Friday, September 16, 2011

The Next Wave

For quite some time, BRT has talked about fabbing or the way to build things using 3D printers. Seems the tech is now becoming serious, so serious that it could change how man produces stuff, for the better.

"3-D printers can make complex shapes that can't be manufactured with conventional techniques. Until recently, however, they couldn't print strong, durable objects. The machine Turner is using can make intricate forms out of high-grade metal, an advance that has allowed researchers to apply the design possibilities of 3-D printing to mechanical parts. The printers use software that works out where the parts need to bear loads and places material just in those areas, halving the weight of the complete part without sacrificing strength. That saves energy, metal, and money. The complex, curving forms that result couldn't be cast in a mold or carved out of a larger block even with the most advanced computer-controlled tools, but they can be printed in a succession of layers tens of micrometers thick."

In the opinion of yours truly, the only way out of the conundrum we face is to become disruptive and do things leveraging tech, creativity and common sense. Only by doing that can we move into a sustainable future able to meet the needs of society in ways that benefit all of us on a tiny planet called Earth.

Seen below is a detail graphic of a 3D printer going for $1300, not bad for something able to build something usefus (or fun) in real time. :)

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