Sunday, October 27, 2013

3D Printing Book Report

I was asked by TechPoint to present a brief 'book report' on 3D printing 10/17 at their Tech Thursday event for October.  It was a lot of fun and the audience was really engaged.  I gave a similar presentation to the Indianapolis Public Library 10/24.  The goal for both is to tell the big story about how 3D printing is changing manufacturing and represents an opportunity for 'clever kids' to stake out a career with new skills that will span generations.  I call it: ST3M: Science, Technology, 3D Printing and Math!

From the TechPoint blog (which makes me sound really smart :)
  • You can turn your dreams into parts now, which is really cool. It comes with some caveats; these new tools have new rules.

  • What used to be an assembly of many different parts is now a single 3D part. The quality control and inventory implications alone are enough to justify this technology. You don't have to make as many different parts, you don't have to measure them, you don't have to keep them in stock, you don't have to assemble them and measure them again, and you don't have QC guys floating around. So there are a lot of positive impacts aside from the geometry of 3D printing.

  • 3D printing is not just for rapid prototyping anymore, we're making parts that are being used in actual products.

  • Autocad is so 90s. That way of thinking doesn't work anymore and we have to be able to represent objects that have depth in order to stay competitive and innovative.

  • 3D printing is a "scratch your own itch" medium. You can now make just one of something instead of needing all of the infrastructure that it used to take just to make one.

  • Subtractive manufacturing vs. additive manufacturing: In the old way, we used to whittle away material. Today, we can give you any shape you want and you are only paying for the actual molecules of the part and no waste.

  • Everybody should stop what they are doing and go download free software like Sketchup or 123D or similar tools.  They are easy ways to learn and draw in 3D.