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Implications of affordable 3D printing - thesis help

Posted by Squags 
Implications of affordable 3D printing - thesis help
September 05, 2014 12:06PM
Hello all,

I'm writing a masters thesis (due end. Sept) on budget 3D printing and am hoping for a little help.

The basic format of my thesis is below, with most emphasis being on the last chapter, for which I have done several months of experimental work. Chapters 1 and 3 are easy, so I was hoping for a little help with Chapter 2.

Chapter 1: Brief history of manufacturing (towards 3D printing)
Chapter 2: Importance/implications of making 3D printing widely affordable
Chapter 3: Brief overview of current 3D printing technologies, including costs and applications
Chapter 4: Experimental work developing open source budget 3D metal printer.

Below are a few points I was wanting to touch on in Chapter 2, hopefully tying it all together in some kind of narrative. If you can think of anything important I've missed out, please let me know. Also, if there are any good (ideally vaguely academic) sources that you know of, please send me links/titles/articles.

Chapter 2:
1. Manufacturing infrastructure may be changed to a localised model, decreasing transport costs
2. History of the RepRap model, which has cut entry level 3D printer costs by 10 since the FDM patent expiration in 2009.
3. Crowdfunding has shown an appetite for cheap printers.
4. 2D printers have shown that ownership costs are closely related to running costs (ink cartridges), which if left to manufacturers, will be very expensive
3. Ownership of design – opensource hardware, design file sharing and collaborative design: benefits, constraints and intellectual property considerations.

Thanks in advance for all your help. I'll happily post a copy of my final thesis here once submitted if anyone is interested.
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