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AuthorTopic: Thoughts on small parts replication  (Read 54 times)

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Offline Matt_H

Thoughts on small parts replication
« on: September 21, 2015, 05:56:01 AM »
Had a very interesting trip to Micro Center today. In addition to purchasing the revised version of The Amiga Book, there were a number of HP vendor reps on site demoing hardware. One very interesting item was this thing, which I'm having a hard time articulating how to compare it to something else. Take an all-in-one style desktop (like an iMac), make it a touchscreen, give it a gigantic trackpad (like the size of a notebook), project a second display onto the trackpad (like a dynamic, modern-day keyboard overlay from the C64 era), and then embed a whole bunch of cameras into the projector. There are some cute little consumer programs that it comes with, but what I think is the real power of it is that you can put an object on the trackpad, push a button to scan it, and duplicate it in a 3D printer. And the price of this thing is only $1900 USD (plus the printer).

Already holding a copy of The Amiga Book in my hand, I asked the vendor if HP had a no-frills industrial version of the system, for nuts like us who use Amigas and need new supplies of case parts that get lost or broken. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he remembered the Amiga and what a revolutionary product it was, and was amazed that people still use them and develop for them. We chatted a bit and I told him about some recent things like USB2 and faster-than-the-original emulation via UAE/Amiga Forever. At any rate, he said that HP isn't planning a different version of this system yet, but they are developing a 3D printer derived from inkjet technology (instead of extruded plastic) that they say will be 5-10 times faster than current 3D printers on the market (a half hour to print instead of five hours). The object scanning technology is based on R&D from Intel. Intel isn't selling to the general public yet, but developers can get access, to make that hypothetical, cut-down, scanning-only version of the system.

So imagine you need a replacement trapdoor for your A600. At the moment, the most likely replication scenario involves rendering the object manually (or hoping that someone's already done that) and then getting it printed and shipped to you. But seeing the HP machine today makes me realize that we're on the cusp of the scenario instead being: someone who does have a trapdoor throws it on the scanner, sends you the file, and then you print it at home. Hell, this thing seemed like it's almost big enough to capture the entire A600 case. Even now one of these systems might be a worthwhile business investment for someone like AmigaKit. Given the objects I've seen so far, the quality of 3D printing isn't yet quite where I'd like it to be, but at the rate which this technology is advancing and prices are dropping, in 2 or 3 years time, I think this is going to be really exciting stuff.
 

Offline SACC-guy

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 06:52:57 AM »
some amiga items are already setup as files:
see the site...https://www.thingiverse.com/tag:Amiga

The HP thing is called Sprout and you can buy it with a Dremel 3D printer?
 

Offline RobertB

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 06:56:19 AM »
See http://www.shapeways.com/designer/Tommes for some Amiga bits.

Back from the FCUG meeting,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 12:40:42 PM »
Thanks for those links - I've seen them before but it's good to have them together in one thread! I guess my point is that it'll be even easier to do these things in the future, particularly for parts that haven't yet been rendered/digitized.

I remember an ad in an old copy of Amazing Computing in which one could digitize objects by tapping the different vectors with a special pen - like a 3D drawing tablet. Slow work, but seems like it would have been acceptable for the low-polygon models of the era. And of course there was no physical output possible!
 

Offline AdelaideAmiga

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 01:15:31 PM »
A little outside the scope of Amiga-related discussion - but I had an interesting conversation with an electronics engineer who still has an enthusiasm with vintage apple products.  He mentioned that a friend of his runs a hardware design business that replicates old components that are quite scarce and expensive to obtain for these machines.  In particular parts made by "Applied Engineering."  This is hardware components by the way (PCB boards with chips and working circuitry).
 

Offline paul1981

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 05:04:11 PM »
When 3D printers get really fast, it'll be heading towards the Replicators on Startrek. Different technology, but similar result in a way...
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 11:01:34 PM »
Quote from: amigaman101;796119
A little outside the scope of Amiga-related discussion - but I had an interesting conversation with an electronics engineer who still has an enthusiasm with vintage apple products.  He mentioned that a friend of his runs a hardware design business that replicates old components that are quite scarce and expensive to obtain for these machines.  In particular parts made by "Applied Engineering."  This is hardware components by the way (PCB boards with chips and working circuitry).


Very cool. Sounds like the kind of business that could be very beneficial for Amiga work! Does he have a website?
 

Offline AdelaideAmiga

Re: Thoughts on small parts replication
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 08:30:13 AM »
Hi Matt_H,

Their website & facebook site is:
http://www.reactivemicro.com/
&
https://www.facebook.com/reactivemicrousa

Their main focus is on Apple 2 hardware replication.

Cheers,

George