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Shapeways: 3D打印重塑制造业2020-08-01 23:21

A short subway ride from Midtown Manhattan, Peter Weijmarshausen is building a factory that reimagines mass production. Weijmarshausen is the co-founder and chief executive of Shapeways, a company that lets people design and order objects printed on high-end 3-D printers.在离曼哈顿中城不远处,坐地铁迅速就可以抵达的地方,彼得魏玛豪森正在修建一座将重塑“大批量生产”定义的工厂。魏玛豪森是Shapeways公司的牵头创始人兼任首席执行官,这家公司专事让人们设计并采购利用高端3D打印机打印机的物品。Its not a new idea, but in the last year 3-D printing has become newly available: In 2007, when he first started the company within the incubator of Royal Philips Electronics, Weijmarshausen would have paid as much as $500 to print a self-designed iPhone case, for example. At Shapeways today, a designer will pay around $20. This promise recently spurred Andreessen Horowitz to lead a $30 million round of funding in the company.这不算什么新创意,但是从去年开始,3D打印机新的显得炙手可热一起:2007年,当彼得在皇家飞利浦电子公司(Royal Philips Electronics)的孵化器里创立这家公司时,他要打印机一个自己设计的iPhone手机壳必须缴纳高达500美元的费用。而现在在Shapeways公司,一个设计师只需付约20美元就不够了。正是看见了这一前景,近期安德森霍洛维茨基金(Andreessen Horowitz)领衔向该公司投资了3000万美元。Its hard to imagine how a machine could print an iPhone case until youve seen it. So, last Friday afternoon a group of Fortune reporters and editors headed out to Long Island City for an inside look a the mass manufacturing technique considered so promising that President Obama called it out in his January State of the Union speech.在没亲眼看到以前,是很难想象一台机器怎么能“打印机”出有一个iPhone手机壳的。因此,上周五下午,《财富》杂志(Fortune)派遣一队记者和编辑赶赴长岛市,了解理解这项大规模生产技术。人们普遍认为这项技术前景寄予厚望,奥巴马在一月公布的国情咨文中还特地回应做到了特别强调。The Shapeways factory officially opened last fall, but its still under construction. We passed through the administrative area where a half-dozen Brooklyn designer types were fulfilling orders out to the factory floor where nine machines are up and running so far. When the factory is complete, there will be as many as 50.Shapeways的工厂是去年秋季月开工的,目前仍正处于开建状态。我们参观了行政办公区,那里有六名看上去看起来布鲁克林设计师的员工正在处置订单。他们将订单放往工厂,厂里目前有数六台机器投放了运营。当该厂竣工时,机器总数将超过50台。In front of us, one of these hulking machines gives off heat. Its the size of a refrigerator; inside, a rectangle tray the size of my favorite chili pan is being filled layer-by-layer with dust. We push our noses up to the small window to watch: A layer of dust is spread. Then, a laser burns a series of lines into the dust, heating it to the point of almost melting to form the object. It will take 24 hours for this chili-pan size tray to be complete.在我们面前,一台体形可观的机器于是以喷出股股热气。

Shapeways: 3D打印重塑制造业

这种机器的大小和冰箱差不多。在机器内部,一个大小和我讨厌的红辣椒架上相若的长方形架上上,正在逐级流经原材料细末。我们凑近观察窗细看找到:一层细末于是以被铺开。随后,一束激光在细末上激光出有几条线,把它冷却到相似熔点以构成打印机物。打好这个架上上的东西必须24小时。For now, the Long Island City factory only prints materials in a white nylon plastic, though that will change in time. Shapeways is able to manufacture in other materials -- stainless steel, sandstone, ceramics -- from its other facilities. The company also has offices in Seattle and Eindhoven in the Netherlands.目前,长岛市这家工厂要用红尼龙塑料打印机物品,不过这并会一成不变。Shapeways在它的其他工厂里,也能用其他材料打印机物品——比如不锈钢、砂岩、陶瓷。该公司还在西雅图和荷兰的埃因霍温另设办公室。A diagram of the trays contents hangs to the right of each printer. Weijmarshausen explains that Shapeways maximizes each tray by pairing elements of different customer orders. These diagrams look like a cross between a 3-D sonogram and a katamari. This optimization brings the price down. Once the tray is completed, employees bring it over to a post-production area where they remove all the dust that hasnt been sealed by the laser. The result is a jumbled collection of parts that are cleaned and separated and buffed, much like bone-hunting archeology. Depending on the order, many are also dyed in bright hues.这种架上所不含物质的结构图就悬挂在每台打印机的右侧。魏玛豪森说明说道,Shapeways通过将有所不同客户订单的要素加以给定,能充分利用好每个架上。这些图看上去看起来3D声波图和“块魂”(katamari,一种视频游戏)融合的产物。这种优化处置能减少价格。每个架上打印机好后,员工就把它获得后期制作区域,去除所有没有被激光挡住的细末。最后获得的就是各种重新组合一起的部件,它们被摸整洁后就被分离并打磨,整个过程很像考古学家在找寻骨骼。根据订单的拒绝,很多打印机物品还不会染上流畅的色彩。The 3-D printing buzz has been a bit overblown this year as companies like Staples (SPLS) begin making them available directly to consumers -- earlier this month The Cube, which is manufactured by 3D Systems (DDD), went on sale for $1,300 through Staples.com; it will likely be available in stores starting as early as July. But just as with any first-generation tech products, these printers wont be capable of doing all that much. The fanfare over the worlds first 3-D-printed gun is also a distracting sideshow.今年以来,随着像史泰博(Staples)这样的公司开始发售普通消费者也负担得起的3D打印机,3D打印机热潮开始受到各界的冷淡欢迎。本月初,3D系统公司(3D Systems)生产的3D打印机The Cube在Staples.com上以每台1300美元的定价开始销售;七月就能在实体店卖到。但和所有第一代科技产品一样,这些打印机也不了随心所欲投出人们想的任何东西。堪称能投出全球第一把3D手枪的众说纷纭也只是个博人眼球的小插曲而已。The real potential for 3-D printing will be felt in enterprise -- as companies like Airbus explore using 3-D printing to make, say, airplane parts. Thats the bet that fuels Weijmarshausens ambitions. As big business takes an increasing interest in 3-D manufacturing, the costs of materials will come down. and the machine technology will improve. Customers will be able to order more types of objects in more materials. Today, perhaps its the iPhone case. Tomorrow, potentially, the phone itself.3D打印机确实的潜力还是有赖企业界考古——比如像空客公司(Airbus)这样的企业就不会探寻如何用3D打印机技术生产飞机零部件。正是这种远景唤起了魏玛豪森的雄心壮志。随着大企业对3D生产的兴趣日益浓烈,原材料成本就不会随着上升,同时打印机技术也不会不断改进。而普通消费者也能购买用更好材料打印机的更好种类的物品。今天或许还不能卖到打印机的iPhone手机壳。未来说不定就能购买打印机的手机了。