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Automating fast food

RoyLatham
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9/8/2014 1:54:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Surfing the internet late one dark night (aren't they all?) I got into a conversation with an engineer working on automating the fast food industry. He said that all the talk of a $15 minimum wage has brought a panic to automate as fast as possible. Automation includes every step from order entry through food preparation to delivery to the customer. Order entry would be by touchscreen terminal. The machine would not only cook burgers but bake the buns.

The food prep machines must be reliable and easily repaired. One implication is that many, many spare parts have to be readily available for when a machine breaks. The guy said their plan was to put a 3D printer in each restaurant, so when a part was needed a fee would be collected to download a file that would print the part on the spot. As far as I know, with some exotic exceptions, 3D printers only produce plastic parts, so it would take a special design.

Sterilizing the equipment is a big deal. Ultraviolet light is used for continuous sterilization, and the machine has to be easily taken apart for cleaning.

The guy thought the automation effort would end overnight if the $15 minimum wage failed. I'm not so sure. It seems like the fast food industry is lagging technology, so they may find out that automation is cheaper than even low wages.

The Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya has a fully automated restaurant in Tokyo. When the minimum wage was raised a little in the past, McDonald's installed drink machines that shut off automatically when the cup is full. The drink machine allowed reducing staff by one employee in twelve.
1Percenter
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9/8/2014 4:02:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If fast food becomes fully automated, the question I have is what will this do to prices? All automation is guaranteed to do is lower, if not eliminate, labor costs in addition to increasing profits. I can picture fast food prices going up if the transformation to automation becomes a major barrier to entry.
sadolite
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9/10/2014 8:29:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If minimum wage becomes $15.00 an hour I can assure you that those who don't speak read or write english will find no work anywhere. If I was an employer you damn well better speak read and write english if I am going to pay you $15.00 an hour. This is going to backfire on the very people it is supposed to help. Jobs for teens will disappear. You teens may as well forget having a summer job or any job at all. Those jobs will be done by people given additional work loads to justify the $15,00 an hour. Ah yes, the unintended consequences of the well intentioned are going to shine brightly of this passes.
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suttichart.denpruektham
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9/11/2014 10:55:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 1:54:08 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Surfing the internet late one dark night (aren't they all?) I got into a conversation with an engineer working on automating the fast food industry. He said that all the talk of a $15 minimum wage has brought a panic to automate as fast as possible. Automation includes every step from order entry through food preparation to delivery to the customer. Order entry would be by touchscreen terminal. The machine would not only cook burgers but bake the buns.

The food prep machines must be reliable and easily repaired. One implication is that many, many spare parts have to be readily available for when a machine breaks. The guy said their plan was to put a 3D printer in each restaurant, so when a part was needed a fee would be collected to download a file that would print the part on the spot. As far as I know, with some exotic exceptions, 3D printers only produce plastic parts, so it would take a special design.

Sterilizing the equipment is a big deal. Ultraviolet light is used for continuous sterilization, and the machine has to be easily taken apart for cleaning.

The guy thought the automation effort would end overnight if the $15 minimum wage failed. I'm not so sure. It seems like the fast food industry is lagging technology, so they may find out that automation is cheaper than even low wages.

The Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya has a fully automated restaurant in Tokyo. When the minimum wage was raised a little in the past, McDonald's installed drink machines that shut off automatically when the cup is full. The drink machine allowed reducing staff by one employee in twelve.

it should be quite hard for any 3D printing machine that can produce precision metal part, regardless of the design, we still need far more temperature, kinetic energy, and cool down system which altogether should weight - and cost at least as much as operating a small factory in addition to operating a serving station. Sound kind of defeating a purpose of open up a restaurant to me, if I can produce parts, cheaply and effectively I would have run a factory not a restaurant.
RoyLatham
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9/11/2014 5:10:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/11/2014 10:55:56 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:

it should be quite hard for any 3D printing machine that can produce precision metal part, regardless of the design, we still need far more temperature, kinetic energy, and cool down system which altogether should weight - and cost at least as much as operating a small factory in addition to operating a serving station. Sound kind of defeating a purpose of open up a restaurant to me, if I can produce parts, cheaply and effectively I would have run a factory not a restaurant.

I think the idea is to make the parts out of plastic. That means that high temperature components would be made of metal, but would not be likely to fail. The mechanism parts, like racks and gears, would be plastic. However, there is at least one way to 3D print metal parts. I think layer of powdered metal is laid down on the surface of the work area. A laser then scans the surface and fuses the dust in selected areas by sintering. Then another layer of metal powder is put on the surface and fused selectively by the laser. The 3D part is built layer by layer, and finally the unfused powder is removed. I don't know what is practical now.

Compare it to 2D printing. It was once true that if you had a laser printer you would open a print shop rather than use it as an office accessory. But costs have changed that. There are now exotic manufacturing technologies available on the web. You do a design on your computer, upload the design, and they return fabricated parts. http://www.emachineshop.com... is one such site. Rather than putting a 3D printer in every restaurant, maybe the fab could be combined in a service shop in each town.
RoyLatham
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9/11/2014 5:20:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 4:02:49 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
If fast food becomes fully automated, the question I have is what will this do to prices? All automation is guaranteed to do is lower, if not eliminate, labor costs in addition to increasing profits. I can picture fast food prices going up if the transformation to automation becomes a major barrier to entry.

The cost of entry would rise, but there would still be many fast food chains competing, and that will keep prices down. It used to be widely argued that the high cost of entry meant that there would be no new airlines or auto manufacturers. Cars production was totally dominated by the big three. Now there are about 25 car companies in the US market. It would make it harder for independent restaurants to compete with the chains.

Prices would go up because a $15 minimum would require a 38% price increase. Automation costs would presumably cost less than a 38% rise, because automation is cheaper than the labor cost increase. The cost of making and packing a sandwich would not increase at all, so the overall business base would likely drop as people eat out less over due to the high prices.
suttichart.denpruektham
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9/12/2014 10:46:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/11/2014 5:10:26 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 9/11/2014 10:55:56 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:

it should be quite hard for any 3D printing machine that can produce precision metal part, regardless of the design, we still need far more temperature, kinetic energy, and cool down system which altogether should weight - and cost at least as much as operating a small factory in addition to operating a serving station. Sound kind of defeating a purpose of open up a restaurant to me, if I can produce parts, cheaply and effectively I would have run a factory not a restaurant.

I think the idea is to make the parts out of plastic. That means that high temperature components would be made of metal, but would not be likely to fail. The mechanism parts, like racks and gears, would be plastic. However, there is at least one way to 3D print metal parts. I think layer of powdered metal is laid down on the surface of the work area. A laser then scans the surface and fuses the dust in selected areas by sintering. Then another layer of metal powder is put on the surface and fused selectively by the laser. The 3D part is built layer by layer, and finally the unfused powder is removed. I don't know what is practical now.

Compare it to 2D printing. It was once true that if you had a laser printer you would open a print shop rather than use it as an office accessory. But costs have changed that. There are now exotic manufacturing technologies available on the web. You do a design on your computer, upload the design, and they return fabricated parts. http://www.emachineshop.com... is one such site. Rather than putting a 3D printer in every restaurant, maybe the fab could be combined in a service shop in each town.

hmnn... may be it's possible, if they can indeed manage to drive the price down to the economical level but I think it's unlikely though. Unlike the paper press, Melting down a metal part required enormous amount of energy with or without laser - which in practice should required a much larger, more sophisticated, and stronger equipment than just something to spray an ink on paper.

As for the plastic part - I don't know, except for the serving component, I think restaurant equipment need to have very high degree of heat resistance and sturdiness as to withstand the heat generate by the cooking process both directly and indirectly as well as to handle weight of raw material.

Actually those problem can be managed by replacing plastic with a mixture of a liquid epoxy and curing substances which could form solid material even stronger than steel (tensile wise) and heat resisting (sometime up to 250 degree). These chemical substances are widely accessible but can be very expensive (normally used in construction).

So, I guest in the end it came down to economic cost of all those components, the technology is probably there to make it happen, industrial complex? Probably not, not yet anyway.
1Percenter
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9/12/2014 3:58:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/10/2014 8:29:49 PM, sadolite wrote:
If minimum wage becomes $15.00 an hour I can assure you that those who don't speak read or write english will find no work anywhere. If I was an employer you damn well better speak read and write english if I am going to pay you $15.00 an hour.
Interestingly enough, I find this to be the only good case for raising the minimum wage. We need to eliminate the incentive for businesses to continue importing cheap labor from south of the border. However, other incentives such as free healthcare and in-state tuition for illegals would still need to be handled before such a policy should even be considered.

This is going to backfire on the very people it is supposed to help. Jobs for teens will disappear. You teens may as well forget having a summer job or any job at all. Those jobs will be done by people given additional work loads to justify the $15,00 an hour. Ah yes, the unintended consequences of the well intentioned are going to shine brightly of this passes.
LogicalLunatic
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9/19/2014 3:15:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/10/2014 8:29:49 PM, sadolite wrote:
If minimum wage becomes $15.00 an hour I can assure you that those who don't speak read or write english will find no work anywhere. If I was an employer you damn well better speak read and write english if I am going to pay you $15.00 an hour. This is going to backfire on the very people it is supposed to help. Jobs for teens will disappear. You teens may as well forget having a summer job or any job at all. Those jobs will be done by people given additional work loads to justify the $15,00 an hour. Ah yes, the unintended consequences of the well intentioned are going to shine brightly of this passes.

Thanks a lot Obama!
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RoyLatham
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9/21/2014 2:29:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/12/2014 3:58:04 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
At 9/10/2014 8:29:49 PM, sadolite wrote:
...We need to eliminate the incentive for businesses to continue importing cheap labor from south of the border. However, other incentives such as free healthcare and in-state tuition for illegals would still need to be handled before such a policy should even be considered.

There are indeed business interests in keeping a free flow of illegals, and a high minimum wage would dry that up. But it would also dry up the demand for citizens who need jobs. It's better to enforce laws requiring verification of citizenship. Maybe employers should be taxed for the extra costs incurred by low-paid non-citizens. California governor Jerry Brown recently said that 38% of students in California schools cannot speak English. The recent flood of immigrants from Central America is mostly high school age with only the equivalent of a second grade education. This imposes substantial costs on schools.

This is going to backfire on the very people it is supposed to help. Jobs for teens will disappear. You teens may as well forget having a summer job or any job at all. Those jobs will be done by people given additional work loads to justify the $15,00 an hour. Ah yes, the unintended consequences of the well intentioned are going to shine brightly of this passes.

Yes, that's always a problem with increasing the minimum wage. If an employer has to pay a higher labor cost he is going to seek more productive labor.
1Percenter
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9/22/2014 4:54:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/21/2014 2:29:34 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 9/12/2014 3:58:04 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
At 9/10/2014 8:29:49 PM, sadolite wrote:
...We need to eliminate the incentive for businesses to continue importing cheap labor from south of the border. However, other incentives such as free healthcare and in-state tuition for illegals would still need to be handled before such a policy should even be considered.

There are indeed business interests in keeping a free flow of illegals, and a high minimum wage would dry that up. But it would also dry up the demand for citizens who need jobs. It's better to enforce laws requiring verification of citizenship. Maybe employers should be taxed for the extra costs incurred by low-paid non-citizens. California governor Jerry Brown recently said that 38% of students in California schools cannot speak English. The recent flood of immigrants from Central America is mostly high school age with only the equivalent of a second grade education. This imposes substantial costs on schools.

I heard that in California employers (particularly in agriculture) are prohibited from questioning the validity of documentation that shows eligibility to work in the U.S. So if an illegal immigrant provides obviously forged documents to show that he is a citizen, then the employer must accept them as valid or risk a discrimination lawsuit. Not sure if that is actually the case, but I am inclined to believe it.

I wonder how much the market minimum wage would rise if laws forbidding the employment of illegal immigrants were actually enforced and if it would be enough to warrant automation. It seems to me that several decades of mass immigration has kept wages low enough to curtail investment in fast food automation, which would at least partially explain the industrywide lag in technology.
This is going to backfire on the very people it is supposed to help. Jobs for teens will disappear. You teens may as well forget having a summer job or any job at all. Those jobs will be done by people given additional work loads to justify the $15,00 an hour. Ah yes, the unintended consequences of the well intentioned are going to shine brightly of this passes.

Yes, that's always a problem with increasing the minimum wage. If an employer has to pay a higher labor cost he is going to seek more productive labor.
RoyLatham
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9/23/2014 1:47:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/22/2014 4:54:58 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
I heard that in California employers (particularly in agriculture) are prohibited from questioning the validity of documentation that shows eligibility to work in the U.S. So if an illegal immigrant provides obviously forged documents to show that he is a citizen, then the employer must accept them as valid or risk a discrimination lawsuit. Not sure if that is actually the case, but I am inclined to believe it.

I don't know what California is doing about checking IDs. I know they won't cooperate with Federal authorities in reporting or deporting illegal immigrants. Very large numbers of people claim their Social Security number is all zeroes, with no consequences. Interestingly, California needs a lot more high tech immigrants to work in Silicon Valley. Those they keep out.

I'm wondering if the fast food industry will discover that serious automation will lower costs below paying the current minimum wage. If they haven't been keeping up with technology, they may be shocked to discover it has gotten very cheap.

On forums, there are always people who say "In my country, McDonald's is making a profit selling hamburgers at $21, while paying our astronomical minimum wage." Yes, but they sell far fewer hamburgers, have far fewer stores, and employ many fewer people. Supply meets demand at a price. It hurts McDonalds (lower profits), employees (fewer jobs), and customers (fewer of whom can afford hamburgers). The people who get the undeserved high wage will vote for socialism forever, which is the politicla payoff.
RoyLatham
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9/29/2014 1:45:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This morning there was a business chain "The UPS Store" is providing 3D printer services. The have something like 100-200 stores, and are independent of the UPS delivery service.

A spokesman said that there main market was inventors who had done work with home 3D printers, but wanted output on the higher-capacity more precise machine that the store provides. Users bring in a file to be printed. The spokesman said that prices are typically in the range of $20 to $60. My impression is that would be for an object no more than a few inches in any dimension. Some stores have 3D scanners and software to copy a object to the printer.

Everything is in plastic.
suttichart.denpruektham
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9/30/2014 1:34:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/29/2014 1:45:26 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
This morning there was a business chain "The UPS Store" is providing 3D printer services. The have something like 100-200 stores, and are independent of the UPS delivery service.

A spokesman said that there main market was inventors who had done work with home 3D printers, but wanted output on the higher-capacity more precise machine that the store provides. Users bring in a file to be printed. The spokesman said that prices are typically in the range of $20 to $60. My impression is that would be for an object no more than a few inches in any dimension. Some stores have 3D scanners and software to copy a object to the printer.

Everything is in plastic.

To be honest, I've been thinking about this idea for a while and can't came up with anything useful from this 3D printing though.

Since our last discussion, I found that the major advantage - and possibly the only advantage of using 3D printer is full customization of your object (plastic) which after given it a thought for a while, if I would like to buy something that's made of plastic I don't see why I don't just buy a factory-made product (which no matter how cheaply they have become, they shouldn't be any cheaper than the economy of scale).

If I want a precision moulding part, I would have to be in a very high-tech industry in which case I should be able to afford a more elaborated technique (such as superplastic forming and diffusion bonding). If I am a small business owner or average owner, I really don't see any product that the modern industrial complex can't afford to make.
suttichart.denpruektham
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9/30/2014 1:37:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
On forums, there are always people who say "In my country, McDonald's is making a profit selling hamburgers at $21, while paying our astronomical minimum wage." Yes, but they sell far fewer hamburgers, have far fewer stores, and employ many fewer people. Supply meets demand at a price. It hurts McDonalds (lower profits), employees (fewer jobs), and customers (fewer of whom can afford hamburgers). The people who get the undeserved high wage will vote for socialism forever, which is the politicla payoff.

Just want to let you know, they are selling it for about 2 USD over here :P

And in fact, I found that most of the store employed significantly more people than, say Europe. Perhaps our wages are so much lower than yours it's made labour a more productive system than technology.
RoyLatham
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9/30/2014 6:27:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 1:34:28 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
Since our last discussion, I found that the major advantage - and possibly the only advantage of using 3D printer is full customization of your object (plastic) which after given it a thought for a while, if I would like to buy something that's made of plastic I don't see why I don't just buy a factory-made product (which no matter how cheaply they have become, they shouldn't be any cheaper than the economy of scale).

The first step in making a cast metal part is to make a part out of something that is used to make the molds for casting. 3D printing is an alternative to hand-sculpting or numerically controlled machining for that. Also, a prototype needs to be made to make sure all the parts fit together. That can be done with 3D printed plastic before committing to expensive tooling. finally, there was the original idea that 3D printing a plastic part may be cheaper than manufacturing, stocking, and shipping manufactured plastic parts.

I did a project ten years ago with a startup company that made very large (> 6') molds for fiberglass parts by 3D printing with a mixture of glue and ground up walnut shells. It worked, but they ended up having to do too much hand finishing of the rough molds to make it economic.
RoyLatham
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9/30/2014 6:32:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/30/2014 1:37:12 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
On forums, there are always people who say "In my country, McDonald's is making a profit selling hamburgers at $21, ...

Just want to let you know, they are selling it for about 2 USD over here :P

And in fact, I found that most of the store employed significantly more people than, say Europe. Perhaps our wages are so much lower than yours it's made labour a more productive system than technology.

Good point. The Yoshinoya Japanese fast food chain uses full automation in Tokyo, but not in the rest of Japan or the rest of the US. There is no reason why automation cannot be introduced selectively based on the local labor costs.
suttichart.denpruektham
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10/1/2014 12:10:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The first step in making a cast metal part is to make a part out of something that is used to make the molds for casting. 3D printing is an alternative to hand-sculpting or numerically controlled machining for that. Also, a prototype needs to be made to make sure all the parts fit together. That can be done with 3D printed plastic before committing to expensive tooling. finally, there was the original idea that 3D printing a plastic part may be cheaper than manufacturing, stocking, and shipping manufactured plastic parts.

But that's the point, there seem to be no other use beyond modelling which make its application extremely limited if you don't count superplastic steel modelling of aircraft or satellite part.

As for whether it can be cheaper than factory made product - I feel doubtful though, you can't make cheap plastic object without cheap plastic which can only be achieve by bulk purchase. And if you're going to deliver those bulk of plastic you're going to spend a lot for its transportation anyway (even more so if you're going to deliver it to many small outlet of micro 3D modelling factories). It may have some use if it can limited its price to 20-30 percent of the mass produced plastic product - may some sort of offer fancy, customizable product to specific customer but we are going to need a very well developed infrastructure for that to happen.

I did a project ten years ago with a startup company that made very large (> 6') molds for fiberglass parts by 3D printing with a mixture of glue and ground up walnut shells. It worked, but they ended up having to do too much hand finishing of the rough molds to make it economic.

Ground walnut shells!? How can possibly pass that mixture through your injection tube?

(actually,more like ejaculation but those combination of words bother me)
RoyLatham
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10/2/2014 2:57:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/1/2014 12:10:08 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
But that's the point, there seem to be no other use beyond modelling which make its application extremely limited if you don't count superplastic steel modelling of aircraft or satellite part.

I think it is too soon to tell whether it will be useful for making replacement parts to order. By comparison, it took quite a while to come up with a productive use for lasers. Lasers were a lab curiosity with no practical applications for more than a decade. But I wouldn't dismiss the 3D printing use for tooling. That lowers the upfront cost for manufacturing, which is a big deal.

A happened to see something on 3D printing with metal yesterday. Metal parts are make by sintering the metal dust with a laser. The laser energy is concentrated, so the laser head is small. The sintered part is quite fragile, however. What they do is use the sintered part by packing in casting media which is then filled with liquid metal to make the final solid cast part. This eliminates the wax replica part of the casting process. It requires a facility with foundry equipment, but it could be practical for casting replacement parts for out-of-production equipment or for new parts for specialized equipment.

As for whether it can be cheaper than factory made product - I feel doubtful though, you can't make cheap plastic object without cheap plastic which can only be achieve by bulk purchase. And if you're going to deliver those bulk of plastic you're going to spend a lot for its transportation anyway (even more so if you're going to deliver it to many small outlet of micro 3D modelling factories). It may have some use if it can limited its price to 20-30 percent of the mass produced plastic product - may some sort of offer fancy, customizable product to specific customer but we are going to need a very well developed infrastructure for that to happen.

The plastic is not a significant percentage of the total cost of most small parts. Food grade plastic filament for 3D printers is about $7 a pound, plus shipping, retail from amazon. The shipping would cost as much. The cost of parts manufactured in volume includes the inventory cost. Stuff sitting in boxes on shelves waiting to be sold ties up money that could have been invested profitably. When a part is ordered, it has to be retrieved, packaged, and shipped. All those logistics costs add up. It's not like plastic household goods that are hauled by the truckload to Walmart.

There is an interesting parallel with book printing. Amazon now prints books on demand. Order one copy and they print and bind exactly one copy. It's mainly for low-volume books like specialist monographs and self-published books. But the prices are reasonable, and it means the book can stay in print forever. E-books will probably win in the long run, but it's a parallel in terms of inventory and logistics costs being dominant.

Ground walnut shells!? How can possibly pass that mixture through your injection tube?

It's ground to dust. It's a filler to cut the cost of the epoxy. For a fiberglass mold, I think they were only using layers about a millimeter thick. The mold surface had to be hand finished.
suttichart.denpruektham
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10/3/2014 10:57:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
A happened to see something on 3D printing with metal yesterday. Metal parts are make by sintering the metal dust with a laser. The laser energy is concentrated, so the laser head is small. The sintered part is quite fragile, however. What they do is use the sintered part by packing in casting media which is then filled with liquid metal to make the final solid cast part. This eliminates the wax replica part of the casting process. It requires a facility with foundry equipment, but it could be practical for casting replacement parts for out-of-production equipment or for new parts for specialized equipment.

hmnn like making a metal mould for final metal casting? That could work, but as you said, there will be a need for foundry facility for that.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure 3D casting would works - in the industrial level, eventually but my real concern is whether there will be any use for domestic demand (who are currently lacking in any sort of product customization which 3D casting could offer, the industrial customer they already have access to that sort of capability and would probably upgrade it with 3D anyway).

And personally, I don't think we have any real need for further customization of our tool and plastic product right now. In my opinion, the current technology might actually work in some sort of entertainment business - for example you can make exact replica of your favourite game characters. It could be charming for a game with extensive modder community (Skyrim for example), where you can have your character in costume not even available on market.

Or it could be something like this
https://www.youtube.com...

but I guest you will need more than just your own desktop in order to do it.

As for whether it can be cheaper than factory made product - I feel doubtful though, you can't make cheap plastic object without cheap plastic which can only be achieve by bulk purchase. And if you're going to deliver those bulk of plastic you're going to spend a lot for its transportation anyway (even more so if you're going to deliver it to many small outlet of micro 3D modelling factories). It may have some use if it can limited its price to 20-30 percent of the mass produced plastic product - may some sort of offer fancy, customizable product to specific customer but we are going to need a very well developed infrastructure for that to happen.

The plastic is not a significant percentage of the total cost of most small parts. Food grade plastic filament for 3D printers is about $7 a pound, plus shipping, retail from amazon. The shipping would cost as much. The cost of parts manufactured in volume includes the inventory cost. Stuff sitting in boxes on shelves waiting to be sold ties up money that could have been invested profitably. When a part is ordered, it has to be retrieved, packaged, and shipped. All those logistics costs add up. It's not like plastic household goods that are hauled by the truckload to Walmart.

I am not sure how much plastic product is costed in the US (that sound like a lot to me though) but as I said earlier, if price is about 20-30 percent above the market it could works - even for a domestic consumption. Having our own tailored made plastic tool can be cool but you will also need a developed network of 3D modeller to take thing to that level.

There is an interesting parallel with book printing. Amazon now prints books on demand. Order one copy and they print and bind exactly one copy. It's mainly for low-volume books like specialist monographs and self-published books. But the prices are reasonable, and it means the book can stay in print forever. E-books will probably win in the long run, but it's a parallel in terms of inventory and logistics costs being dominant.

Sound interesting - I would rather have an e-book though, especially if it's text book.

Ground walnut shells!? How can possibly pass that mixture through your injection tube?

It's ground to dust. It's a filler to cut the cost of the epoxy. For a fiberglass mold, I think they were only using layers about a millimeter thick. The mold surface had to be hand finished.

I see, over here we used some sort of cement or pozzolanic powder (ashes, mostly) for that role (road swamp filling, about 1 cm. very, very resilient stuff but so, so much expensive)
sadolite
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10/3/2014 9:41:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I hope the do automate the fast food industry I will have a high paying job for life fixing the machines.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%