Tomorrow's 3D Printer

We are not the only ones crazy about lasers. Here is a different use for them.

MIT has a new 3D printer method that (hopefully) will make it to consumers.
They showed it in real time with a small video. Rated as 10 times faster than today’s printers.
I like to think that is a big red bumper on the print head. It is really banging around on that print bed.

One of the reasons it is so quick is it uses a laser to fast melt the material, and therefore needed a much faster feed method and motion control to keep up.

Nice cool new tech, but in the long run it will just be another 2 year or longer wait for those of us who are interested (sigh).

Origin article here:


That is interesting! I’ve always thought the reason 3D printing is still limited to a handful of enthusiasts is the time it takes to make anything.


Desktop 3D printers are still like owning a British roadster.

Guaranteed that something electrical and/or mechanical will need tuning or flat out fixing.

And the consumer focused ones are simply that without the ability to fix it.

Slow, unpredictable results, and a maintenance mess.


The high end models are very reliable, but kind of pricey for the avg. consumer. And there’s a pretty large learning curve…much higher than for this. (Lots of fun though.) :slightly_smiling_face:

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High end as in SLS? Sure.

FDM – filament squirters – yeah… even the high end ones are an exercise in zen like patience. :slight_smile:

I have an Ultimaker Original, upgraded with heated bed and better extruder, with many hours on it. Lots of fun and oft useful, but… yeah… good for the tinkerer mindset.

The Glowforge is comparatively liberating. I can know if an idea is going to pan out within minutes and rarely do I have a false start. And never will a print fail, say, 8 hours in.


I spoke to a bunch of those enthusiasts at MFNY. Even they seem to agree with that statement. But they also seem to see several advances around the corner that will make it far more inviting to the masses. It was really interesting to talk to them.

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Got a couple of M2s. They’re FDM, but only require leveling once a year or so. Very solid stable machines. Super accurate and aside from the initial setup, practically zero maintenance. (Well you might clog a nozzle with crap in the filament once in a while, but they’re eight bucks to replace - I just keep a couple on hand so I don’t have to mess with cleaning the nozzle out.)

Haven’t used them in a year, thanks to playing with the laser. Guess I ought to sell one and clear some space.

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That thing is going to shake all its screws off.

They can just print more.

I agree, I spent two years designing and building high end 3d printers and tried a lot of the others on the market. They all have their issues and I can’t even express how many hours I spent on the phone trouble shooting people’s printers who started acting up… I still have nightmares

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