Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Transhuman Space

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2017, 07:48 AM   #11
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
As TS doesn't have transmutation of elements, though, there will still be limitations.
Though asteroids are quite rich sources of raw materials. If you're on a metallic asteroid, volatiles might be an issue, while on a volatile asteroid, metals might be an issue, but you shouldn't need to import materials from a great distance.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2017, 07:08 PM   #12
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
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).

Quote:
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.
True.
DAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2017, 07:32 PM   #13
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Tramutation of transuranics is a little different than making say stable iron from hydrogen.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 03:13 AM   #14
Phil Masters
 
Phil Masters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: U.K.
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I'm pretty sure that in the era when minifactoring is displacing traditional production of goods due to being in multiple ways better, the chemicals used in goods will differ from modernity, with more focus on those that are easier to find.
Has minifacturing canonically displaced traditional systems in most cases? I don't recall that, and it seems unlikely. Specialist production systems will surely always be more efficient for any given single task than generalised systems, so anything for which there's reasonably reliable substantial demand will be produced by conventional factories, which can out-compete the minifactories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Tramutation of transuranics is a little different than making say stable iron from hydrogen.
Yep. "Transmutation" for the specific purpose of nuclear fuel production was, I thought, pretty obviously not what I was talking about.
__________________
--
Phil Masters
Creator of The Small Folk - Wainscot Urban Fantasy Roleplaying.
Discworld Roleplaying Game author, Transhuman Space Line Editor.
My Home Page.
Phil Masters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 04:08 AM   #15
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Yep. "Transmutation" for the specific purpose of nuclear fuel production was, I thought, pretty obviously not what I was talking about.
Not that any reasonable sort of 3D printers or even drexlerian nanoassemblers can do that either.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 04:39 AM   #16
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Has minifacturing canonically displaced traditional systems in most cases? I don't recall that, and it seems unlikely. Specialist production systems will surely always be more efficient for any given single task than generalised systems, so anything for which there's reasonably reliable substantial demand will be produced by conventional factories, which can out-compete the minifactories.
It's on its way, and currently is described as having displaced 'part' of it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS69
This technology has partially replaced conven-
tional brick-and-mortar distribution and retailing with
“print on demand” goods.
Producing using traditional means may be cheaper if you brute-force through the roof of a certain scale, but it's also often worse quality than minifactoring:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS69
3D printers are able to produce very complex or
durable materials (often lighter or stronger than those pro-
duced by conventional casting or forging), since it is sim-
ple for the layering process to arrange the microstructure
of materials for maximum strength.
Also, the operation/feedstock aren't the bottleneck for 3D printers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS69
Although
a multipurpose 3D printer can be expensive, the primary
operating cost is licensing the software.
Finally, the tech is good enough to make computers, and computers tend to be pretty close to the edge of miniaturization for any given TL:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS69-70
The creation of
complicated devices (such as a modern computer)
requires programs of high complexity, as their construc-
tion can require hundreds of thousands (or more) of indi-
vidual layers.
[ . . . ]
Nanotechnology is a broad range of technologies and
products whose characteristic dimensions are less than
about 1,000 nanometers. In short, nanotechnology is the
engineering of individual molecules and atoms.
[ . . . ]
Nanofabrication
This is the ultimate version of 3D printing (see
Minifacturing, p. 69).
[ . . . ]
These include
molecular computers, self-assembling “smart ink” used by
3D printers, and various types of nanomachines.
I have to say that this is one of those time when I get the feeling that the radical-hard-SF Transhuman Space TL is being dragged back down to safetech/less-radical assumptions of microtech on the forum.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
Also, GURPS Discord is a nice place for (faster) Q&A and overall GURPS dicussion.
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 10:56 AM   #17
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I have to say that this is one of those time when I get the feeling that the radical-hard-SF Transhuman Space TL is being dragged back down to safetech/less-radical assumptions of microtech on the forum.
THS has an inherent conflict between the fluff text (radical) and the specified future history (less radical). Given that THS does not have exponential wealth increases, 3D printers must have some inherent limits to what they can produce, and the easiest one is feedstock.

As far as electronics go, I assume that 3D printers are not capable of producing electronics directly -- rather, feedstock includes microelectronics that can be combined to form larger systems (this implies that THS electronics are massively parallel systems -- the electronics in feedstock are the equivalent of programmable neurons. Given the rest of THS technology, this is fairly believable).
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.

Last edited by Anthony; 09-07-2017 at 11:01 AM.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 11:31 AM   #18
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Has minifacturing canonically displaced traditional systems in most cases? I don't recall that, and it seems unlikely. Specialist production systems will surely always be more efficient for any given single task than generalised systems, so anything for which there's reasonably reliable substantial demand will be produced by conventional factories, which can out-compete the minifactories.
It sounds like modular robofacs (THS p. 153) are the state of art for manufacturing at scale.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 11:50 AM   #19
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
THS has an inherent conflict between the fluff text (radical) and the specified future history (less radical). Given that THS does not have exponential wealth increases, 3D printers must have some inherent limits to what they can produce, and the easiest one is feedstock.

As far as electronics go, I assume that 3D printers are not capable of producing electronics directly -- rather, feedstock includes microelectronics that can be combined to form larger systems (this implies that THS electronics are massively parallel systems -- the electronics in feedstock are the equivalent of programmable neurons. Given the rest of THS technology, this is fairly believable).
I agree there's a conflict here, but I think you're looking for it in the wrong place. AFAICT in the real world the big limiting factor on economic growth is the labor supply. (Both headcount and education.) Bioroids and strong AI ought to solve that. On the other hand, most nations in THS have strong legal restrictions on them, mitigating the issue somewhat.

There are a couple holes in this, though. One is the possibility of, say, the TSA engaging in rapid "catch-up growth" to Fifth Wave status, which would greatly upset the balance of power in the setting. An interesting possibility is to stipulate that this will happen, but at a fraction of the rate it could, because most minifacturing capacity is being use for military purposes and other short-term needs. Indonesia is promising a minifac in every village by 2015, perhaps if they threw the whole weight of their industrial capacity behind the plan they could do it in just a few years.

The other hole is what radical transhumanist enclaves do. There, I'm honestly stumped, though maybe if I studied relevant sourcebooks more carefully there would be an answer. The Axon Group's budding base on Triton might suffer from having 0 minifacs to start out with. Not sure about the habitats in lunar orbit.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2017, 11:50 AM   #20
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: How hard is it to acquire raw materials for 3D printing?

I'm fine with large expensive industrial sized 3D printers competing with more classic factories. But those are a different beast from personal or small scale single building floor models.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.