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Old 09-08-2017, 10:37 AM   #31
Anthony
 
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
THS occasionally catches flak for not being able to build up to the state it is in in 2100. If they are so fast-building, they are the solution to that problem. If not, then at least they aren't a problem.
The things where THS catches flak are not cases where 3D printing is useful. The general wealth level of the society is way too low for 3D printing to work the way it works in UT. It can work the way it works in the THS core book as long as it can't be used to produce feedstock (or if it can, does so 2 orders of magnitude slower than its general production rate; 'divide production rate by 100 if working from raw materials' eliminates the problems).
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:54 AM   #32
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

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The things where THS catches flak are not cases where 3D printing is useful. The general wealth level of the society is way too low for 3D printing to work the way it works in UT. It can work the way it works in the THS core book as long as it can't be used to produce feedstock (or if it can, does so 2 orders of magnitude slower than its general production rate; 'divide production rate by 100 if working from raw materials' eliminates the problems).
It's worth noting that the world of THS is very wealthy by our standards. Most of Europe and the PRA, and parts of the US, are Wealthy with a capital W, which implies an average Status of 2. Here's how Changing Times describes Status 2:
Quote:
A large house with interior automation and grounds, maybe other property, a couple of smartcars, a static AI that manages your domestic (including Web) and security requirements plus a wearable or implant, and full medical coverage.
Once you get wealthier than that, the constraints on your lifestyle start to be not "stuff" but the availability of desirable real-estate and the cost of hiring human servants. The above quote conspicuously omits air cars as well, but the TCO on those is going to include cost of fuel, which will inevitably be more expensive than the fuel for ground vehicles. The kind of people who can actually afford to operate them are really not going to want to get arrested for pirating a luxury good.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

If I am bot-bossing an asteroid mine why don't I pirate the proprietary control chips for my air filtration system, rather than suffocate?
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:19 PM   #34
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

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If I am bot-bossing an asteroid mine why don't I pirate the proprietary control chips for my air filtration system, rather than suffocate?
Is this a common issue? I imagine people do do it in an emergency. Corporations that want to remain on good terms with Earth will avoid it for fear of being fined or, in extreme cases, embargoed. Of course Red Duncanite asteroids engage in rampant intellectual property theft.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:25 PM   #35
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

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Is this a common issue?
If am a PC who isn't part of some organization that provides gear, why aren't I pirating everything, because paper-men fear not the Paper Man?
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:10 PM   #36
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Realistically, there's a couple of ways this could play out (all of which directly parallel software):
  1. You don't have the 3d printer blueprints and cannot copy them. You are dependent on shipments from the factory.
  2. The blueprints only function with a live connection to a server under the control of the seller.
  3. You purchased the blueprints with a site license and don't have to pay a per-copy fee anyway.
  4. The licensing costs are negligible.
  5. You use pirated blueprints. This voids your warrantee, means you cannot contact the provider for software updates, and puts you at a heightened risk that the blueprints are fake (either ineffective or malicious -- seems like a great choice for ransomware).
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:14 PM   #37
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

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If am a PC who isn't part of some organization that provides gear, why aren't I pirating everything, because paper-men fear not the Paper Man?
For the THS characters I played, because they didn't want to get in legal trouble. In both cases, this would have removed them from being useful in the campaign. One was the business manager for the PC's group of Vacuum Cleaners; the other was an EU diplomat, legal guardian of one PC, and a director of the company that owned another PC.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:40 PM   #38
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

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For the THS characters I played, because they didn't want to get in legal trouble. In both cases, this would have removed them from being useful in the campaign. One was the business manager for the PC's group of Vacuum Cleaners; the other was an EU diplomat, legal guardian of one PC, and a director of the company that owned another PC.
Didn't Phil run those games, and therefore presumably his ideas about feedstock upthread applied?
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:50 AM   #39
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

More or less, though actually, I only ran one of those campaigns. (I played the vacuum cleaners' ships AI.) Frankly, the 3D printing stuff is an aspect of the setting I don't tend to get into much when I'm designing campaigns or scenarios; whatever's going on, whether or not it matches the main book text, it evidently supports and works within the society as described in the books generally, and provides a handwave explanation of how thin-spread outer system societies survive, and as a GM, that's all I really care about. 3D printers are like delivery trucks or gravel pits in a modern-day game; they exist, but PCs don't get to do much with them, because that'd just be Adventures in Basket-Weaving.
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:20 AM   #40
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Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

In that Vacuum Cleaners game, I tended to leave 3D printers as background colour. Nobody ever had to say "oh, we don't have a wrench that fits the hatch on this 50-year-old satellite we're salvaging".
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