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Old 09-06-2017, 08:08 PM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
As TS doesn't have transmutation of elements, though, there will still be limitations.
I wouldn't say TS doesn't have it. It just isn't acknowledged and is fairly expensive. All the RTG powered swarms have to be using Pu-238, Am-241, or Sr-90 (the description implies Pu-238). Pu-238 comes from the transmutation of Np-237, which come the transmutation of U-238, which is naturally occurring.

We've had transmutation in the real world since the 30s, for lab scale, and since the 40s for industrial scale (Tritium (H3) from Lithium, Plutonium from Uranium, and Americium from Uranium being the common items). But the cost can be a bit high (current market is $5M+ for a kg of Pu-238 from Np-237).

Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Also, one day, the fiddly issue of the level of resolution of standard 3D printers at any given TL will have to be put on the table.
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