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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I am a big space nerd, and nerd in general I read a lot of technology articles. I found an article that NASA is using a 3D printer to start making parts for rockets.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105...ng-parts-for-its-next-rocket-headed-for-mars/

This had me thinking of a whole bunch of other ideas. One is making car parts for old cars. For restoration there are some parts that are just not made and are extremely hard to find. In the future might we be able to take an original part or CAD draqing and just print the thing out, clean it up an install it? I sure hope so!

I know Jay Leno has parts made for cars that are extremely rare or so old that there are no used parts available anymore. This might be an easier way in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It sure does make money. They do have printers around 3000 dollars now. They were 5 digit prices prior. Foose seems to have a lot of good tools. I haven't seen if he was using these printers. It would be nice to make molds.
 

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I saw on HAMB awhile back where somebody linked a 3d copier that spit out a part after copying it, and the tolerances were amazing! They used some sort of beads that the copier molded into the shape of the item copied, and it was very cool!
 

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That 3D stuff will be great if it ever becomes affordable to the average shop. I don't do any fancy 3D on my CNC but I did build a nice set of billet small block valve covers for my old 55. Shortly after 911 when work was slow and I needed to keep busy.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That 427FE block is super light! It's like a piece of art. It is amazing what we can do with the technology we have now. Regular manufacturing jobs may be going away, but there are a great deal of precision manufacturing jobs that are going unfilled because of a lack of trained workers.

I think the 3d printing will continue to become cheaper and cheaper and better over time. Early adopters always pay the premium for the new tech. Those are some nice looking valve covers!
 

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In talking with a good friend and ex customer of mine; he said that real machinists are a thing of the past. There are 8 guys in his shop classified as "machinists" and out of the 8 he's the only one who's been through an actual apprenticeship. Having taken care of the shop for over 20 yrs. I could tell his talents as a machinist were so far above the other machine operators that it was obvious to anyone watching.
Today many machine shops are full of CNC machines that utilize operators, not machinists to run them. I took care of another shop also, and the only machinist was the owner. All his people were either operators, or programmers. None of them could really run the old mills and lathes without his input.
 
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