A Step Closer Toward Star Trek-like Replicators?

in D.Buzz3 months ago (edited)

This is amazing. I hope soon there will be a system that can also solder after print. If cars can drive themselves then why can't a printer hold components with robotic fingers, solder them onto the board and clean the finished work?


I also think that we already have the technology to build something like that which is why it baffles me why no one is making it yet.

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I think William Gibson put it best when he wrote:

"The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed."

Right now an almost automated 3D circuit printer with robotic system for surface mount soldering could probably be built but a lot of that automation control and machine learning is still protected by patents and each part would have to be licensed - assuming you can get a license. Often times that kind of technology is exclusively licensed to only one corporation or organization for their own use. After roughly two decades when the patents lapse then the technology becomes more generally available to the public.

I completely agree. It's similar to how Kodak hid the existence of digital camera technology for more than a decade.

If i were to choose a historic parallel I'd use Thomas Edison's patent litigations over the motion picture camera. To be fair Eastman Kodak didn't "hide" their digital camera technology. They had the patent but didn't pursue it commercially until arguably it was too late for them. Part of the process of obtaining a patent is that the application is made public. Anybody in the camera industry back then who was interested in knowing what Kodak was up to would have known from U.S. Patent No. 4131919 that Kodak had researched and designed a method of digital photography. Similar to how I can know that most likely Apple Glasses on the commercial market will soon be able to automatically unlock any Apple device and Spotify will take your emotional state into consideration when suggesting songs.

Here is a great article that covers the history of digital photography based on the patents.

Clearly what I described above would require more advancement in machine learning and robotic automation. Since this hypothetical system wouldn't be meant for mass producing circuits it would be up to hobbyists rather than commercial manufactures to research and design it. But isn't that how a 3D printer that can print other 3D printers would come into existence?😊

Well, soldered pcbs is not that fun...🤔

Have a great day.

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Yeah. That's the reason I imagine an additional robotic system being added to do that. Robots can do the grunt work of prototyping and assembly.