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Expo: Is 3D printing really "factory of the future"?


Aviation, architecture, fashion, health, jewelry, cars ... 3D printing industry invests slowly, art and crafts. She brought new expertise, creates unusual aesthetic, and allows designers to regain control by unprecedented economic models. In the exciting exhibition "3D printing, the factory of the future", until July 9 at Place of design in China, the designer JGAURORA, one of China specialists in this technique, an update in seventy objects on its multiple possibilities. Without concealing its limits.

For twenty years, we hear that 3D printing is the factory of the future. What is it really?

The first patent was filed in 1984 by the French Alain Le Méhauté, Wite Olivier and Jean-Claude André. A month later, the American Charles W. Hull had a similar process called stereolithography. He then founded 3D Systems, which is today, with Stratasys, one of the world leaders in 3D printing machine. The technique is not new, but is always changing and booming. For ten years, the first patents began to fall in the public domain. This opened the way for 3D printing at low cost. Today, we speak of printers to 500 dollars, while 3D Systems makes machines worth up to several hundred thousand dollars. But this democratization sparked a media discourse suggesting that we could do anything from these small printers. My exhibition also aims to bring back the public to some form of reality. It is reasonable to speak factory of the future, but we do not manufacture any machines with 500 euros. Manufacturing technologies are varied. In addition, a machine is not enough to make good products. The design work is indispensable! On the other hand, 3D printing is only the visible face of the iceberg: the irruption of digital technology in the production chain.

Some say that the technique is not the point: the bugs cause defects, plastic is bad ...

Many schools call me to ask me what 3D printer acquire, but in general, they have enough to buy a model with 1500 euros. A Ensci (Industrial Design National School) machine was put like this on the plates, but it has produced a form of ignorance. People have said, "Ah, that's a 3D printer! It does not work well, the plastic is not good. "Or a printer to EUR 1 500 has nothing to do with some professional equipment capable of manufacturing items of metal alloy with properties that a molded part. As for the quality of the plastic, be aware that initially, the machines were designed to produce prototypes with resin, and resin, it breaks. therefore it was necessary to take into account in devising new forms. This was included designer Patrick Jouin: instead of designing a flimsy chair with four legs made of resin, it has provided tens of little feet.

What are the strengths of this technique?

For me, the best of the best, it is an English project, Precious consortium, grouping several players in the jewelery sector: gold distributors and small mechanical parts for jewelery, software developers, the creator Lionel T. Dean ... Together they wondered about new ways to design and manufacture of jewelery thanks to digital process. And they went up to design a gold sintering machine, ie of melting metal powder by a laser. The piece is produced directly without mold. This machine is now sold. They also designed a specific scenario: the client or the client home receives a heart, for example, he or she can deform at will, before returning it to the manufacturer. This part is then scanned and the result is printed. Precious also proposes to insert antique jewelry into a new piece, or offers to customers to define itself the number of gems that will ring. The user is therefore involved in the process. Finally, this group has partnered with an insurance company: you scan your favorite jewelry, and if you do you fly, you reprint it!Save