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Guest Post: The Next Industrial Revolution

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics

The Next Industrial Revolution

Large, centrally-directed systems are inherently fragile. Think of the human body; a spontaneous, unexpected blow to the head can kill an otherwise healthy creature; all the healthy cells and tissue in the legs, arms, torso and so forth killed through dependency on the brain’s functionality. Interdependent systems are only ever as strong as their weakest critical link, and very often a critical link can fail through nothing more than bad luck.

Yet the human body does not exist in isolation. Humans as a species are a decentralised network. Each individual may be in himself or herself a fragile, interdependent system, but the wider network of humanity is a robust independent system. One group of humans may die in an avalanche or drown at sea, but their death does not affect the survival of the wider population. The human genome has survived plagues, volcanoes, hurricanes, asteroid impacts and so on through its decentralisation.

In economics, such principles are also applicable. Modern, high-technology civilisation is very centralised and homogenised. Prices and availability are affected by events half way around the world; a war in the middle east, the closure of the Suez Canal or Strait of Hormuz, an earthquake in China, flooding in Thailand, or a tidal wave in Indonesia all have ramifications to global markets, simply because of the interconnectedness of globalisation. The computer I am typing this into is a complex mixture — the cumulative culmination of millions of hours of work, as well as resources and manufacturing processes across the globe. It incorporates tellurium, indium, cobalt, gallium, and manganese mined in Africa. Neodymium mined in China. Plastics forged out of Saudi Crude. Bauxite mined in Brazil. Memory manufactured in Korea, semiconductors forged in Germany, glass made in the United States. And gallons and gallons of oil to ship all the resources and components around the world, ’til they are finally assembled in China, and shipped once again around the world to the consumer. And that manufacturing process stands upon the shoulders of centuries of scientific research, and years of product development, testing, and marketing. It is a huge mesh of interdependent processes. And the disruption of any one of these processes can mean disruption for the system as a whole. The fragility of interconnection is the great hidden danger underlying our modern economic and technological paradigms.

And even if the risks of global trade disruptions do not materialise in the near-term, as the finite supply of oil dwindles in coming years, the costs of constantly shipping so much around and around the world may prove unsustainable.

It is my view that the reality of costlier oil is set over the coming years to spur a new industrial revolution — a very welcome side-effect of which will be increased social and industrial decentralisation. Looming on the horizon are technologies which can decentralise the means of production and the means of energy generation.

3D printers — machines that can assemble molecules into larger pre-designed objects are pioneering a whole new way of making things. This could well rewrite the rules of manufacturing in much the same way as the rise of personal computing discombobulated the traditional world of computing.

3D printers have existed in large-scale industry for years. But at a cost of $100,000 to $1m, few individuals could ever afford one. Fortunately, improved technology and lowered costs are making such machines more viable for home use. Industrial 3D printers now cost from just $15,000, and home versions for little more than $1,000. Obviously, there are still significant hurdles. 3D printing is still a relatively crude technology, so far incapable of producing complex finished goods. And molecular assembly still requires resources to run on — at least until the technology of molecular disassembly becomes viable, allowing for 3D printers to run on, for example, waste. But the potential for more and more individuals to gain the capacity to manufacture at home — thereby reducing dependency on oil and the global trade grid — is a huge incentive to further development. The next Apple or Microsoft could well be the company that develops and brings home-based 3D printing to the wider marketplace by making it simple and accessible and cheap.

Decentralised manufacturing goes hand-in-hand with decentralised energy generation, because manufacturing requires energy input. Microgrids are localised groupings of energy generation that can vary from city-size to individual-size. The latter is gradually becoming more and more economically viable as the costs of solar panels, wind turbines (etc) for energy generation, and lithium and graphene batteries (etc) for home energy storage fall, and efficiencies rise. Although generally connected to a larger national electricity grid, the connection can be disconnected, and a microgrid can function autonomously if the national grid were to fail (for example) as a result of natural disaster or war.

Having access to a robust and independent energy supply and home-manufacturing facilities would be very empowering for individuals and local communities and allow a higher degree of independence from governments and corporations. Home-based microgrids can allow the autonomous and decentralised powering and recharging of not just home appliances like cooking equipment, computers, 3D printers, lights, and food growing equipment, but also electric vehicles and mobile communications equipment. Home-based 3D printing can allow for autonomous and decentralised design and manufacturing of useful tools and equipment.

The choice that we face as individuals and organisations is whether or not we choose to continue to live with the costs and risks of the modern globalised mode of production, or whether we decide to invest in insulating ourselves from some of the dangers. The more individuals and organisations that invest in these technologies that allow us to create robust decentralised energy generation and production systems, the more costs should fall.

Decentralisation has allowed our species to survive and flourish through millions of years of turbulent and unpredictable history. I believe that decentralisation can allow our young civilisation to survive and flourish in the same manner.


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Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:28 | 2821853 Colombian Gringo
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Visualize a world without banksters, this is what 3D printers can offer, an opportunity to disintermediate the criminal usuerer class. No need for corrupt finance, extortionate credit rates, fraudulent fiat currencies. Self sufficiency, baby. Imagine a world with ever having to look again at the ugly smug faces of the money junkies.. Yeah, bring it on.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:35 | 2821865 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Self Sufficiency"?!?!   LMAFO!!!  As someone already posted below, does it print food? -  FAIL.


Of course if it printed fiat that would be great, but unfortunately illegal unless you are a central banker.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:40 | 2821876 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

3D printing may spell the beginning of the end for gun control

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:17 | 2821936 redpill
redpill's picture

3D printing decentralizes the manufacturing portion of the process, but all the raw materials steps remain, it points to increased regulation and taxation on processed commodities.  You're not going to make a handgun out of a half-eaten turkey sandwich.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:24 | 2821952 EnglishMajor
EnglishMajor's picture

Solyent Green is people! It's dead people!!!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:48 | 2822012 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

I'd like to place an order please....May I have one Marilyn Monroe please?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:45 | 2822169 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture


Makes it sound like we'll have 3D printers printing cars in our garage before too long. Just more high-tech bull poop. 

"In 50 years, this technology will be perfected to be able to be released to the public"

We'll be sticking and stoning long before we'll be printing Lambo's in the garage.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:04 | 2822228 CPL
CPL's picture

3d Printers only run as long as the oil does.


It's strange how people keep forgetting that.  3d printers are a really cool toy though.  Instructables now has a section on how to build practically anything with them.  Some guy posted a design for a laser lathe, 3d printable, lots of assembly and tuning required.


Now for those interested in buying one.  To make a tiny lathe about the size of a shoe box it cost me around 1400 Canadian.  1200 of that was the very expensive plastic pellets because they come in dffierent grades of hardness and quality.  The plastic item though will lose cohesion after three years if not sotred properly.  The corn used to make the plastic mix is bio-degradable, so that is the built in flaw.  You can buy a bag of cheap pellts for a hundred bucks to practice with.  Make wrenches, hammer, nails, what not.  But hammers will break, I've found, after about two hours of heavy use.  Wrenches will split and get ground to dust (attempt to change the oil plug on the car during an oil change).  Nothing beats steel or iron.  So consider purchasing real materials.


Again, it is a cool toy but a very expensive hobby and I would suggest learning a skill like carpentry of metal work before even touching it.  Mistakes are costly.  Measure twice cut once should be underlined to anyone buying one.  Even the free instruction sets floating around out there are suspect, so be aware that "free" retains the same weight as it does with anything else on the web. uses a fuck tonne of electricity.  About the same as an electric furance running for the same duration.  Be aware to install three phase power outlets if you are buying a USEFUL model.  Anything desktop is useless for most plans to construct anything larger than a snow globe.  I bought the small/medium one and returned it about a day later.  To get one that is useful, budget for around 13 grand.


It's like Disneyland; have fun, bring money.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:43 | 2822478 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Which model did you grab CPL??  I used to do 3D modeling/animation waaaay back when that started with wireframes and long renderings so this rekindles that spirit

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:49 | 2822691 CPL
CPL's picture

For cast moulds I couldn't think of a better piece of equipment.  Competely compatible with CAD modeling.  There's an Open Source thing (I think about five minutes after they hit the market) for blender 3D and lightray.  I'm using an older version of AutoCAD LT ( I found in a discount bin ) running it under Wine with my own Ubuntu 10.04 customized build with Remastersys.


If wondering how you get your money back on these things for an expensive fuck around toy...


Comic Conventions.  Rent a space, show up with it and a running workstation with AutoCad LT and a conversion tool.  I suggest to avoid OSX and Windows on the workstation.  Too many USB transferable viruses.  I slapped linux mint 13 with Wine on an older modded workstation that I could consider disposable after the convention minus the hard drive which goes to the shredders.  

In about half an hour every one and their fellowship of nerd appears.  Everyone salivates, then break out cash along with USB sticks with stuff they need printed.  Tricorders, phasers, staff heads, pieces of phony armour, the list is endless.  ENDLESS as teh imagination of a fully grown adult with the imagination of a 14 year old Otaku and ...this is my favorite part... nearly endless cash reserves.  

Paid for in a day and about fifty pounds of pellets lighter and 4k richer.  Day two on conference, pure profit, word of mouth...line up time.  39k later.  Never do it again though.  LOL...the printer isn't "fast" so hurry up and wait and print orders and stay organised.  Get them to sign orders and pay upfront cash at the ComicCon.  Floor fees at a comicon are nothing to offer something different direct to market.  And what everyone loves.  Customized and nobody has one.  

I have to confess, if one thing that shines so bright is envy at comic conventions and I think I charged too little.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:30 | 2823006 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

it is way slow, so are you shipping people these items??  no way you print enough at the con to pay for it all

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 21:14 | 2823166 CPL
CPL's picture

FedEx is the way of it, shipments took about two weeks running it 24/7 on a batch job.  Bitcoin miners pay less attention to their systems than I did.  Couldn't take a shit wihout making sure if was rolling.

My price was determined by weight of material.  I charged by 100 gram units, mark up I'm sorry to say was embarrassingly high (cough!  in many thousands.).  Some of the stuff was heavy.  Armour chest pieces and some crazy looking Japanese steam punk staff heads with moving parts, sure it'll look cool once a little engine was put in it.  I figured I squeezed hard enough on the price I would throw in shipping and let FedEx hand me a final bill which was well under 2k.  I boxed it up and shipped it in the punch moulds or as a solid lump of well defined start trek plastic goodness.  No complaints, more requests which was followed by disappointment.  


As I mentioned.  Won't do it again.  But a pricey toy paid for itself.  Just not interested in making sure a bucket of plastic is full 24/7.  I would much rather build more interesting stuff.

Solar housing, odd sized screws for restoration project (standards prior to 1960 we're primarily guess work).  But cast a mould in an awkward joint setting and you can remanufacture the same screw the blacksmith cast 200 years ago.  My theory is they were all drunk judging by the threading done.  Like every tool I own, I find a use for it.  Screwdrivers are tooth picks.  Shears nail  


 So if any of you are planning buying one...again, if you can not use AutoCAD, program a little bit and have some physical skills like wood working...this is not the toy for you to learn how to.  Take sculpture/design or woodworking/Lathe and drafting first to understand process.  For construction models...AutoCAD.  There are tonnes of great youttube videos to teach on the subject I refer back to myself often enough.  To those without the bread to buy AutoCAD, I suggest Blender is about a million times better than AutoCAD.  But industries are built on ISO9K's and insurance.   Again, Blender tutorials are all over the place and the software is free, plus it has some fanatical followers that are so very talented and love making neat things.


Once the plastic is set, it is set.  If you mess up, you'll regret the lighter wallet.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 07:28 | 2823715 malikai
malikai's picture


Very shrewd, very smart. And go on and admit it. There were at least two decent looking gals at the con. Probably dressed like Leia.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 09:20 | 2823946 CPL
CPL's picture

Yup...lots of those.  But it's the Japanese get ups and the steam punk rigs some of the ladies wear.  Jesus, a sailor on shore leave would blush.  Something new in cons I've noticed.  Hot 40 year old MILFs in cosplay.  Makes a man weep just how stunning these women are.  After a certain age women can pay someone to put a +3 on their Charisma and boobs.  

It works for me.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:46 | 2822687 overbet
overbet's picture

Who makes the pellets?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:55 | 2822706 CPL
CPL's picture

ZPrinter, same guys that make the printer.  It was 23k for a metric tonne for mid grade pellets, but oil was 90 a barrel then.  Not sure of the costs now.  I haven't run out.  Other wise eBay to get cheap pellets to mess around with to figure out how it works.


There are a tonne of makers of the pellets on Alibaba, but there is a support contract with the equipment.  You don't just buy it.  You license it.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:05 | 2822238 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

$2000 and you are up and running:

STIdeas :: Printed Flashlight mounts -

"Did a couple of prints for customized flashlight mounts for our M4's and AR-15's.  Printing stuff that you just can't find in the store makes this machine irreplaceable."

STIdeas :: Makerbot Replicator - Part 1 -
STIdeas :: Makerbot Replicator - Part 2 -


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:33 | 2822323 CPL
CPL's picture

2k you won't be making anything but solid, tiny pieces of plastic.


Spend the 13k and you can print an AR-15 but the force of the ammo leaving the barrel will rip it to pieces.  You could in theory print a sniper rifle...but even then, I wouldn't trust plastic to contain the explosion that occurs with a bullet.  Be careful of the offering.  Plastic is an awesome and useful material...although I suppose the Glock is entirely plastic, but the barrel is something else in them.  Only weapon that can pass through any electronic security method except frisking and visual assesment.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:57 | 2822498 miro1a
miro1a's picture

Glock is not entirely plastic.  Only the lower receiver is.  Everything else including the slide and barrel are made out of steel.  It will not pass through a metal detector undetected.  This is a holywood myth.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:58 | 2822712 CPL
CPL's picture

...always took it as truth in it's construction.  Porcilan barrel.  Then again, bullets are metal, not like you would own one and offer people to hammer nails with it or something.  Might as well carry around two pound of jelly beans in a sock for the good an unloaded weapon offers.


Myth busted.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:12 | 2822637 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

This entire post is bunk. Was not even going to reply.

"Only weapon that can pass through any electronic security method except frisking and visual assessment."

Are you ok? Did you just arrive on Earth recently? Nevermind.
Pics of your 13k machine or it doesn't exist. It does not even have a name so far.


But besides all that...people can read my original post and links and learn something.
2K is for the machine (in this article) to make nice ABS plastic parts you CANT go out and buy easily.
Replacement parts or anything else. Like plastic AR-15 mags AND the springs on
You are only limited by your imagination.

PS - There have been guns with metal LINED plastic barrels out for years.
The tech exists for *everything* already.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:36 | 2822668 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

i did a little research and there are many different types.. one has to do their homework on what type of materials they really want to work with, etc


here is a good starting point:



Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:38 | 2822447 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Those look great. How much were your total imput costs in addition to the actual physical equipment?


In other words, would it be cost efficient for the individual? Probably not.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:59 | 2822713 CPL
CPL's picture

I explain how to pay for it above to cover costs and put some extra in your pocket.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 22:12 | 2823265 Karlus
Karlus's picture

You still use your bag phone or brick phone? Last I checked every 14 yr old girl at the mall is carrying around the equivalent of a 1985 supercomputer that tracks her friends w GPS, has a screen that displays millions of colors Retina style (monochrome vs 4 color pallet anyone)...etc etc. point is some things dont really change, like Chrysler making cruddy cars, other things do.

In b4 someone says, everything we have is from the 80s

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:29 | 2821965 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

depends on where you get the sandwich

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:21 | 2822083 Frastric
Frastric's picture

Nah that's matter editation, we are centuries away from transmuting one set of molecules into another.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:06 | 2822241 CPL
CPL's picture

We're barely identified quarks and leptons or understand what they are truely.  The only particle that can "teleport" in time and transmute itself.


usually have to detonate a nuke reaction to get one.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:35 | 2821975 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

You can buy a CNC mill today, for the same price or less and manufacture a "factory perfect" gun yourself.  Programming a CNC mill isn't any more complex than programming any other computer, but until someone develops an iIdiot app for that- it is beyond the reach for most, even the few with enough cash for the capital investment.

On a larger scale adoption it would eliminate the need for a whole bunch of manufactirung jobs, as well as sales clerks who sell easily reproducible goods.  However, it would require a huge army of bankers to come up with a new and improved ponzi to fainance widespread adoption.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:37 | 2822332 CPL
CPL's picture

CNC mills are a better option, cheaper and stuff lasts as long as the metal and it's use.  

For you folks with 50 calibre rifles.  There is a shortage of the recycled shells and brass isn't cheap anymore.  Another reason why nobody that tendered the bullet contracts for all the agencies is going to deliver anything but a "thanks for your time, we spent your money regardless".

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:45 | 2822481 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

I agree with you. You don't even have to buy CNC machines outright. They can be leased or you can buy with relatively low payments. Very little cost to the lender since the machine is the collateral. If you stop paying, they just take the machines back.


Don't have any 50 cal, but have a shitload of 308 LOL. Been stocking for years.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 21:35 | 2823216 Reptil
Reptil's picture

make one that can use hemp-material as building material and as fuel. problem solved.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 08:00 | 2823740 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:17 | 2822270 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Don't fire any gun incorporating a 3D printed barrel.   Seriously.  Not in this or any near future decade.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:53 | 2822499 TN Jed
TN Jed's picture

Don't need to.  It's the lowers of an AR which have serial numbers and background checks.  Print the lower, buy the upper with cash.  I'll watch you shoot if first though :)

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 15:23 | 2822561 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Nothing in the article said anything about printing a barrel.  Read it, then comment.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:22 | 2822649 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

Halleluiah. Finally some sanity.

So many dumb scenarios, ideas and talk in this topic.
I think some here have to go read up on guns for the first time. Then maybe go see one in real life.

It's simple...$2000 home plastic part making factory is here.
A few years ago it was IMPOSSIBLE.

Now you can bang out flashlight mounts, bike parts, cell phone casings, knife handles, repair parts etc.
At home. In your underwear.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 04:11 | 2823598 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Instead of bringing cheap useless plastic crap from China we can now build cheap useless plastic crap at home!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:39 | 2821877 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I work in the IC industry. There are reasons that they use the exotic materials they do, because they work. It is not they don't want to replace rare materials, it is because doing so reduces the quality or is not feasible. This author obviously knows nothing about technology.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:19 | 2821940 Slewburger
Slewburger's picture

This author obviously knows nothing about technology.

De centeralized industrialization has already happened:

Any machine, tool or otherwise is available to anyone.

Second hand they are quite a steal:


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:38 | 2821984 Matt
Matt's picture

You can make a wrench or a hammer, good for you. Now make a computer with an LED screen, core i5 chip, SSD hard drive, and a decent GPU, with the chips on 22nm process or better, using your 3D Printer. Now do all of that without rare earths, using only raw elements available within 100 miles of your home.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:59 | 2822209 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

Ehh...computers are optional really. We lived without them for thousands of years and can do it again.

But...since we do have cheap computers...we can now create survival tools much faster and easier.
This allows for increased resiliency.

Look at what you can design with Trimble Sketchup..and a lot of brains:

The Wooden Bandsaw 2 is incredible. Full plans available.

Now we just need to keep machines around to make bandsaw blades and Japanese handsaw blades.
Plus some DoChen Rolling Bearings ;)

Still need steelmakers and some industry. Not that much though.
There is plenty of material already out there. Buckminster Fuller knew that we had mined all we needed by 1970.
If we didn't blow it all up in war, we'd be sittin' pretty.

I applaud the efforts of people making wooden bandsaws and 3D printers alike.
Putting the means of production back in the hands of the people? PRICELESS.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:22 | 2822286 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

If you redefine "we" to mean a very small fraction of the number of humans currently living well with the current technologies.

Our problem currently isn't technological, it is Democracy.   Democracies don't last long because they end up corrupted by the realisation by too many people that they can vote goodies for themselves out of the pocketbooks of others.    The US Constitution, which does not mention democracy, was meant to parry that by keeping government focused on limited purposes, keeping government self limiting, and setting individuals supreme in as much as could be allowed.   How is that idea in terms of empowerment of the individual(and not just nerds).   We need to get back to that.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:29 | 2822307 Slewburger
Slewburger's picture

Wrench and hammer my ass.

Think you're missing the point. Real production is not related to LCDs, LEDs, hard drives, chip sets, mining for Bitcoins or running a trading platform.

Think bigger. Knee mills and lathes took us to the moon.

Sand castings can be made with heat, sand, wood, scrap metal and imagination. Machine a sand casting and you have anything from a gas turbine housing to an engine block. 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:05 | 2822730 CPL
CPL's picture

Preach from the rock brother.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:36 | 2822462 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Yes, one can make a wrench or hammer with out a 3D printer or with one. Materials are relatively easy and cost efficient for that purpose.


Now as you propose, do the same for your LED screen, corei5 chip, SSd HD and decent CPU, chips on 22nm process or better using your 3D printer and figure in the cost of getting the materials. In other words, it wouldn't be cost efficient for the individual consumer.


That would like spending $100,000 in lawyers fees to go after a guy that screwed you for $5000. Real smart.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:39 | 2821986 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Still doesn't address the issue of raw materials/commodities.   FYI- one thing I have learned after 20+ years in business is that when technology becomes a "steal" it isn't that valuable.  Funny how the market (when unmanipulated) can sort that out.  

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:19 | 2822077 bigbwana
bigbwana's picture

The Galactic Federation promises, after Full Disclosure, which the Illuminati are fighting with their last evil breath, that we will have replicators that can produce anything we want. Anything! And, being representatives of God, they cannot tell a lie. I am all for Full Disclosure! Spread the wondrous news, The Light. The Love. Do so, and Peace and Abundance will be Ours, sooner than you think. Yipeee!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:20 | 2822080 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Riiiiggghhht.  MDB is that you?  Good luck with that.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:47 | 2822173 buckethead
buckethead's picture

A mill would gain value in an economic collapse. One would need raw materials to work with, however.


iChips might be less needed. Of course, computing will still serve useful purposes, so having learned to salvage parts and create working machines. (Now a dead end because it isn't cost feasible)


Owning a minimal machine shop, and saving metals seems a prudent endeavor to me. No collapse? A fun and useful hobby. (Perhaps money saving as well)

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:32 | 2822320 Slewburger
Slewburger's picture

See my post above regarding scrap. So negative, the lot of you.

People are no longer resourceful, to see an example I suggest you watch World's Fastest Indian.

Great movie.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:07 | 2821916 techstrategy
techstrategy's picture


3D printing is a bunch of hyped BS.  WE don't need to get there.  the key is to develop manufacturing technology with an eye toward driving down the minimum efficient scale of production, and that is what nanotech is doing in many areas.  Nanoimprint lithography or RTR imprint isn't yet (or likely viable for next gen intel chips, but it is wholly viable formany other electronics applications (memeory, display stack, etc).  Rather han a $5B fab (order of magnitude), the minimum efficient scale is on the order of $100MM.  That enables distributed production and more design diversity (minimum run size drops dramatically as well).  don't hype the 3D printer BS.  It undermines the real progress and development that nano has been making for a decade.  It will change the world from the bottom up by enables sustainable, increasingly decentralized production.

Secondarily, this is why we really must continue to invest in solar, wind and thermal energy technologies.  Our energy industry is the worst offender in the system.  Small minded people bash the economics of solar and call the R&D and investment a waste.  They don't understand the forward looking cost curves, the total cost of ownership in a life cycle model, nor the national security risks to make a wise judgment.  Solar and to a lessor extent thermal and wind are inherently distributed energy production technologies.  The sun is the distribution mechanism without transmission losses (the losses are in the relative low efficiencies enabled by today's technologies, but those are improving significnatly every year).   The fossil energy production systems are very mature and subject to increasingly diminishing returns. Solar is not extraction based -- it is innovation based and its unit economics are always improving. Right now, the direct cost makes solar look expensive. But if we factor the $100B a year (approximately) that the US military has spent for decades (outside of the ways) to maintain bases and project force in the middle east for oil security, the true cost to the American taxpayer for oil is far higher. And , as I said, it is going to get worse. Eventually those cost curves cross. When they do, the world becomes a safer, more geopoloitically stable and economicslly stable place. It isn't just about being "green". It is about winning the inherently superior energy technologies for the next 100 years. Solar will be superior within 20 years.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:09 | 2822065 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

techstrategy: Thank you for your rant. Back in the day, stereolithography [SLA] was used to cheaply develop new product development. If you happened to trip on your way to the client boardroom sales pitch, your product model would’ve shattered into a million pieces.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 01:14 | 2823482 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

SLA...regards to Patty Hearst

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:32 | 2822116 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Good luck finding enough silver to make all those solar panels...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 15:15 | 2822549 Possible Impact
Possible Impact's picture

Have you looked at

Building tools for replicable, open source, post-scarcity resilient communities

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:29 | 2822659 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

They are on it.

Still need more than scrap steel, but they have the right attitude.

Now, like Buckminster Fuller said, we have already mined all we needed. Happened in 1970.
It's all out there being wasted and ruined.

We need reclamation industries front and center.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 08:50 | 2823840 CPL
CPL's picture


Everything you need to know about scrap, harvesting the bits of what you need and selling it

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:14 | 2822752 carbon
carbon's picture

HOPE AND CHANGE ! Well one thing can be said of Obama. he is not a flip-flopper. He has ALWAYS been for redistribution and spreading the wealth, for making America an average nation among all others, for having the COST OF ELECTRICITY NECESSARLY SKY ROCKET.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:52 | 2822026 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


It can print food, blood vessels and skin. Virtually anything you can imagine.

Of course you need a source product.

Breaking down a food source into paste and reprinting it allows for the use of what would normally be tossed as waste.

That was the point of the poorly named Pink Slime, waste meat left on the bone and skin was removed under high heat high pressure and then turned into paste. Virtually the same way a meat grinder allows for more product to be eaten.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:10 | 2822056 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You can eat that shit.  I'll pass.  I don't think you should be trying to force people to eat anything and would highly recommend against it.  What are you some kind of socialist?  The USSR aleady tried this- FAIL.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:29 | 2822107 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Funny but I recall Ayn Rand griping about Soy products in Atlas shrugged.

Yet Veggie burgers are common as is Soy milk.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:33 | 2822119 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

So, you don't have a point then.  Sorry, I will continue to be picky about the fuel I burn.  You can eat whatever you like.  See, a win-win for everyone.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:41 | 2822339 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Emm hmm, enjoy those gluten-packed toxi-burgers and phytoestrogen-y soy drinks.   Being a human, I'll pass on those, for my health.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:38 | 2821871 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

You really have to understand SolidWorks. The scanners are far from perfect. FYI, winks

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:20 | 2821912 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Yes and the solid models become even more difficult when translated into order of operations needed no make the parts.. Much trial and error to finally get low strength parts. Comment about making guns etc from the plastic model machines is ludicrous.. wake me up when they can make something with a decent bulk modulus.

Even if the printed with molten steel, the parts would not have the strength of forged products...

Look at the porosity and horrible finish on this SS part:


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:36 | 2822132 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Have you ever heard of Mold Casting?


Sometimes you "techies" are silly with how ignorant you are. I would rather save that $2200 on the Replicator 2 and just build my own. I don't need precision, just rough shapes I can further shape into bolt molds and everything else. I can hammer forge the castings once they are created.


See, some of you think you know so much, but you're limited in imagination.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:40 | 2822319 AssFire
AssFire's picture

I would hope this imagination comment was not directed at me.. I work with more than bar stock. I have molded and cast valve bodies for years:

Don't know why there is an aversion to listen to a person with experience both in investment castings as well as metallurgy. You can be the guy swinging the hammer- I do it with forging for lower cost cause I am making 1000's of parts.

See, some of you think you know so much, but you have actually manufactured so little except with your imagination.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:31 | 2822452 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Actually, it was directly specifically towards you. Should I be scared of you or something?


The people buying this product, or building one in their living room will not have access to forging. It's far cheaper and easier to hammer forge a casting than to buy or build a forge. It's also far less reliant on electricity.

You work with aluminum and stainless steel based alloys. I'm talking about working with raw steel for the purpose of creating a firearm, something I'm 100% certain I have more experience in making than you. Hammer forging is all you need, and both can be done in a garage. Unless you're going to tell me that you think a raw steel bolt assembly will hold up under repeated stress with simple drop forging.

In that case I think you need to examine the history of firearms. Then maybe go to the range and seeing what firearms are actually made of and how. Everything is hammer forged or coated/plated for a reason. Where as from the diagrams your work appears to be almost all cast with machining.

Then again it would funny to hear about your machining experience having no impact on how the firearm turn's out. I've met a lot of machinist's that have tried making firarms in the past. Most of them gave up.I grew up in a machine shop, we made 1911's.



So I guess what I'm saying is that you're a moron, and should stick to what you know, because it's certain I have no clue on pumps or valves. I've never made one, but I have built many fine firearms before.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:12 | 2822744 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Look up the definition of bulk modulus then think about the pressures created by an explosive charge.

My comment is that these machines at this pricing level make plastic models. Plastics do not have the strength required- even the very expensive machines that can do steels would not have the strengths to handle this. You want this to be an argument about the best way to make low qty. firearms and blast me for an assumtion I am unaware of castings.

I don't know what you get out of calling me a moron. I would love to see the firearms you have manufactured and don't have a desire to pick a fight.



Mon, 09/24/2012 - 19:43 | 2826301 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Re-read what I typed you imbecile.

You make the initial casting mold to form the clay forms with. FFS you CNC retards have never poured an ounce of metal in your life, and you think you understand Metalurgy. You can not expect a solid forged piece to last in a firearm. The vibrations alone will cause it to crack along the grain structure. Ever seen a gun shatter? I have, and it's not pretty. Do not use fully forged parts on firearms. Only use Hammer Forging, because only the wear parts and the  contact points actually need to have the added strength, the rest needs to resist the vibrations and the pressure waves. When a round goes off the metal act's like a liquid, and if it's solid forged it'll act like a crystal and crack or shatter. Uniform grain structure is very bad in firearms.


You picked a fight when spoke condecending towards me, and then told me that I didn't know what I was talking about because you machine out pump parts. Pump Parts =/= Firearms. What you suggested will get people injured or worse.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:05 | 2821913 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The hardest part of producing any new product is creating the tooling to make it. Not so long ago wood or clay was crafted by hand to form the shape of the required part that was to be cast in metal or plastic. This required an Artisan that was paid very well. A 3D printer removes the requirement that highly skilled Artisan known in industry as a Mold and Pattern maker. Now anyone that can manipulate CAD-CAM software can digitally produce that part and "Print it" in wax which will be used in a lost wax industrial process so the part can me cast in metal that will become the tooling for the required parts. This allows even a hobbyist in a home garage to produce complicated and intricate parts that require minimal finishing. When a home hobbyist can afford to buy and use a 3D printer a new revolution in one of a kind products will explode.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:35 | 2821976 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

That "cast in metal" technology is available. 3D printer is limited to plastic only. Your machine needs up to 5 print heads with an output of 40 prototypes a day. Then you will see a nice return. Just advise. 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:56 | 2822033 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Google metal printing.

Machines start at around 20k.

Not limited to just plastic.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:29 | 2822108 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

I know all about it. Back in my prior life, we had this old man who used to carve wood to make casting molds for a Kobe Steel division I'd worked for. He was simply a carpenter by trade. Today, technology has replaced his craftsmanship skills.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:43 | 2822149 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:41 | 2822151 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You need a melt away model to have a good mold so that you can actually cast something of worth. A 3D printer makes creating that initial model that much easier. You have no idea how many hours I have wasted and how many times I have had to start over to get that initial mold setup after days/weeks of working on a model.

Sure jumping straight to the finished product is great, but being able to cut the most time consuming part of the whole process out of the equation is a huge benefit.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:44 | 2821994 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture
  1. ^ "Alvin Toffler: still shocking after all these years: New Scientist meets the controversial futurologist"

    , New Scientist, 19 March 1994, pp. 22-25. "What led you to write Future Shock? -- While covering Congress, it occurred to us that big technological and social changes were occurring in the United States, but that the political system seemed totally blind to their existence. Between 1955 and 1960, the birth control pill was introduced, television became universalized [sic], commercial jet travel came into being and a whole raft of other technological events occurred. Having spent several years watching the political process, we came away feeling that 99 per cent of what politicians do is keep systems running that were laid in place by previous generations of politicians. Our ideas came together in 1965 in an article called 'The future as a way of life', which argued that change was going to accelerate and that the speed of change could induce disorientation in lots of people. We coined the phrase 'future shock' as an analogy to the concept of culture shock. With future shock you stay in one place but your own culture changes so rapidly that it has the same disorienting effect as going to another culture"

Prosumer is a portmanteau formed by contracting either the word professional or, less often, producer with the word consumer. For example, a prosumer grade digital camera is a "cross" between consumer grade and professional grade.

The term has also taken on multiple meanings in business and economics: the business sector sees the prosumer (professional–consumer) as a market segment, whereas economists see the prosumer (producer–consumer) as having greater independence from the mainstream economy. These differing meanings often describe the same people; consumers unusually interested in the products. It can also be used to differentiate the traditional passive consumer with an active consumer role more involved in the process, such as activity in the design or customization of the end product.

General meanings
  • The term was coined by futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1980 and that meaning is not commonly used today. Loosely, Toffler's "proactive consumer" prosumers were common consumers who were predicted to each become active to help personally improve or design the goods and services of the marketplace, transforming it and their roles as consumers. Toffler is discussed in depth below.
  • By far the most common usage of the term describes the consumers, enthusiasts who buy products (almost always technical) that fall between professional and consumer grade standards in quality, complexity, or functionality. Prosumer also commonly refers to those products. Semiprofessional. "Prosumer" is a well-accepted category for camcorders, digital cameras, VCRs, "and other video playthings."[1] These advanced product features and higher prosumer expectations lend themselves to increased customizing in Toffler's product-improvement sense.[2]
  • The "producing consumer" prosumer creates goods for their own use and also possibly to sell. Uncommon usage.
  • "Professional consumers" prosumers are excellent, better informed consumers who are buying top-grade or best-value products, or think they are. This group also includes a broader target for marketers and advertisers. According to this attractive hip, young group "are influencing markets all over the globe. Empowered by new technologies and improved access to information, Prosumers are highly knowledgeable and demanding consumers."[3] Uncommon or sarcastic usage; "Americans are prosumers." "I'm a professional “prosumer” and shopaholic."[4]
Producer and consumer

Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt suggested in their 1972 book Take Today, (p. 4) that with electric technology, the consumer would become a producer. In the 1980 book, The Third Wave, futurologist Alvin Toffler coined the term "prosumer" when he predicted that the role of producers and consumers would begin to blur and merge (even though he described it in his book Future Shock from 1970). Toffler envisioned a highly saturated marketplace as mass production of standardized products began to satisfy basic consumer demands. To continue growing profit, businesses would initiate a process of mass customization, that is the mass production of highly customized products.

However, to reach a high degree of customization, consumers would have to take part in the production process especially in specifying design requirements. In a sense, this is merely an extension or broadening of the kind of relationship that many affluent clients have had with professionals like architects for many decades.

Toffler has extended these and many other ideas well into the 21st-century. Along with recently published works such as Revolutionary Wealth (2006), we can recognize and assess both the concept and fact of the prosumer as it is seen and felt on a worldwide scale. That these concepts are having global impact and reach, however, can be measured in part by noting in particular, Toffler's popularity in China. Discussing some of these issues with Newt Gingrich on C-Span's After Words program in June 2006, Toffler mentioned that The Third Wave is the second ranked bestseller of all time in China, just behind a work by Mao Zedong.[5]

Don Tapscott reintroduced the concept in his 1995 book The Digital Economy.

Despite several decades of usage, the term only recently began to receive full theoretical elaboration. George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson, in a widely cited article, claim that prosumption has become a salient characteristic of Web 2.0. Prosumers create value for companies without receiving wages.

Mass customization has not taken place in most areas of the economy. Mass customization has ruled the food & beverage industry for years. Look at how many choices we are faced with in the grocery stores and supermarkets. Brand extension and dilution are ways companies have sold more under various names, giving us thousands of choices. Most consumption continues to be passive as critics of television, recorded music, and fast food would argue. Indeed, people are generally uninterested in going to the effort of customizing the myriad products that comprise modern consumer culture. In The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, Barry Schwartz argues that diminishing returns from a confusing abundance of consumer choice is producing stress and dissatisfaction.3 Still, one key area of high-customization is taking place: highly involved hobbyists.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:44 | 2821999 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

Evidently I was asleep for this part of class...
Excuse for me asking, but what exactly is 3D printing?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 15:20 | 2822557 defender
defender's picture

3D printing is basically using a 3D CAD file to print an object using epoxy/plastic/metal in a special printer.  Here is a good example of what you can do with it in one printing:

and here is what someone with too much time on their hands can do with it (cool all the same):

and another:

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:13 | 2822074 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Thought crime against bankers. Ben has plans for people like you.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:57 | 2822508 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Panera Bread on the Ohio Turnpike is now refusing to accept $100 bills.


Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:38 | 2884034 rajonmestra
rajonmestra's picture

That may be true but I don't think such 3 dimensional printer would be of much help in our industry or economy. I don't know but I just don't think it will be of help. I guess my HP 23 cartridge from would be more helpful that 3D printers eh lol.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:27 | 2821854 max2205
max2205's picture

Can it print food?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:50 | 2821888 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

no, but if you use lead as a feedstock, it'll print gold ...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:21 | 2821943 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Don't you mean that if you use lead as a feedstock, it will provide the means to acquire gold?  And food too.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:47 | 2822007 Matt
Matt's picture

I think he means use it to make counterfeit gold bars. I don't think a 3D-Printer is the tool for the job, though.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:37 | 2821979 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Food is just (mostly) carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms arranged in a particular pattern.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:45 | 2822002 laomei
laomei's picture

It can print things that look like food.  Kinda how the fed can print things that look like money.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:47 | 2822005 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Yes it can.

Google up food printing.

Lot's of extruded food prducts on the market, everything fom Cheetos to the poorly named Pink slime.

Much more ofthe product can be used when it is turned into a paste.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:48 | 2822011 Matt
Matt's picture

I don't think most people consider Cheetos and Pink Slime to be "Food".

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:00 | 2822040 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Really, because you most likely had eaten Pink slime before all the bad press.

Pink slime refers to mechanically separated and disinfected beef products known in the meat industry as lean finely textured beef (LFTB)[2] and boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT).[3] It is also known by the dysphemistic slang term soylent pink.[4][5][6][7] It is a processed beef product that was originally used only in pet food and cooking oil and was not approved for human consumption.[8] In 2004 in the United States the product was approved for limited human consumption and began to be used as a food additive to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as a filler at a ratio of no more than 15 percent of any product. The production process uses heat in centrifuges to separate the fat from the meat in beef trimmings.[9] The resulting product is exposed to ammonia gas or citric acid to kill bacteria.[9][10]

The product is sold in the U.S. to food companies which use it as a filler product in ground beef production. It was reported in March 2012 that approximately 70 percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets contained the additive at that time. In March 2012, ABC News ran a series of news reports about the product, which generated significant controversy and led to increased consumer concerns. Following the controversy, some companies and organizations discontinued the provision of ground beef with the additive, while others continued to provide beef with the filler.

LFTB is used as a filler or to reduce the overall fat content of ground beef.[12][13] It is produced by processing low-grade beef trimmings and other meat by-products such as cartilage, connective tissue and sinew,[14][15] which contain fat and small amounts of lean beef, and mechanically separating the lean beef from the fat through the use of a centrifuge heated to approximately at 100°F (38°C).[16] The heating process liquifies the fat and facilitates the separation of lean beef from the fat[16] and other meat by-products.[17] The recovered beef material is then processed, heated, and treated with gaseous ammonia[1] or citric acid to kill E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria. When gaseous ammonia is used, after coming in contact with water in the meat, it forms into ammonium hydroxide.[1] The product is finely ground, compressed into pellets[18] or blocks, flash frozen and then shipped for use as an additive.[19][20]

Rick Jochum, a company spokesperson for Beef Products Inc. (BPI) has stated that the finished product is 94 to 97 percent lean beef, and has a nutritional value comparative to 90 percent lean ground beef.[18] Furthermore, it was stated that the product's content is very high in protein, low in fat, and contains iron, zinc and B vitamins.[18] Jochum also stated that BPI's product does not contain cow intestines and connective tissue, such as tendons, stating, "Intestines never enter our plant, and never enter the beef processing facility from which we purchase our trim," and "Similarly, tendons are removed at our suppliers' facilities."[18]

Most of the filler is produced and sold by BPI, Cargill Meat Solutions, and Tyson Foods.[21][22] The product sold by BPI introduces the trimmings to ammonium hydroxide (a solution of ammonia in water), while the Cargill product uses citric acid instead of ammonium hydroxide.[23] Part of the manufacturing process at BPI includes extruding the material through long tubes that are thinner than a pencil, during which time the meat is exposed to gaseous ammonia.[1][24]

In April 2012, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) received requests from beef processors to allow voluntary labeling of products that contain the additive, and has stated that it plans on approving this practice after checks for the accuracy of the labels are undertaken.[25] Regarding this matter, LFTB producer Beef Products, Inc. spokesman Rich Jochum stated, "We feel this development will allow more customers to provide options to consumers and pave the way for BPI's lean beef to re-establish its place in the market."[26]

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:53 | 2822190 centerline
centerline's picture

Mmmmm.... Taco Bell.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:31 | 2821856 falak pema
falak pema's picture

oh the days of small is beautiful: goodbye behemoths, to the naphthalene box you go! 

The true intelligence age, with big data sets and people capable of engineering their own solutions to specifications pulled down from the cloud. 

All the less educated, being used in customer service and social assistance programs; instead of being government bureaucrats and money changer serfs. 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:30 | 2821857 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Do those "replicators" still require energy and commodities as inputs?  Yes they do, 7+ billion people competing for the remaining resources along with "replicators"?  - FAIL.

Did they say "decentralization", oh no, the central banksters won't like that. 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:54 | 2821898 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

i don't know what facile nonsense Aziz is posting here of late...3d printers and oil? Maybe Aziz should have just stuck with 2d printers and found a way to print fiat and made some kind of tenuous argument from that? no scratch that. where's Graham?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:44 | 2821996 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Despite countless billions in subsidies over the last decade how much has electricity generation decentralized, what portion of the US or EU population has actually moved off-grid?  If "they" can't master manufacturing something really basic like the stuff that allows a light switch & bulb to brighten a room (electricity) for themselves, why would they have the inclnation or skill to "manufacture" something more complex?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:50 | 2822016 Matt
Matt's picture

It's because the interface is not intuitive, it is hard to use, has a learning curve. Just wait till Apple makes an iReplicator, those things will sell like hot cakes.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:05 | 2822044 samsara
samsara's picture

And they will still build simple PLASTIC parts like the experience 3D developer above outlined.

I can make a chisel or a hammer.  BUT it will be a PLASTIC chisel, and a PLASTIC hammer.

Ain't no game changer for anything really needed. 


Can it make a functioning Chain saw?   NO.   And never will.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:44 | 2822161 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

uh....where does plastic come from???????? PETROLEUM = AZIZ =  FAIL AGAIN.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:48 | 2822013 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Pretty sure you can work up a solar or wind design with enough power to run a replicator.

There are designs for turning waste plastic into filament.

The big push if to PLA a corn based product. Which the Replicator 2, pictured, uses.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:57 | 2822035 samsara
samsara's picture

Pretty sure you can work up a solar or wind design with enough power to run a replicator.


Hey,  Can you point to a factory that builds D9 Cat's or an earthmover with that Solar/Wind power yet??

Or are we still ignoring the sunk cost of every thing around us? 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:04 | 2822054 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Hey, why in a thread about consumer grade production would you bring up large scale factories?

It's like asking a Nurse how many Heart surgeries they perform per year.

Small scale manufacturing is done from homes and rental spaceall around the world.

In the seventies my area had a small incense company. They would produce boxes of icense and piece work out the packaging locally.

Japan has long used robots to produce gods fom family businesses.

It is likely that right now some home 3d prinitng is done using only solar.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:07 | 2822062 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Even a fucking lawn mower has industrial grade alloys.  Alloy manufacturing requires intense heat.  You can not run one of these furnaces with wind/solar, period.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:22 | 2822087 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Once again why bring up large factories except to denigrate the consumer production movement.

At some point people like you need to start thinking about what is possible instead of what isn't.

Spend sometime researching ome based production, people work with molten metal in their garages in case you don't know. Lot's of small knife and tool makers, metal smiths and blacksmiths as well as artists.

The whole idea is to move away from large production to what the consumer can produce and use on his own. Toexpand that production into as many areas as possible.

Why do you want to keep conumers as slaves to corporations?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:31 | 2822113 samsara
samsara's picture

Ok, I'll play your silly game and commit the sin of reposting so you don't have to search for it.

And no I am the last to want to "Stay Slaves to Corps"    but that has nothing to do with the magical thinking that 3D printing will save us from them.    Grow your own food, create your own power (yes using wind and solar that I have a degree in)  BUT.  those of us who can produce our own power will never 'Save" the 7 Billion on the planet.

Here's my dup post


And they will still build simple PLASTIC parts like the experience 3D developer above outlined.

I can make a chisel or a hammer.  BUT it will be a PLASTIC chisel, and a PLASTIC hammer.

Ain't no game changer for anything really needed. 


Can it make a functioning Chain saw?   NO.   And never will.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:43 | 2822684 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

"I can make a chisel or a hammer.  BUT it will be a PLASTIC chisel, and a PLASTIC hammer."

What's with these "all or nothing" comments? Some kind of new internet mental illness?


If you are brain dead STUPID you would make an all plastic hammer.

Ever hear of a HANDLE? It's this thing you attach to a homemade machined tool head.
Or anything that needs a human interface. Custom parts in a few hours? Awesome.

I could even make a metal SWORD blade with my CNC...and put a cool ABS plastic 3D replicated handle on it.
Then I press a button and it makes the same exact handle for 20 of my friends and countrymen.
Bolt on to my blade...bam.
They wish they had that capability back in the day, believe you me.

In the future...Spartans will pour out screaming from every garage ;)


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:52 | 2822216 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Why do you want to keep conumers as slaves to corporations?

This is iManufacturing and indentured corporate and debt servitude pure and simple.  You can't get an iPod these days without singing away your freedom to a corporation.

What would a consumer need to produce that is plastic as opposed to metal?  If someone wants to stop being a slave to corporations then perhaps they should start with the caveman basics (fire) and a forge.  Get some skill and move up to basic machining tools, by the time they have a garage of stuff and are at a CNC/CAD level, they are slave to no one.

This is a deus ex machina pipedream for the fat, lazy, unskilled iGeneration, and another cash cow tech bubble for Wall Street.  Meanwhile freedom already exists for anyone willing to put in the time and work (the CapEx $ are about the same for idiot box or the real thing). 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:17 | 2822431 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

"Alloy manufacturing requires intense heat.  You can not run one of these furnaces with wind/solar, period."

I have to call baloney on that one, LawsofPhysics. One could simply use wind/solar etc. to collect power and store it in any one of a variety of energy storage devices. Once enough energy has been stored for any given operation, then use the energy to run your furnace for your project, create your parts and move on. It's very simple.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:50 | 2822494 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

Actually, you can. There are direct solar furnaces in existence that can easily generate the temperatures required. Though they do tend to be out of reach of anything smaller than a medium sized company, as they're large, complicated and expensive to build.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:04 | 2822853 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Forget the direct to solar, and use a standard plug in (actually wired in) induction furnace, since you also need power for the lighting, ventilation, computer, 3D printer etc.

A furnace capable of melting 50lbs (residential scale manufacturing) of steel is probably going to pull 30KW+, or  150 x 200w solar panels (at $250ea = $37,000 just in solar panels) assuming optimal sunlight conditions, and the unit warm-up is not like a residential oven (which rules out wind power-only, unless you want to spend another fortune on stationary batteries and be sitting between a giant pile of sulfuric acid and another of molten metal).

If you only need jewlery scale volumes of metal, you can probably pick up a 1lb/kg unit which might pull 5kw

The baseline temperature for steel is going to be a little under 3000 degrees F, plus the additional heat needed for any alloy additives with a higher melting point (4000 should be enough unless your adding molybdenum, or salting gold bars with tungsten).

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:02 | 2822042 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Now where are the raw materials for your solar/wind design and replicator coming from again?  Plastics are not going to cut it for any serious industrial application, you need alloys.  Alloys are not cheap and require extreme heat in their manufacture.  Go try and run an alloy furnace on solar/wind, it can't be done.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:08 | 2822064 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


There are designs now for turning leftover plastics into filament. Waste plastic like old bottles and other items which get recycled.

I suppose you could have done a few minutes of googling.

Then it is far easier to piss and moan with the rest of the rabble.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:13 | 2822072 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

So you don't what to address the issue of alloys and the intense heat required for their manufacture?  Fine, you are a shill for some 3-D printing company.  Got it.  Will not waste anymore time with you then.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:27 | 2822091 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Intense heat like what Balcksmiths use?

By the way terry Pratchett made his own swor, the one e was knighted with, from start to finish including mining meteor ore.

Terry Pratchett may write a mean fantasy novel, but he also forges one heckuva sword. In honor of being knighted last year, Sir Pratchett dug up 175 pounds of iron ore, sprinkled in some meteorites, and made himself a proper weapon.

Pratchett gathered the iron ore deposits himself from a field near his town, and worked with a friend who is an "expert on ancient metal-making techniques" to smelt it in a makeshift kiln in his own home. He then took it to a blacksmith, who made the blade.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:35 | 2822130 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Did he run the kiln on wind/solar?  No.  So you are agreeing with me then.  great, sorry for the earlier confusion.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:29 | 2821858 Dareconomics
Dareconomics's picture

This is just like the replicator in Star Trek. It seems we get some of the technology first imagined in that show much quicker that I thought possible. First the cellphone, then the replicator, how long before we get to beam ourselves around the planet?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:32 | 2821861 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Now if we just had the energy sources that they had is star trek.  just like software installation, the world is staring at a computer screen that is flashing "working...    working...    working..."

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:57 | 2821893 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

We already have a 'spaceship' thousands of times better than any imagined 'enterprise'. Sure, it's not so fast, but it provides life support for not just our species but millions  of others... and as for energy sources, it receives more power from its lighting source than we can possibly use, not to mention the energy it contains, ever see a cross section of  this amazing ship?


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:01 | 2821904 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Now if we could just put it to work for us in a more productive way and kick a few greedy fucks off.  FYI- mars had a molten core and magnetic field once too, until it's core cooled.  Yeah, suck all the energy out of the core and kill the magnetic field and then the atomosphere and then...   oh crap.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:26 | 2821923 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

And here I was thinking that I am always the biggest pessimist at the Thanksgiving Dinner table.... I didn't realize humans had already been to Mars and effed it up ...(aside from John Carter, of course)

Half kidding, but if what you say is true, how come Iceland's geothermal use hasn't saved the arctic ice yet?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:31 | 2821970 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Half kidding, but if what you say is true, how come Iceland's geothermal use hasn't saved the arctic ice yet?"


Why in the fuck would it?  extracting energy from the core and bringing it to the surface would seem to be more of a warming excercise to me, but I am not a climate scientist and I suspect that the details matter.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:47 | 2822008 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Yah got me! Though warming here cools there which, on a long enough timeline, cools here; all things being equal. I wasn't really looking into getting into a climate change argument, but as far as 'details' go to my knowledge geothermal energy use doesn't create a lot of greenhouse gasses.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:54 | 2822029 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

greenhouse gases are only one mechanism of warming.  Basic thermodynamics demonstrates very clearly that energy and heat are often interchangable (if they weren't the steam engine would have been a bust).  You are bringing energy to the surface, hence you are bringing heat to the surface.  Think about it this way, how much hotter would it get if God took a straw, sucked out the molten core and (assuming no crust collapse) spit it back out on the surface? 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:13 | 2822071 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

hahaha! ok ok, uncle.  I can see that you're spoiling for a fight, but I don't need anymore lessons in the bleeding obvious today, thanks.

Yeah, delta t is the key. Don't even need to get it to boil water nowadays.

So you're saying geothermal is a terrible idea, why again?  I mean, it seems to me that your sucking God example may be a bit unrealistically abrupt when it comes to the energy transfer

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:16 | 2822075 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Where do I say that geothermal is a "terrible idea"?  Don't see that in any of my posts, those are your words, not mine.  you are the one who said something about saving the artic or some shit.  If you didn't want to talk about it, why did you go there?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:26 | 2822093 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"Where do I say that geothermal is a "terrible idea"?"

Well, your pessimistic rant re: Mars followed by your 'God sucking magma' posts gave me the impression that you saw nothing but imminent doom should humans get a hold of geothermal tech on a large scale. Those were your very words, not mine.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:47 | 2822174 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You brought up the "save the artic" crap.  I see lots of opportunity moving forward and like every other successful species/person that came before me I will use all the resources at my disposal.  Don't be disingenuous, it makes you look stupid.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:53 | 2822194 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

heh, thanks for the 'tip' Mr.Pot.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:35 | 2821977 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

We need more dilithium cyrstals!!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:53 | 2821894 samsara
samsara's picture

Unfortunately for us, we ain't gonna find dilithium crystals.

Remember, if if moves faster than 30 mph, 99.9% chance it runs on petroleum.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:25 | 2821953 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

That's only because petroleum is cheap.  As it gets more expensive, alternatives will be developed.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:53 | 2822027 samsara
samsara's picture

Ya, keep believing that hype.  That's what was hyped;

When it was $20 a barrel - Wait till it hits $40 a barrel alternatives will..

When it was $40 a barrel - Wait till it hits $60 a barrel alternatives will..

When it was $60 a barrel - Wait till it hits $80 a barrel alternatives will..

When it was $80 a barrel - Wait till it hits $100 a barrel alternatives will..


Keep repeating the mantra....



Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:23 | 2822090 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Okay.  "When oil hits $300 a barrel I will retire as my energy portfolio will thank you", damn, sorry, wrong mantra.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:05 | 2822235 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

How much is oil worth and what is the consumption rate if 99% of the world's population dies due to some extreme stress?  There are many possible origins, some man made and some natural, for such a stress event.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 12:53 | 2822191 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Your logic is flawed due to your use of nominal dollars rather than some system that has a constant wealth unit.  $100 Ben Franklins are the new $20 currency unit.

In the early 1960s I would normally pruchase a gallon of gasoline with one U.S. quarter.  That same early 1960s quarter will still buy about a gallon of gasoline.  Where is the inflation?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:33 | 2821860 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture



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Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:33 | 2821862 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

The 3D printers still need raw resources. The megalomaniacs and TBTFs will simply move from manufacturing back to resource monopolization.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:35 | 2821864 centerline
centerline's picture

The banking scheme is all about resource monoplization anyhow.  Just moving in plain veiw now.  Trading worthless paper for real assets.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:37 | 2821870 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, for the most part money is an illusion that depends on market confidence and participation.  This has always been about power and control over resources and humans.  Humanity itself is a giant ponzi, same as it ever was.  Get you tribe in order now before WWIII, still some time left.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:45 | 2821881 centerline
centerline's picture

It is going to get real at some point for sure.  Human nature just isn't going to "evolve" quick enough to avoid a calamity.  Sort of ironic in a way because it was this human ponzi enabled by technology and cheap energy that really allowed this fiat/reserve currency cycle to expand like it did.  One hell of a run for those who knew.  I suspect we flew past the point of no return long ago.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:51 | 2822021 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Extreme stresses cause an organism to evolve at a much greater rate.  This has happened in the past to h. sapiens and it will likely happen again.   If not, there's always another organism to take her place.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 11:57 | 2822036 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, I am sure that life will continue.  Whether or not that includes humanity is another issue altogether.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:00 | 2822219 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Extreme stresses always cause large dieoffs.  It is not unlikely that at least 99% of the population will die.  The bankers may think that their accumulation of nearly all the planet's wealth will allow them to occupy the 1% catbird seat.  I don't know that that will work out well for them if there's no one around that's interested in accepting their gold, silver, and paper.  They may need some gardening skills too and not just the moonlight variety either.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:54 | 2821900 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Better methods of recycling could help mitigate this problem however.

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