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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  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Splat!

    Luckily I recently printed some tungsten boots!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now

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

      1. 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

        1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Now

          How about a 3D printed metal replacement jawbone?

          ...or a skull?

      2. Deadly_NZ
        Thumb Up

        Re: Now

        They did

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

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
        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

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Splat!

      Tungsten boots? Do you have an infestation of Feegles?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        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!

        1. Otto is a bear.

          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.

          1. Martin Budden
            Headmaster

            Re: Splat! @Otto is a bear.

            feeglicide

    3. James Micallef Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Tungsten boots

      ... otherwise known as priests...

      ...because they save your soles...

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can you still pull the legs off them?

    2. JoshOvki
      Thumb Up

      Re: Titanium printing

      You can get bike parts printed from titanium.

      http://vimeo.com/66306325

    3. annodomini2

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

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

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please please please

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

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Parax

      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.

      1. Jon Green
        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!)

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

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

          1. Cubical Drone
            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?

      2. Otto is a bear.

        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.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

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

          1. Martin Budden

            Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

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

            ftfy

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boffins and 3D Printers

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

  5. wowfood

    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?

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    CAVE JOHNSON!

    Doing crazy science again!

  7. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Joke

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

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

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

      See below ;)

  8. James 51 Silver badge
    Alien

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

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Umm, did you notice the title of the article?

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

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the replicator being printed in the next batch?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do they do latex yet.

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

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: Do they do latex yet.

        Mr. Wilkinson, the prize is yours.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Pint

          @Theodore

          Cheers, mate!

  11. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Terrific

    Just what Australia needed - bigger bugs.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      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.

      1. Nigel 11
        Coat

        Re: Terrific

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

      2. Ramiro
        Thumb Up

        Re: Terrific

        Yeah, I thought that too. Giant?

        You can find bigger ones easily on any tropical forest.

      3. Steven Roper

        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...

  12. Mark Broadhurst
    Joke

    Alternative Title

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

  13. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Terminator

    I want...

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

  14. Christoph Silver badge
    Happy

    Mmm, Tasty Bogz!

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

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    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>

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I do wonder what Steve Irwin would have said

      Definitely get the upvote for the Les Hiddins reference

  16. Number6

    Money-making opportunity

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

  17. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    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.

    1. Nigel 11
      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)

    2. JeffyPooh Silver badge
      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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