Ghost town

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joe
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Ghost town

Post by joe » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:14 am

This forum has become a ghost town. Where are all the regulars? Is 3D printing losing its lustre? I have been reading this forum for over a year and never seen it this dead.

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barry99705
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Re: Ghost town

Post by barry99705 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:23 am

joe wrote:This forum has become a ghost town. Where are all the regulars? Is 3D printing losing its lustre? I have been reading this forum for over a year and never seen it this dead.

It comes and goes.
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Jimustanguitar
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Re: Ghost town

Post by Jimustanguitar » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:54 am

It seems like the new forum setup shows less threads in the "new posts" section. Maybe I'm imagining it, but could that be what you're noticing as well?

It's also the summer, so many folks are spending more time outside away from the plastic fumes :) I don't remember if that happened in past years or not.

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Re: Ghost town

Post by geneb » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:43 am

It's slowed down a little bit - most likely due to the season.

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Re: Ghost town

Post by IMBoring25 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:44 am

Don't think 4th of July weekend on a US-centric forum is a representative time to be making such observations.

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Re: Ghost town

Post by Tincho85 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:40 am

You are thinking it all wrong.
The thing is that with all the new updates, ball cup effector, cheapskates, switching psu, etc. the Rostock Max has achieved almost perfection! so... there is no need for new posts.
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jmpreuss
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Re: Ghost town

Post by jmpreuss » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:25 pm

In general I have seen a dramatic drop in posts in many of the 3d print forums I subscribe to in the past 6 months or so. I think part of it is that some of the earlier participants have left and there is not an easy way for new people to find these forums. I also wonder if 3d printing has reached a different stage of it's product cycle, away from the diy system which means most interaction is directly with the manufacturer of your particular device instead of a community. I also see the old timers getting increasingly frustrated with the issues of the newbies (I guess after 4 years of reposting info on the importance of leveling your build plate it can get kinda old).
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teoman
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Re: Ghost town

Post by teoman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:19 am

The new forum engine is not doing it for me.

From a mobile phone it does not give the same experience as it used to.

Also there seems to be less people tinkering - pushing boundaries.
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Re: Ghost town

Post by 626Pilot » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:53 am

I've been busy as heck. A lot of forums see a lull in the summertime. It's even common for call-in shows have more trouble finding people to call in during this season. People are just having a good time outside. :)

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Re: Ghost town

Post by travelphotog » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:40 pm

I can only speak for myself. As much as I wish to be around, I am slammed with things on the mill. I miss interacting with everyone here as often as I once did. Between filling orders, milling custom work and trying to develop new products for the Max and a few other printers, I find little time to drop by. Honestly i also have been in such a isolated hole since we moved last year, that most of the time I feel I have little to contribute to the forum as I have been so busy that I hardly have time to explore new things on the printer.

I think another part of the overall effect is like was mentioned. It is summer time and most folks are busy being outside and not stuck indoor with their printers like in the winter time. Life has a way of pulling us away from the keyboards and printers as we all know too well. I think the forum is still alive and well, just everyone is distracted right now. I have a feeling when the V3 drops we will see a huge increase in posting again as everyone comes together to mod it and help the system grow as always seems to be the case with new printers.

I am trying to come around more often. I admit I lurk and learn far more these days than I post. I hope I can start coming around more often and find ways i can help give back to the forum as it has helped me on some many levels over the 2 years I have had my printer. I have folks here I consider friends and I do miss interacting with them and everyone else.
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Re: Ghost town

Post by 626Pilot » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:49 pm

I think another possibility is that the open-source 3D printing industry is getting over to the the leeward side of the bell curve. The standard product adoption cycle starts low, peaks, and then declines slowly down to nothing. At this point, people have printed clips for bags of chips, statues of owls and Cthulhu, party plates with slots cut into them for holding wine glasses, etc., and now they're thinking, "Okay, now what?"

There needs to be more Stuff. One or two heads with one or two colors isn't going to cut it forever. There needs to be a realistic open source "true-ish color" printing solution. Some students recently figured out how to do this with dye injection, but they patented the process, making it utterly useless to the open source community for the next twenty years. (Thanks loads, guys!!! Have I publicly ranted about the patent system yet this month?)

We need 3DP controllers with enough axes to support at least six extruders (white, cyan, magenta, yellow, black, plus support material in another hot end), ideally more if we want to integrate things like flexible and conductive filament, etc. If no one has patented color mixing extrusion by now, it's too late (diagrams have been around since 2010 or so). We also need to get as many new people coming in as possible. A lot of people who would be satisfied by one or two colors are already in the movement, and some of these have already got bored and left. Adding more Stuff would be for the best. These things need to be able to manufacture really, and I mean really, useful things. They need to be able to manufacture things that are functional, and look good. Things with electronics inside (so, conductive filament, pick-and-place, etc). That's hard to do, but if no one does it, we'll be stuck in owl statue limbo forever.

I guess another option would be to wait for some more cool patents to expire. I think FDM is going to be largely replaced with powder printing in the future. Shapeways was selling full-color models five years ago using a combination of limestone powder and dye.

In a perfect world, we'd use dye injection on "pure white" filament, but we don't get that option for another 20 years. We have to figure something else out. The solution of putting all the drivers on the controller and then having dozens of wires going to stepper motors probably needs to go away. There are some efforts to put the drivers on tiny boards that are screwed down to the steppers and communicate on a bus, like OpenServo and another one I read about recently. I think it would be better if there was a solution that used an industrial bus to synchronize the action of all the steppers using as few wires as possible. Once you get into full-color printing, which requires five axes just for itself, the machine turns into a ridiculous rat's nest. We need a bus that does power, ground, and control signaling in something like a token ring setup, where one cable (with however many conductors) snakes from one motor to the other in a chain, rather than what we have now.

Once you migrate the drivers off the CNC controller, you can whittle it down to something that only has to care about sending current to the heated bed/hot end heaters, and reading temperatures. Something like that could sit on top of a $40 Raspberry Pi, and you'd have OctoPrint running on the same controller.

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