back to article I, for one, welcome our GIANT TITANIUM INSECT OVERLORDS

What started out as an art project using Australian think-tank CSIRO's additive titanium 3D printer has turned out to have much more serious application: scaled-up versions of microscopic bugs that make it easier to study their biology. Originally, the minute insects from the Australian National Insect Collection were scanned, …

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Splat!

Luckily I recently printed some tungsten boots!

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Anonymous Coward

Now

Now how about using 3D printing to actually make something useful............

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Joke

Re: Splat!

Tungsten boots? Do you have an infestation of Feegles?

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Coat

Re: Tungsten boots

... otherwise known as priests...

...because they save your soles...

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Ru
Meh

Re: Now

Now how about using 3D printing to actually make something useful............

For prototyping parts that cannot be easily bashed out on a CNC mill, it is exceptionally useful and indeed what they are most often used for. Architectural models are also useful things, and are more usefully 3D printed than painstakingly hand-assembled. But maybe that isn't useful enough for you? How about a 3D printed metal replacement jawbone?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16907104

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Re: Now

They did

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/18/191279201/3-d-printer-brings-dexterity-to-children-with-no-fingers

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Re: Re: Splat! @Michael H.F Wilkinson

Therrre's nae way laddie tha' uhd tread 'n a wee Feegle; they'rrre mairrr deadly than a' the bugs in Oz poot t'getherrr!

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FAIL

Re: Now

Now how about using 3D printing to actually make something useful............*

I think your inability to see how this application is useful shows only your lack of imagination.

By using this technology to produce scaled-up versions of insects, it allows for easier study, for instance allowing two entomologists to study the same subjewct, or copies of it, at the same time, and to more easily study the morphology in three dimensions without the need for a microscope.

If you think entomology itself is useless, you should consider that it is generally thought that insects make up 80% of all animal species on the planet. They often provide useful and important ecosystem functions, such as pollination and saprophytic recycling of organic matter. Without insects, our crops would fail, and we'd be living on top of a miles-deep mound of putrifying corpses. It is only through understanding the complexities of the planet's ecosystems and the complex interplay of the orgaisms they contain that we can hope to continue our existence as a species on the Earth.

Your definition of useful, however, probably doesn't involve increaing the net knowledge of the human race, it probably relates to grubbing more resources for your own consumption and gaining power and influence over others.

*FYI, an ellipsis is three dots, not twelve

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Re: Splat! @Michael H.F Wilkinson

I doubt tungsten boots are much danger to a feegle. I doubt you could actually lift a foot with one on. I suspect the wee scunners would have the boots off and away before feegliside could be committed.

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Childcatcher

Re: Now

How about a 3D printed metal replacement jawbone?

...or a skull?

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Headmaster

Re: Splat! @Otto is a bear.

feeglicide

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Wow. You wouldn't want one of those in your bed.

But I did not know Titanium could be done yet.

Thumbs up for detail, creativity and size.

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Anonymous Coward

Can you still pull the legs off them?

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Re: Titanium printing

You can get bike parts printed from titanium.

http://vimeo.com/66306325

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Re: Wow. You wouldn't want one of those in your bed.

They're using it (or at least looking into it) for aerospace.

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Please please please

... don't give them a power supply.

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Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

Yes, we are still at the pre-porn stage with 3d printing.. which is of course what will happen now the boffins have given us 3d printers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

You'll find that actually it was engineers that gave us 3D printers.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

Porn? I'm just waiting for the first design-your-own-dildo 3D-printing software.

Ribbed for added pleasure...particularly in draft mode. (Ouch!)

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Flame

Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

3d printing has allowed Rule 42 to escape from ter interwebs. Burn it with fire!

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Paris Hilton

Re: Boffins and 3D Printers (@Gordon 10)

I believe that you may have meant to refer to Rule 34. This could add a subsection, Rule 34.3(d) perhaps.

Paris, do I really have to point out why?

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Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

Sadly a quick check revealed that you can print your own dildo. For the really vain you can also print an action doll (as in - Action Man, GI Joe, Barbie ) with your face, and the body you always wanted. There's a Big bang Theory episode where they did just that, though not with much success.

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Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

Hmm, printed dildos and action dolls with any face. Can personalized butt plugs be far behind?

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Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

"Can personalized butt plugs be far in the behind?"

ftfy

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Genuine question.

it brings together two key areas of science - manufacturing and entomology,”

Isn't that one area of science and one area of engineering?

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CAVE JOHNSON!

Doing crazy science again!

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Joke

I guess it's a new spin on debugging the process anyway...

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I, for one, welcome our new metal bug overlords.

See below ;)

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Alien

I am surprised that no one has welcomed are new metal bug overlords.

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Headmaster

Umm, did you notice the title of the article?

And of course with usual commentard timing, see the post currently above yours... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Is the replicator being printed in the next batch?

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Anonymous Coward

Do they do latex yet.

I just had one of those horrible glimpes of the future.

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Joke

Re: Do they do latex yet.

I cannot yet print my LaTeX in 3D, but perhaps somebody is writing some useful class files, style files and drivers

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Pint

Re: Do they do latex yet.

Mr. Wilkinson, the prize is yours.

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Pint

@Theodore

Cheers, mate!

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Terrific

Just what Australia needed - bigger bugs.

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Coat

Re: Terrific

There was an error in translation from Aussie to English. What they actually did was scaling down the scanned Australian bugs so they could be held with one hand to easily study them.

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Coat

Re: Terrific

I thought it was the Kiwis that had the giant insects, and the Aussies that had the small but deadly ones?

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Re: Terrific

Yeah, I thought that too. Giant?

You can find bigger ones easily on any tropical forest.

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Re: Terrific

Well, given that in Australia we have cockroaches the size of mobile phones and spiders as big as rats I wouldn't have thought any scaling was necessary either way...

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Alternative Title

Boffins announce "We have finally gotten all of the bugs out of printing."

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Terminator

I want...

to cancel my order of sharks, but the lasers I'll need, and the cranial mounts will need a redesign.

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Happy

Mmm, Tasty Bogz!

(There doesn't seem to be a Jaeger icon)

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I do wonder what Steve Irwin would have said

<Aussie accent>

"Look at the size of these little buggers!

Isn't it AMAZIN' !"!

</Aussie accent>

Or Les Hiddins, the bush tucker man:

<Aussie accent>

"These bugs mighn't look very appetizin', but they're full of minerals, particularly titanium"

</Aussie accent>

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Happy

Re: I do wonder what Steve Irwin would have said

Definitely get the upvote for the Les Hiddins reference

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Money-making opportunity

They've clearly heard about the new Microsoft bug bounty.

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Pint

Overhyped

In general, 3D Printers don't print things. They print parts for things. Unless the thing is one part, then the part is the thing. There are exceptions, such as printing an already-interlocked chain just for fun.

When I ask when a 3D Printer can print another 3D printer, the brain damaged idiots reply "But we can!" and they point to a plastic bracket. They completely fail to explain why eBay is awash with all the stepper motors, cables, control circuits, etc. required to make it work - comprising 20% of the mass, but 99.99+% of the complexity. Those Chinese parts and sub-assemblies are cheap and often include free shipping.

But they're not 3D printed. At the risk of being proven wrong in about 25 years, they never will be.

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IT Angle

Forever is a long time

There's a huge difference between 25 years and forever, or even just 250 years. I'm sure back in Faraday's time, the majority view was that electricity would never be of much use to anyone ... and of course, the famous quote that there might be a world market for a dozen or so computers.

A billion years of forever gave us self-replicators that didn't even need printers. (Or sex, for that matter ... sex was new in Life 2.0, or maybe 3.0 or 3.1)

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Pint

Re: Overhyped

Today's example just landed in my Inbox.

Headline = "Researchers 3D print microbatteries"

Details = "Microscopic electrodes extruded... ...3D print precisely interlaced stacks of tiny battery electrodes"

Spot the difference? Complex batteries vs. simple electrodes. They did *not* "...3D print microbatteries." They did 3D print some homogenous metal electrodes.

They're not printing things; they're printing *parts* of things.

The stench of hype wafts across the landscape.

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