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3D printer forum?

 
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First, has permies considered a subforum for this technology?

Second, I have looked at this tech for the last three years or so but never could quite justify the expense/utilization to buy one. Essentially would I get my money out of it? Well luck would have it a friend of a friend sold me a used one at half what it would cost new as they were upgrading. In the few weeks I have had it, the experience has been positive.

3D print compliments all the following arts:

* gardening
* metal craft
* reuse/repair
* fiber arts
* household items
* You name it...

Ewwww but its plastic! Yes but its ecological since the most common feed stock, PLA, is made from plant based materials. Many in the game are looking for ways to reuse/recycle PLA as it can be turned into new filaments. A useable 3D printer can be purchased for $300-400. A spool of filament around $20.

A 3D printer might be the most useful device in the toolkit.
 
pioneer
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I have the same thought about using a 3D printer in permaculture. If one could make a 3D printer that used cob this could be really cool. I also have a 3D printer that uses PLA but I had issues with the print and little time and understanding to get it to work. It is a cool device!
 
pollinator
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3 D printers are available for laying cob.
But if you cant find the time to learn how to use a smaller unit, well?

I have used them to build houses.

3 D can also use metal now.
 
pollinator
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The ideas, programming, and architecture can be used on the macro scale as well. John mentioned 3D-printed cob, which I think is brilliant, by the way. I would love to see that in action in person.

But imagine a 3D-printed unglazed terra cotta airwell, with internally printed air and moisture channels, layered funnels turning huge gentle breezes into tiny fierce gales, harvesting moisture and maybe making music, too.

Imagine instead of those giant watering gantries moving overtop of fields, or those centre-pivot irrigation things, we had telerobotic and semi-autonomous horticultural tools, comprising plant identifying cameras, seeders, seedling and tuber planters, and specialised pruner and harvester arms. moving across fields, not impacting the soil, not tilling in established systems, planting according to square-foot gardening rules, noting localized deficiency by low brix counts on cover vegetation and applying actively aerated compost teas and fungal slurries and diluted raw organic milk at need.

It might even be possible to design one of those gantries for use in tree-planting, as long as the wheels were redesigned to deal with the kinds of terrain you're likely to encounter. Multiple heads, hoppers full of tiny trees encased in compostable transparent vegetable plastic and pressboard root guard innoculated with the appropriate fungi, watering-in with compost extract and fungal slurry, all following a primary gantry fitted with slash-chewing forestry mulching heads that prepare the surface. A billion trees? Try billions of trees.

And no, I'm not suggesting that a single extant operating system could do all these things with off-the-shelf stuff today; I wish. But a common architecture could support these different machines and tasks, and it could be designed modularly, at least such that horticultural and forestry heads might share parts, for instance.

But yes, I believe 3D printing is definitely forum-worthy, as it definitely has the potential to be applied to solve problems in a permacultural way. If enough posts can be tabulated to please the Google Gods, it should get it's own.

-CK

 
john mcginnis
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Chris Kott wrote:The ideas, programming, and architecture can be used on the macro scale as well. John mentioned 3D-printed cob, which I think is brilliant, by the way. I would love to see that in action in person.
<snip>
But yes, I believe 3D printing is definitely forum-worthy, as it definitely has the potential to be applied to solve problems in a permacultural way. If enough posts can be tabulated to please the Google Gods, it should get it's own.



Observations from your post:

* There are several firms in the AG field now implementing what you postulated. Most are targeted at row crop mgt. But they apply the ferts and bug spray on a per plant basis rather than our current 'spray the whole damn field' thought process.
* Tree planting. Several of the plantation operators now carpet bomb areas using a specialized bomblet that has an individual tree seedling contained in it. Once embedded the shell dissolves over time. Another startup is developing a drone to do the same thing but in a more precise manner. Even with current desktop 3D print, the bomblets can be created using a water soluble filament. Expensive tho, its $100 a Kg. But you could make a bunch of them since each one would only be about 10-20 grams each.
* Larger scale 3D print would probably be targeted as a community level resource simply due to the costs of materials. eg: print head, gantry, platform. The electronics that power a desktop unit would work for a larger platform. The only need that increases is large servos to drive the thing. Best such a system be portable like a small trailer that can then be assembled onsite, used, disassembled, and towed to the next job.

But even with desktop 3D printers one can assemble large structures. Take a temporary hoop house. Buy a bunch of emt, print out the connectors that fit in the pipe, assemble it, when the season ends take it apart to be ready for next season.
 
John C Daley
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Following up the bomblets concept.

SEED BALLS are already in use, they are made by mixing seeds and clay in a concrete mixer and then dried.
Once they are spread around, the seeds are protected from birds and ants etc until enough moisture is around to set off the seed.
Then BINGO and plant appears.
They can sit for months or even years.

ermaculture seed balls etc

Seed balls the easy way
 
john mcginnis
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John C Daley wrote:Following up the bomblets concept.

SEED BALLS are already in use, they are made by mixing seeds and clay in a concrete mixer and then dried.
Once they are spread around, the seeds are protected from birds and ants etc until enough moisture is around to set off the seed.
Then BINGO and plant appears.
They can sit for months or even years.

ermaculture seed balls etc

Seed balls the easy way



There are 3D printers that can do clay slip to make pots. I see no reason that a formula could not be developed to do the same for printing a bomblet.

Have to understand the plantation owners, unlike the seed ball, deploy an already established seedling tree when they are released. That dictates a cylindrical shape to promote proper root growth. Having the seedling already established before release enhances the chances the plant will not get smothered by more aggressive ground hugging plants.
 
John C Daley
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Seed balls as described earlier have worked for a few hundred years.
The rate of production with a mixer or tumbler I am sure would be 1000 times faster than with a printer.
I think 3D printers are fantastic, but need to be used when they are the BEST method of manufacture.
 
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I was thinking last night that 3-D printers could be used to print out highly detailed terrain based on publicly available data and used as a table-top planner. I’ve considered creating such out of various materials, but printed directly from data promises to be  far more accurate. The limiting size of a printer could be surpassed by printing the property in sections that could seamlessly be joined together. In WWII terrain models were useful in planning attacks in great detail. Of course as with most of my ideas it is already a thing and there are businesses selling such a product: Solid Terrain Modeling

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Chris Kott
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James, that's really quite brilliant. I think that a 3D printer that works on the same physical infrastructure as a CNC table would do exactly what you're talking about.

I would probably design them as hexagonal tiles, and rather than plastic, I think fireable clay might make a great medium. Imagine printing terrain tiles as large as your kiln could take, stacked six deep, and then creating a tiny microcosm of your property in your kitchen garden, installed right in the ground.

I think, apart from really intense caprure-the-flag, it would be really cool for keeping a physical record of the changes made, and it would be a cinch to extrapolate normal flooding events, and to print out planned changes, and then plug the new tile in, to gauge the hydrological changes.

Okay, honestly, I just think that it would be a fun way to shorten the quasi-obligatory "tour" for owners of large properties. I mean, an aerial drone tour in real-time might be easier, but this is the wrong thread for that.

Printed clay!

-CK
 
John C Daley
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Here are details of a 3d printed mud house
#D printed mud house

The smartphone-controlled SCARA robotic printer used in this project is lightweight enough that two people can erect it.
The three-axis SCARA (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) extrudes an adobe mix.

Casa Covida blends rammed earth, mud, clay and other natural materials with 3D printing. These materials are local and easy to source. California-based Emerging Objects is a visionary studio that is exploring ways to use 3D printing using soil mixed with straw, sand, and other organic materials.
From More info on the subject

The smartphone-controlled SCARA robotic printer used in this project is lightweight enough that only two people are needed to operate it. Casa Covida may be an experimental prototype for now, but Rael points out that the goal here is to ask vital questions about the limits of advanced technology and materials, and the possibilities of reviving ancient techniques and materials in a modern context, “In some ways, for me at least, this is a return to a particular origin and we’re taking the most primitive materials and combining them with the most sophisticated technology. But I actually see that in reverse: I see that mankind has been developing the use of mud for 10,000 years — it’s actually our most sophisticated material. And the way it works thermally, and the way it performs, and the way that it works environmentally is extremely sophisticated. The robotic arm is a crotchety, weird thing that’s always breaking down — that’s only existed for two years. It’s the least sophisticated technology we have for making a building.

 
John C Daley
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From Info about the printer


The 3D printing system combines a portable 3-axis SCARA (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) purpose built for on-site additive manufacturing that can construct structures larger than the printer itself, with a continuous flow, and stator driven mortar pump that delivers adobe material to the nozzle. In constructing Casa Covida, a 4th axis rail which creates a rigid structure upon which the printer was moved after each printing session of approximately 400mm in height. The deposited adobe material is allowed to dry and harden in the sun and wind. The printer can be easily carried by two people and can be operated entirely by as few as one person using a cell phone that controls the printer. Mixing is and sifting the earth mixture is done manually but assisted by a mortar mixer. The design files are created by a robust software application that grows from Potterware, a ceramic 3D printing software developed by Emerging Objects, which was a by-product of the architectural aspirations for printing with clay.

Details of the The only dedicated 3D ceramic printer using real clay!
From The actual 3D potter itself

DRUM ROLL>>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!
continous clay printer system
continuous-flow-high-volume extruder for clay
 
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You have always 3D printed.

The big push for 3D printing isa push for removing the human element.

Slip Form masonry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-csxSe9jEeY
 
john mcginnis
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Simon Torsten wrote:You have always 3D printed.

The big push for 3D printing isa push for removing the human element.

Slip Form masonry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-csxSe9jEeY



Oh I don't know. When a building is built who do people remember -- the architect or the contractor? Everybody knows Frank Llloyd Wright. Anybody tell me who built FallingWaters?  The point is the idea has always been pinnacle of what defines humanity. The effort to make it real defines its depth.
 
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Does anyone know if 3D printing is, in any way, being fused with plastic recycling?  I recall a thread some time ago about some movement and machinery that melts and re-molds plastic for new uses.  Is there a 3D printer concept out there that has envisioned using waste plastic as a raw material that could be liquified and used in the printing?
 
john mcginnis
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John Weiland wrote:Does anyone know if 3D printing is, in any way, being fused with plastic recycling?  I recall a thread some time ago about some movement and machinery that melts and re-molds plastic for new uses.  Is there a 3D printer concept out there that has envisioned using waste plastic as a raw material that could be liquified and used in the printing?



You might be thinking of precious plastics. They developed a DIY shredder and injection molding platform. webpage

Now 3D print can fit in this realm as well. But that is based on the material used, like PETG or PEEK. The most common 3D plastic is PLA. PLA is a plant and starch based bio-plastic. PLA is recyclable and there are recyclers that make new filament out of the old prints. PLA will also break down in UV light ever so slowly, like say 100+ years.
 
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