compounds along with some that are printing cultivated living cells to create 3D organs.

    This technology will be able to create a limb for an amputee by mirroring exactly the opposed limb using new scanning techniques while using cultivated cells from the patient then printing the diverse layers of flesh, bone, veins, fat and nerves that will then be attached by a skilled micro-surgeon.

    It will take some time but this industry is far more profound than creating that figurine you created or that crude home.  

    I for one can't wait to get my first 3D printer.

      • Larry

      • The Fifth Circle

      NYT Pick

      Good point.  I'd like to see a printer that could print in 'wood' or some similar material.  I can't imagine that a cellulose-based material could not be created with a printer.  

    • D MD

    • Reno

    Nick, why do you give us an email address that does not work? Is it the illusion that you want feedback without wanting it?
    Also, there is a working flying car, robotic housecleaner and working jet pack. You may be more believable is you did not try to be cute about technologies that I am not sure your know much about. Tesla?

    • Michael

    • New York, NY

    Yes. More and more people with fewer and fewer jobs to be had; industrial automation will see to that, and the inevitable outcome is that the entire concept of what it means to work for a living- to work for money- will have to be rethought. There simply will not be enough work to go around, and people will go hungry unless a new model of resource distribution is developed. I think a corporate tax placed upon industrial robotics, 3D printing, or automation that displaces workers should be enacted with a base rate calculated not upon the productivity of the machine or process but upon the number of workers displaced, the funds to go to needs-based programs. Forget about retraining for new fields; there won't be enough positions for vast numbers of people, yet everyone has to be fed and housed somehow, or we will have resource wars in the future- it's the decision we will have to confront as a nation.

    • Mike

    • Chicago

    Plastics are made of petroleum.  So are most chemicals..  our chemical industry is primarily a petrochemical industry.  

    If the future is printing plastic things, we should probably try to conserve petroleum a little better.  

    Oil may be too valuable to burn.  There are a lot of things we can use to generate energy, but we don't have any good alternative sources for plastics and chemicals.  

      • jb

      • Portland, OR

      Actually, most plastic is made from natural gas. Petroleum informally suggests crude oil, at least to me, but it seems to surprise people that natural gas is used as a feedstock.

      I don't disagree that one day we may regret burning something so useful, but i suspect that even when oil is too expensive to burn, there will be plenty of ways to make plastic cheaply.

      • Jeff in the Slope

      • New York, NY

      Increasingly, the plastic used in consumer 3D printers is PLA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid) It is a renewable plastic made from corn starch (in the United States), tapioca roots, chips or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in the rest of the world). Many of the latest 3D printers, like the MakerBot Replicator 2 and the Ultimaker, are optimized for PLA, and ship with a spool of PLA by default.

      • Bri

      • NY

      Actually, a good portion of the 3D printing crowd are using PLA, which is made from corn. Of course, I'm sure petroleum products were used in the production of that corn, but at least we have an opportunity to make it completely renewable.

    • Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    • Austria-este

    One of my friends uses a 3D scanner to scan parts from heavy equipment, then the computer breaks the scans down into parts that can be easily cut with a plasma cutter driven pattern cutter. Then then they are welded together and supplied to the end user. This cuts down delivery times for some spare parts, which means less down time for very expensive equipment. He has all the business in the logging industry, where innovation can mean the difference between staying in business and going bankrupt, that he can handle.

    This is where I see 3D printers going. Eventually, CAD designed custom equipment will be able to be duplicated without having to go through the scan/pattern cutter process. I know it will be a long time before 3D printers will be able to deal with metal, but the future is there.

    Individual business spend big bucks designing custom parts. A CAD design file with a 3D printer will ensure they have the same part, identical to the original, whenever they want it. With minimal down time.

    This is where the future of 3D printing is...

    Oh, and I want it to be able to make me a Teriyaki Burrito like the ones sold by a little street stand in LA...

    • Mort A. Della

    • NYC

    P.S. The goal of a 3-D printer that replicates itself is already being realized, after a fashion, by the members of www.reprap.org .

    • Mort A. Della

    • NYC

    We'll know 3-D Printing has really arrived when a 3-D printer is able to print a working 3-D printer.

    • Eugene Gorrin

    • Union, NJ

    From "The Graduate" -

    Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
    Benjamin: Yes, sir.
    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
    Benjamin: Yes, I am.
    Mr. McGuire: Plastics

    If the 1967 movie were to be remade today, the one (ok, maybe
    more than one) word would be "3-D Printing."

    • Mort A. Della

    • NYC

    We'll know this technology has really arrived when 3-D printers are nimble enough to print working 3-D printers.

      • Karen

      • Chicago

      I'm future-seeing entire shipping and packaging channels being decimated by 3D printers!

      • K-dub

      • Greenwich, CT

      I shudder to think of the implications of 3D Printing on blue-collared jobs around the world.

      • Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:16 a.m.

      • JL65

      • NY

      How long before a 3D printer can replicate itself?

      • Shark

      • New York, NY

      Maybe, just maybe, a large company like Ikea, can show you the catalog, and when you order something, they make it for you, at the color specified, etc, the same day and ship overnight.

      Or say a hardwares store, you show up with a something you need replaced, a 5/17" bolt, or a 1/3" nut, and instead of having to look for it in storage or even keeping that many variables in storage even, you scan it and 'print' a copy.

      Only thing needed would be a very very high quality duplicator (or '3Plicator'?), very high quality materials and trained personnel.

      Would put the dream or instant supply and demand within reach.

      Having one at home would not be very practical. You would need the machine, plus various materials, of various colors, in various degrees of hardness, and of course the software to produce that one product you're looking for.

      More real for companies than individuals. But the use of this technology is there.

      • Jeff G

      • Summit, NJ

      As the NYT reported in an earlier article, many people are already using plans that are readily available over the internet to make high capacity magazines and the most critical part of AR15's. As more homes have 3-D printers repressive laws like magazine and "assault weapons" bans will become unenforceable.

      • haasjoel

      • Raleigh, NC

      The Chinese see potential buying 3D printing facilities in the US.  Chinese designs, for, say, cell phone covers, can be emailed to a Chinese owned 3D printer in the US, the objects printed and delivered here.  No import/export tariffs; lower shipping costs and faster delivery.  Granulated further; a file sent to a 3D printer in Chicago to produce several thousand objects there, and one file emailed to a 3D printer in Podunk, USA to print three copies of the same thing there.
      Unmentioned in the article, is the ability to take several photos with a cell phone camera, create a passable 3D model from that and have it printed in 3D.  Any new design at a trade show is now even more vulnerable to copyright violation at blinding speed.
      Ultra fine 3D scanners costing about $100K  are used in everything from archaeology to crime scenes.  A dig can be scanned, covered back up for a season, and the scan printed out or simply examined literally grain of sand by grain of sand on  a high res monitor screen.  Size is no object if the intent is to look at it on a computer, and 3 D printing isn't either, since the printers simply print out enough pieces to cover the entire area.
      Moreover, the printers can use VERY hard plastics, have color embedded in the plastics, and print the designs hollow, reducing weight, printing time, and adding structural strength.
      3D scans can create 3D carving-almost the same as printing-an object is produced.

        • Larry

        • The Fifth Circle

        NYT Pick

        That makes little sense.  Most designs originate here and are made cheaply in China.  Industrial 'printing' would bring back some manufacturing to the USA.  

      • Bud

      • Montgomery, Alabama

      One can only hope government wonks will allow the market to figure out which efforts deserve funding and which ones are merely fanciful (or owned by political buddies in line for payoffs).

      • Peter J

      • Boston, MA

      The hype around consumer-owned 3D printing is both amusing and impressive... The reality is that in the affordable form, 3D printers simply lay down melted plastic.  Great for small uniform parts that can be used if made only from plastic  The hype is about consumers making their own complex products, including one-off electronics.  Not happening any time soon.
      We own a medium sized 3D machine.  It has revolutionized our design process, letting us prototype design revs in a time frame impossible 10 years ago... We have even made final products from 3D printed ABS that have been used on working sea-going vessels... but that is not making my own cell phone or robot at home.
      Yes, there are processes that product metal parts, but they use very powerful lasers that can sinter metal powder... and those are never going to be $1000 machines.  Mass production will always make sense for mass produced items. 3D printing has amazing promise for affordable replacement parts (no need to manufacturer and warehouse for years small bits), but for complete, complex items, 3D printing is flying car hype.  The actual amazing application of 3D printing will be in printing replacement human parts, but that will still not ever be done "at home."

      • Stephen Beard

      • Troy, OH

      It's clear that 3-D printers are a disruptive technology and may well provide an unexpected path forward for manufacturing, but it is another nail in the coffin holding the corpse of manufacturing workers.  

      • Burt Sharpe

      • Lebanon, IL

      So when will 3-D printers be able to produce all the parts you need to build.....3-D printers?

      • Mort A. Della

      • NYC

      The ability to print with multiple materials at once is absolutely key to the long-term success of 3-D printing. We'll know this technology has really arrived when a 3-D printer can print a working 3-D printer.

      • dave lyons

      • calif

      "Disruptions: With a 3-D Printer, Building a Gun With the Push of a Button"

      This was a previous column. This is likely to be the kind of thing that people will be doing with 3-d printers. In the 50's, my parents worked at a plastics factory and the kind of stuff they brought home is the stuff I expect will come out of these "printers"  cigarette cases, cases for flints for your cigarette lighter, buttons (maybe) and probably a lot of gewgaws that will be the dust catchers of the 21 century. It's hard to beat commercially moulded products--even model airplanes go through quite a process before getting to a box.
       Somehow, I can't help thinking the president is grasping at straws when he mentioned this. sure every classroom could have one--say 50 thousand classrooms times 1000$ and then two or three more. Kids would turn out what? They would need  3-_D software and learn to do engineering drawings all the while neglecting the things that they need to learn to be useful to themselves and the nation in 10 or so years. Please, this is not something that we need to push at just this time.
       This is not to say that 3-d printers will not be useful some day, but this is really looking in the wrong direction. It will a long time before 3_d printing will beat injection moulding.

    • Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.

    • Recommended1

      • RDB aka Wombat

      • NYC

      When a 3d printer can make a 3d printer, then we will have something.

        • Bri

        • NY

        They have been doing that for years, or was this comment sarcasm?

      • Adam

      • Paradise Lost

      The Revolution will arrive with one $1000 3D printer building the components of a $100 3D printer with vastly greater performance.

      Where will China be then?

      • Andrew

      • Chicago

      Based on my own, albeit limited experience, the 3d printing revolution is being way overhyped. I'm a scientist that needs to work with technicians and engineers to make many "one off" parts for the instruments I design. I have access to a high end 3d printer and have experimented with making stuff. The quality of the parts I can make is low. The materials perform terribly compared to standard engineering plastics that are shaped with conventional machine tools (nylon, delrin, or even polyethylene). I tried to get some quotes on 3d printing with metal and found that it is cheaper to make the parts with conventional machining and it certainly looks like the results are better from the ugly pictures of 3d metal parts I've seen.   The printing speed is so slow that it is often faster and cheaper to make parts using a conventional process, even for plastic. So I am wondering if 3d printing is just hype.  I would be interested to see some comments here from people who use these machines for functional parts. I understand there is a niche for toys, cool looking art projects, doorknobs, etc.

        • Jeff in the Slope

        • New York, NY

        Though it's not shipping until May, and it costs a bit more ($3,299) you may want to take a look at the Form 1 from Formlabs (http://formlabs.com/). It uses stereolithography to print in acrylate photopolymer resin at 300 micron feature sizes in 25 micron layers. I saw one of these in action at Makerfair in September.

        Full disclosure, I don't have one of these. I have an Ultimaker that prints in PLA. I plan on adding ceramic extrusion soon.

      • AZUKBrit

      • AZ

      It may be a few years before 3-D printers will produce the streams of multi ton lorries that Detroit, and others, churn out daily. But I must seriously question those who believe 3-D printers are merely for creating "toy"parts, or various "replacement" parts.

      The 3-D printer is still in its infancy so many improvements/enhancements will emerge and prices are already declining.So 3-D printing is not just for making fun stuff; many organizations are using it to test new designs, develop prototypes, produce more intricate and/or efficient components, reduce costs, etc.

      The more challenging question facing 3-D printing is what materials can one use with it; much attention having been focussed on the shortcomings of plastic based inks.

      However, as 3-D printing opens new vistas, organizations will create "pseudo" 3-D printing inks that incorporate, for example, various nano-particles. One will then be able to print items that are stronger and more durable, and have analogous properties to items produced the "old fashioned" way.

      • danarlington

      • mass

      "Toy" parts are one thing, "real" parts are another thing completely. "Real" parts meet specifications for density, hardness, strength, durability, and surface finish. Right now, 3D parts come up short on all of these. Better surface finish can be achieved with finer layers and longer printing time but the other specifications require different materials.  High durability and high accuracy plastic parts like LEGOs require high pressure and temperature plus precision molds. A belt buckle that can withstand the force of an expanding belly requires similar production processes. My guess is that chair pads made by a 3D machine will crush or crumble fairly soon if not immediately after someone sits on the chair. Let me know if I am wrong. (There are professional 3D parts methods where additional processes are used to improve the density and strength of the parts but these require high vacuum, high temperature, or other processes not accessible to home users.)

      Trying out an idea where shape is the prime unknown is a perfect use for 3D printing. Beyond that, the applications are less promising. I know of companies that use 3D printed parts for engineering prototypes. They stick, leak, and snap under ordinary operating conditions, which creates roadblocks to understanding if the prototype really works or not. Top management, on the other hand, is convinced that design is over and production should begin.

        • LairBob

        • Ann Arbor, MI

        All good points, but most of the materials that were available at the beginning of the industrial revolution, like wood and early steel, would never hold up to the applications that modern materials do, today.

        I'd wager that most of the revolution in materials science we saw in the 20th century -- like plastics, but _especially_ ceramics -- was a response to the fact that we could technically _make_ many items, but they wouldn't stand up under real-world demands. In the long run, I don't see how this is any different. I think you're right, but this technology is potentially so valuable that I think it's more likely to lead to new categories of materials, than it is to fizzle out.

        • Tom in San Jose

        • San Jose, CA

        NYT Pick

        I think you're missing the point.  You can use the 3-D printer to create a highly accurate "positive" of the item you are trying to manufacture and then use that "positive" to make a mold which is used to cast the hard metal needed.

      • jimmyc

      • MA

      On a lighter note, I can't help but think about the 60's sci-fi shows that predicted this technology.  Be it the Lost in Space robot's ability to make spare parts or the many versions of Star Trek "replicator" technology.  Here's to the science fiction writers planting the seeds of creativity into the minds of future engineers.

      • cf

      • nyc

      I'm also writing this as a Makerbot 3D printer hums away on my desk. In a home setting, I really do use my machine to make random replacement knobs/brackets/etc. for the old house I'm living in, and it's pretty convenient. The real 'value' with 3D printing, as an engineer at least, is not with production but with design. It just makes it incredibly easy to design and prototype things (and above all, to iterate quickly!), reducing the chances of making a much more expensive mistake involving (expensive) volume production. 3D printers are probably *more* labor intensive than a lot of mass-production methods, they just allow for customization that is orders of magnitude cheaper than something like injection molding.

      I think 3D printing is far more likely to create lots of tiny new niche industries by lowering the design barrier-to-entry than it is to replace huge numbers of workers.

      • Bobk

      • Vandalia. Il

      Another indication that a future is approaching where jobs are even more scarce and machines provide most goods and services.  Using our current system  of  individuals amassing as much wealth as possible will lead to even more wealth disparity.  There is a need to think about a different way to share  the benefits of this technology.

      • Larry Bole

      • Boston

      I'm already convinced that 3-D printing will have consumer viability. It will certainly change some aspects of the current manufacturing 'landscape'.

      The robots are coming: from small, automated vacuum cleaners, to robotic arms, etc. It's just going to take a little longer to produce a cost-effective, working humanoid robot than some people had hoped it would take.

      The problem with jet packs is that commuters prefer enclosed environments with amenities that modern automobiles provide, for instance. And that is understandable. There may be a viable consumer niche for jet pack use, but I don't think it will become a norm for daily commuting as it was once envisioned to be.

        • BDoll

        • Colorado

        When the robots come, "undocumented workers," as the robots will do work that even illegals won't do?

        • LairBob

        • Ann Arbor, MI

        That...and they also prefer not using a mode of travel where almost any mechanical failure means certain death. Oh, and not getting the backs of their legs burned off.

        (Not to be flip, but jetpacks always seemed a very practically misguided thing for everyone to "want" in a utopian future. I'm sure that some people feel that what they really want is a level of technology so sophisticated it also solves those challenges, but I don't think most people are thinking that way.)

      • Jeff in the Slope

      • New York, NY

      I read this article as my Ultimaker 3D printer hummed in the background producing a belt clip for my son's Motorola TalkAbout walkie-talkie. I downloaded the clip design from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10794 and printed it in PLA bioplastic. When I mention to friends that I have this printer (built from a kit, BTW) everyone has ideas for things they want printed.

      Jim, the plastic is sold in spools of filament at about $20 to $30 per pound, depending on plastic type, color, etc. You can make a lot of stuff with a pound of plastic, and the price is bound to come down as it becomes a mainstream product. The PLA plastic is made from corn starch, and it is biodegradable.

      Sanjay has a point about materials. Right now, two or more material heads in a consumer grade printer is only just emerging, but it is quite similar to the trajectory that consumer computer printers took, from black ink only, to full color inkjets. One can easily imagine adding additional material feeds for conductive material or variations in stiffness.

      Hal should check out web sites like thingiverse.com to see if anyone has replicated the design for the part he needs. Then even if he doesn't have his own 3D printer, he can send the design file to a web site like shapeways.com and have them print it and FedEx it to him.

      • Jim ONeill

      • Hillsboro, Ill.

      I have read several articles about 3d printing and am intrigued by the potential. One thing i have not seen is material costs, energy costs, etc--seems to me the real profit will be in supplying the raw materials and developers who write programs for the hardware.

      • Sanjay

      • Toronto

      The technology is constrained by the limited selection of materials to work with. Consumer-level printers are only just now gaining the ability to print in 2 or 3 different materials, and even then it's actually just the same material in 2 or 3 different colors. These machines need to become more heterogenous in the materials they will print in, so that you can make an object composed of more than one material.

      • HAL CHENEY


      We have two old Herman Miller Eames chairs that need new pads for their feet. We have two samples of the ones we need. We have shopped about and online for replacements without success.
      I expect that around the country there are uncounted -- countless -- people who need "little" replacement parts for some old piece of equipment or furniture such as this.
      Maybe there are enough people here, in Martinsville, Illinois (pop about 1,300) to support a Mom/Pop business with a 3-D printer who could provide a replacement service for such small-town needs.
      I look forward to something like this within the next few years.

        • BAM08873

        • AZ

        NYT Pick

        Yes, agreed.  I think about all those times when a a small appliance part breaks and I have to search online for a replacement part.  I usually end up paying more for shipping, handling and sales tax than for the part itself.  Often, I have to wait a week or more for the part to finally arrive.  A 3-D printer would be a wonderful solution.

        • Tetraoxygen

        • Dormitory

        I'm part of a group of students, reasonably close to your location, and soon we will print with ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene; legos, car bumpers). We could probably do it for the cost of material.

        How big are these pads?

        • Bri

        • NY

        While trying to build my 3D printer I contacted a guy on ebay to see if he would print up some parts for me. Was very helpful and the cost was reasonable. Whether its ebay or the reprap community, you should be able to find someone.



























      我们首要的任务是要让美国成为吸引新就业岗位和制造业的地方。在长达10年的制造业工作岗位的流失态势下,我们在过去3年创造了50万个就业岗位。 开拓重工公司开始把岗位从日本带回。福特汽车公司开始把岗位从墨西哥带回。今年,苹果公司也将重新在美国生产苹果电脑。(掌声)

        现在有我们可以做的事情。这些事情可以加速这一潮流。去年,我们在俄亥俄州的杨斯敦创造了第一个制造业革新中心。一个曾经的百叶窗式库房变成了 一个艺术实验室。在那里,新工人在学习立体打印技术。这种技术可以革新我们制作几乎任何东西的方法。没有理由这个在其他城镇不能发生。

        所以今晚,我宣布三个新的制造业中心开始建造。在这些地方,商业将和国防部以及能源部合作,把被全球化淘汰的区域转变成全球可以提供高科技工作 岗位的中心。现在我向这届国会提议,帮助创建包括15个这样中心的网络,并且确保,下一次建造业革命就在美国发生。我们可以做到。(掌声)

        现在,如果我们想制造出最好的产品,我们还要在最好的想法上进行投资。每一个我们用于测出人类基因图谱的美元都给我们经济带来了140美元的收 入——每一个美元。今天,我们的科学家为解决老年痴呆症正在测出人类大脑的图谱。他们正在研制可以让我们器官再生的药品,发明可以让电池储电量比之前强 10倍的新材料。现在不是损毁科技革新领域可创造就业方面的投资的时候。现在是在一个让研发达到一个自从太空竞赛以来从未见过之高度的时候。我们需要进行 这些投资。(掌声)

        今天,没有比我们在美国能源更需要我们投资的领域。在讨论了数年之后,我们终于准备控制我们自己的能源未来。我们在美国本土生产了比过去15年 综合还多的石油。(掌声)我们汽车用的1加仑天然气量可以让我们跑得比过去的两倍还多。我们通过风力发电和太阳能发电生产出来的新能源——创造了数以万计 的优质美国就业岗位。我们生产出了比以往任何时候都多的天然气——几乎所有人的能源账单都因此减少了。过去的4年,威胁我们星球的危险的碳排放量依然减 少。

        但是对于我们孩子们以及我们更远的未来而言,我们必须在防治全球变暖方面做得更多。(掌声)现在,真实情况是,没有一个孤立的事件可以成为一个 潮流。但事实上,12个最热的有纪录的年份恰是在过去15年中。热浪、干旱、野火、洪水——比以往更加频繁和剧烈。我们可以选择相信,桑迪飓风、几十年来 最严重的干旱,以及最具有毁坏性的野火的同时发生不过是个怪异的巧合。我们也可以相信科学的绝对公平——并且现在就开始行动,为时未晚。(掌声)

        现在,好消息是我们可以在这个问题上做一些有意义的进程,而且不阻碍经济强势的增长势头。我期望这届国会可以协商一致,达成一个两党都同意的、 以市场为基础的解决全球变暖的方案,就像约翰-麦凯恩和乔-利伯曼几年前的那样。但如果国会不及时行动以保护子孙后代,我也将会采取行动。(掌声)我将让 我的内阁讨论一些我们可以采取的行政措施,现在的和未来的,减少污染,给我们的社区提供面对气候变化后果的方案,加速可持续能源的转变。

        4年前,其他国家控制了清洁能源市场以及由此带来的就业岗位。现在我们正开始改变这种状况。去年,风力能源给美国带来了近一半的所有新能源储 备。因此我们就来造就更多的这种能源。太阳能开始变得更便宜——我们来把费用降得更低吧。只要像中国这样的国家继续在清洁能源方面迈步,我们也必须迈步。

        同时,天然气的迅速发展开始让我们更加习惯清洁能源,并且让我们的能源依赖更加独立。我们需要鼓励这么做。这就是为什么我的这届政府会继续削减 繁文缛节,加速新的石油和天然气许可。(掌声)这一定要成为上述全部方案的一部分。但我也希望和这届国会一道,鼓励那些可以帮助天然气更加清洁、更加保护 我们空气和水资源的科研项目。

        事实上,我们多数新发现的能源是从我们共同生存且共同拥有的土地和水中提取的。因此今天晚上,我提议我们用我们的一些石油和天然气收入,成立一 个能源安全基金会,用以发展新科研,以让我们的汽车和卡车以后不再用石油。如果一个无党派的首席执行官团体和退休的将军们可以支持这一想法,那么我们也可 以支持。让我们听取他们的建议,让我们的家庭和商业从油价的持续痛苦中解放出来。


        美国的能源领域不过是我国继续改革的日益落伍的基础设施中的一部分。向任何首席执行官提问,他们想落户哪里或者在哪里招募人员——是选择一个公 路和桥梁日益恶化的国家,还是选择一个具有高铁和互联网、拥有高科技学校和自给自足电网的国家。美国西门子公司——一个给北卡罗来纳州数百份新工作的公司 ——它的首席执行官说,如果我们提升我们的基础设施建设,他们将会创造更多的就业岗位。那才是全世界很多工资的态度。而且我知道你们想在你们的小区看到这 些创造就业岗位的工程。我可是看见了全部的那些剪彩仪式哦。(笑声)

        所以今天晚上,我提议一个“先修补”的项目,让人们去那些最需要修补的地方工作,比如那些7万个已经损失构造的桥梁。(掌声)而且要确保纳税人 不能承担所有的重担。我还提议设立一个“重建美国伙伴”,以吸引私人投资,用以提升我们商业机构最需要的东西: 搬运我们货物的现代港口、经受得住风暴的 现代管道,以及让我们孩子感觉物有所值的现代学校。(掌声)让我们证明世界上没有哪个地方比在美国做生意更好。让我们现在就开始。我们可以完成。



        就在现在,在国会有个议案将会提供给美国每一个负责任的房产所有者一个机会,通过再次筹钱,给每个家庭节约每年3000美元的资金。民主党员们 和共和党员们以前支持过,那么为什么现在我们在等待呢?投票,然后递给我让我签署生效。(掌声)我们为什么会反对呢?(掌声)为什么那会是一个党派的问 题,以帮助民众再次筹钱?现在,一些重叠的法规让负责任的家庭不能购买他们的首套房子。让我们不这样做的理由是什么?让我们把流程变得简单化,帮助我们的 经济增长。


        这必须在最早的阶段实施。一次又一次的科学研究证实,一个孩子越早接受教育,他或者她就越平稳上路。但是现在,只有不到30%的4岁孩子可以享 受高质量的学前教育。大多数中产阶级父母不能支付私立学前教育每周上百美元的学费。而对那些最需要帮助的穷孩子来说,这种缺失学前教育的状况可以影响到他 们日后的生活。因而今晚,我提及和各州一道,让美国的每一个孩子都能享受到高质量的学前教育。(掌声)那是一些我们应该能够做到的事情。

        我们在高质量学前教育领域投入的每1美元,可以为我们节省以后在提升毕业率、降低未成年人怀孕率,甚至削减犯罪率的地方将会用到的7美元。在那 些以教育最小的儿童为优先任务的州,比如佐治亚州或者亚拉巴马州,研究报告称学生长大后会更加有能力阅读和做数学、从高中毕业、找到工作、建立他们自己更 稳定的家庭。我们知道这如何运转。因而让我们开始这么做,以确保我们,当我们已经在生命的领域落后的时候,没有一个孩子不开始起跑。让我们给我们的孩子提 供那样的机会。(掌声)

       让我们确保高中学历可以让我们的孩子走上一条拥有好工作的道路。现在,像德国这样的国家开始在和高中生等同的我们的一个高中生的技术学位上做投 入。所以那些德国孩子们,他们在高中毕业就准备好了可以工作。他们训练成为可以干那些工作的人。现在,就像那些在纽约布鲁克林区的“通往早期技术的大学高 中学校”一样,在一个纽约公立学校和城市大学以及IBM公司的一种新的合作办学模式下,学生毕业后,不仅能拿到高中学历,而且还能拿到在电脑或者工程学领 域的专科毕业证书。


        四年前,我们开始了通往巅峰之竞赛——一种让每个州都确信可以发展智能课程表和高标准的竞赛,这大约花费我们每年用于教育领域投入的1%。今 晚,我宣布一个新的挑战,用以重新设计美国的高中,让他们能更好地提供给毕业生一种满足高科技经济需求的机会。我们将奖励和新大学及新雇主建立伙伴关系的 高中——这些技能是当今和未来的雇主正在寻找的。



        因此今晚,我向国会提议,修改高等教育法案。这样,哪些大学的可支付学费以及它们各自的价值就能被包含在联邦资助中。(掌声)明天我的政府班子 将会发布一个新的“大学记分卡”,这样家长和学生就能拿它用简单的标准来比较学校了。而这简单标准是——在哪个学校你用学费可以得到最多的快乐。









































        我们是来为美国同胞寻求解决办法的,正如他们日复一日、默默无闻地相互为同胞寻找着解决办法。 我们应该以他们为榜样。









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