Continuation of this thread from the original forum.
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3D printing in my experience is only useful in industry production.
Prototyping for another process, ie. injection moulding, investment casting.
The more popular ‘maker’ FDM printing (plastic extrusion: PLA, ABS, Nylon, etc.) is very energy intense and wasteful. They’re not cheap hobbies.
If you’re 3D printing, you’re probably a designer of some kind.
The selection of materials is still very limited for any wide adoption/ practical application.
Software and hardware has improved over the years, but no significant advancements.
An example of how wasteful can be.
@5:22 you see what’s called a transition tower
This is a step required for multi coloured FDM prints. And this is an advancement.
A regular single material print can be just as wasteful in support material.
There’s not a lot most people can use 3D printers for that isn’t just acquiring trinkets.
The real subject is design. What are you designing and why does 3D printing benefit the end product.
In a lot of cases it does. There are lot of reductive processes that are still much faster, cheaper, more economical overall.
This whole channel is an incredible resource.
I know this post is a year old; but I find 3D printing quite useful for making small custom shelves and fixes. I am a designer, so it helps; but the tools for design are free (fusion 360, freecad). I have fixed and saved many items that would have otherwise gone out in the trash.
Support material is not often necessary (I try to design away from needing it), and the purge tower on multi-color prints can be reduced by printing multiple items.
The plastic is inexpensive; even with recent price increases it is around $25/kg. I don’t dispute that there is waste, but I think it is somewhat overblown how bad it is.