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"Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection

Posted by spike_spiegel 
"Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection
January 26, 2022 02:50PM
Hello all,

The aim of this post is to seek for contribution help, if you like, and asking for your opinions on a new project. (all help is very appreciated!)
We currently start working on a new open-source project, which aims to "transport" goods from one place to another with 3D printers and scanners.
Admittedly, we are only in the idea-development phase of the project, and we are looking for contributors to share ideas, or to help making the
implementation after we decide some deatails. If any of you might want to ge involved, or share ideas, it would be great. That said, let me explain the project in detail.

We want to "transport" goods from a location to another, without transportation devices, and 3D printers and scanners.
The basic procedure to make such a "transportation" is this:
1) Scan the good at the sender side with the help of a 3D scanner.
2) Send the file to the other side.
3) Let the 3D printer in the receiver side to "reproduce" the good.

As you notice, this is not actually a transportation, it is just a production. And also, you can do this even today!
There is nothing preventing you to email a 3D model of an object to a friend, and let her produce the model. So, what is original with this?
Well, we don't want you sending the file to only a friend of yours, we want you to be able to send 3D models to anyone!
That is, we want a "global internet of 3D systems", where every 3D system is connected, via which, everyone is able to
"send" goods from anywhere to anyone. Internet connection is an integrated-part of this project. We want everyone
in the world to have 3D printers, (and scanners) and use the 3D machines similar to how we use the computers.
That is, instead of a computation device, we use a production device, to allow "physical" transmission.
Instead of software packages, we want to send real packages.

1) We want to make the transportation as general as possible. The transportation means production in this system, so that
any good to be transported, it must be able to be produced with 3D printers. Note that any production device could do the job,
but 3D printers seems a more appropriate candidate due to their ability of "generalized" manufacturing.
However, even so, the additive manufacturing devices are so diverse, with different methods and devices, and with different
production results. Note that when we want to "transport" a good with production, we need to give some guarantee that
the reproduced good at the receiver side is similar to the quality of the good in the sender side (if the exact same quality is not possible),
otherwise we would be only making a cheap copy. That is, we need to push the generalization and quality of 3D printers, in a cheap way.
Today, desktop printers are developing fastly, with their printing quality increases every day, and they are the ones that we need to do,
so that every one can use them in their homes. Cost is also a very important factor. For the system to be used by anyone,
it must be cheap! Again, what are your suggestions? Do you think existing dektop printers are enough for
doing such a job, do we need to develop our own desktop printers, which are cheap and accurate, or do we need another 20 years to make this technology?
Again, it is not possible to transport "every good" with the exact quality of initial factory production, but can we get a closer home-manufacturing
to make transportation?

2) 3D scanners are also a pain-in-the ass. Note that the basic idea of making transportation this way depends on the initial assumption that
when we 3D scan a good, we will get a good-quality 3D model of the good. However, this is not always the case. Again, there are so many diverse 3D scanners with
different results. In some cases, even simple photography is enough to get simple shape information, but not in our case. We want to reproduce the exact good
(or a close-second) at the other side. We might end up finding ourselves developing a new 3D-printer-scanner combined unit to make this project. (Any idea if we should?)

Since this is an interdisiplinary area, before we start the actual implementations, we need to decide the boundaries between systems. Should we start our own cheap-and-accurate
desktop printer project, or should we design a combined 3D-scanner-printer unit? (all open-source) Of course, we don't want to overcomplicate the project, because the internet
part is already as complicated as this, and has its own limitations (security being one of the most problematic). Thus, any suggestions at this point is very welcome.

When implemented, we want this project to get world-wide adoption, and this is why we do this open-source.
Anyone must be able to access such a technology cheaply. If you like the idea, want to share the great ideas of yours, or are interesting on contributing,
this is the Github repository of the project. You can just share your ideas here, if you like. On the repository, you can learn more about the project in the documents.
Thank you very much in advance for your interest, and have good printing days!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2022 03:03PM by spike_spiegel.
Re: "Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection
January 26, 2022 10:06PM
Unless you are destroying the original item, you are copying other products and are in for a world of hurt legally

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2022 10:06PM by Dust.
Re: "Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection
January 27, 2022 12:58AM
... AFAIK Amazon filed some patents in this direction -- another patent was around "3D-printing trucks", generating the ordered/to deliver items while driving to the target adress smoking smiley

Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: "Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection
January 27, 2022 01:45AM
Thanks for your reply and suggestion! As you brilliantly point out, it is necessary to destroy the original item.

As you said, users copying goods without permission have legal problems. It is similar to copying and printing books without author's permission, which cannot be allowed. The system does allow the copy, however, if the users have necessary licenses that allows them do so, thus we added on option on copying.

Also, without the destruction of sent good, after every transportation, the number of the produced item increases exponentially, which we do not want. Unnecessarily producing goods only creates a burden to the overall production system.

Thus we add the destruction process, which we simply call "recycle". The simplified overall procedure is:
1) The 3D scanner scans the good and send the file to the other side.
2) The 3D printer produces it in the receiver side. After doing it, it informs the sender side that the reproduction is successfully done (or aborted with some error)
3) Getting the successful reproduction message, the machine in the sender side "recycles" the good via a "3D recycler"

Note that contrary to printers and scanners, there are no "desktop recyclers", so we need to develop. For FFF printers, simple melting seems a natural way of doing it, converting shaped material back to raw material. However, for the other types like SLAs, it is not clear how we should do so. Do you want to suggest any idea on this?

As for the legal issues, once somebody have a successful 3D scan of a product, whose manufacturing rights belong to the producer company, there is nothing preventing him illegally producing the product via his own 3D printer, or send the 3D model to someone else via internet, with email or a similar method. However, in our system, all machines are connected to the network, and the system keeps track of all the scanning and production activities, so we "might" have better chances of preventing illegal production compared to today's system. This is another advantage of implementing our system, although we don't believe we can totally eliminate these illegal activities.

You can also check the Github repository to learn more about system features. There are other features which I didn't mention yet. Thanks for your contribution!
Re: "Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection
January 27, 2022 01:54AM
3D printing trucks seems interesting. I did not know that, so thanks for notifying! In our project, there are no need for trucks, or ships, or cargo planes, because the production (and transformation) is done in the customer. However, such a truck system might be useful if the customer does not have her own 3D printer to make the production. I will surely check those patents to see if they contain anything similar to our project. Thank you very much!
Re: "Transportation" via 3D printers and scanners, and internet connection
January 27, 2022 03:42AM
... in terms of higher efficiency and saving ressources, a "3D-printer in every home" is not so optimal -- better think about the first years with "common" 3D-printing with high-quality 3D-pronters in public libraries or maker-spaces or such.

Then too - "recycling" the original isn't so good ... better use "digital" parts or copies, so only bits+bytes are "recycled", not sparse ressources.

Think about replacement parts for cars or such at local workshops -- the customer gives you the needed part ID, and the workshop makes the replacement from metal powder and/or other materials smoking smiley

Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
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