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Old 12-20-2009, 07:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jack000 View Post
are there any products that you need a lot of customization for, that is not trivial to produce on your own? (cabinet doors?) I thought countertops were the perfect thing, but I'm by no means a builder so I still don't understand a lot of this stuff.

thanks again
Cabinets and doors are sometimes cut and assembled already to custom dimensions with computer driven software. Again, I would never trust the homeowner to measure for cabinetry anymore than I would countertops. My Dad was a cabinetmaker and I was terrible at such things and would not measure for any of my own.

I use a laser cutting service for more and more things and that business could certainly use some competition. The folks I use are very reasonable though and cut and drill just about any material that does not kick off personally or environmentally dangerous vapors (nothing that kick off chorline). And I usually get my orders in day or so if I need them that fast. They have software users can tap but I trust my own which is even less complicated. The lasers can cut and drill shapes I never could and would need all kinds of tools to do it.

I have a community of folks that do a lot of custom work in building inventor prototypes, machines (and parts for them) for different things but more and more of them are finding that the on demand places that can take a 3D set of digital coordinates and cast or machine parts from it to be much cheaper than starting with a chunk of metal and tooling it. Sadly, kids are not training to be master machinists much either so it is not like they are stealing jobs.

I think anything a business having to do with 3D printers and scanners worth keeping an eye on. I have been able to have small parts that were totally not available anymore replicated and printed out in minutes using a 3D scanner and printer. Not sure how the material will hold up in some cases but got things working again. I don't know what a personal 3D scanner costs these days? But I think a decent but clunky printer can be had by the individual for $2-3K these days? Dentists have cute little 3D scanners now that kick the cloud point data out to carving machines sitting chairside. They can carve nice porcelain crowns in real time. Not sure I would trust one to fit yet, and will still rely on my lab techs for now but the technology is headed in that directions.

Not sure those of us who know at least a little bit about sticks and stones dumped in the driveway construction, or finish it will last much longer either. Prefab has so many advantages and if you think it has to look like trailers expanded, check out books on prefab mansions, for example. Prefab is totally drawing-to-fabrication.


Last edited by user1007; 12-20-2009 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:50 AM   #17
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yeah, it's definitely getting there, just like inkjet printers and personal computers back in the day. Everyone will have a 3d printer someday and it'll cost next to nothing. Right now they're still pretty expensive though, I've made a bit of a hobby building cnc machines from scrap parts.

for now, I don't think the average joe would take the time to design and CAD something for a customized product. My goal is to break down the barrier with easy to use software, so anyone can do it. It's all about the software..

I still can't figure out how to turn on PMs actually.. .. and I call myself an engineer.. sigh. if you need to contact me use my throwaway/spam email at
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:53 AM   #18
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:01 AM   #19
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*D-OH!* i shoulda remembered that.... duh. sorry.
I'm usually the one telling people that! heh heh i need more coffee.....
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