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July 12, 2013

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Yes, 3-D printers are commercially available, but still expensive and capable of using only plastics. They remind me of the early home computers, like the luggable Osbornes.

In this application, I was thinking of NASA machinist losing their jobs. In another post, I considered the effects of mechanized harvesting on the availability of farm jobs - widely used for foods destined for processors, robotics are gaining in the fresh produce arena as well.

We saw some of the first 3D printers at a JPL Open House, some 10+ years ago, Now they're commercially available. NASA's printer uses "selective laser melting"; I suspect they're using high-oower lasers. The NASA video looks like it's an IR laser.

"it's a sure bet that this development's going to cost some folks their jobs."

Yeah - NASA machinists, and farm workers to the robot harvesters.

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