Friday, 24 May 2013

3D Printing: more videos, info

In a previous posting 3D Printing: The Star Trek replicator is here?, I discovered 3D Printing, comparing it the replicator of Star Trek. I was so blown away by this technology and potentially how it could change our everyday lives, I have been scouring the Net for videos and other articles detailing the process. While the creation of an object is in itself startling, my research showed me examples of 3D Printing involving complex objects made up of components. Instead of creating a series of parts then putting the final product together, I could create, for instance, a mechanism consisting of a number of gears which all mesh correctly and interact when turned. At the moment, 3D Printing should probably be considered in its infancy but what it currently is capable of doing shows a lot of potential.

Uploaded on Jan 15, 2012 by Garen Phillips
How A 3D Printer Works (15:01)

Uploaded on Jan 17, 2012 by Garen Phillips
How A 3D Printer Extruder Works (10:22)

Liberator 3D printed Gun
Cody Wilson of Defence Distributed published the specifications of this 3D gun. (Wikipedia) Named after a WWII gun, the FP-45 Liberator, the 3D files were apparently downloaded over a hundred thousand times before the U.S. government stepped in to investigate a violation of the gun laws and had Wilson remove the files from his web site.

The following picture shows the various pieces making up the gun; all created using a 3D printer except a household nail used as the firing pin. And the bullet, of course.

Is this dangerous? Cody Wilson himself in a television interview admitted there is always the potential of somebody using new technology to harm other people. But in the end, other analysts have pointed out the potential of good with 3D Printing far outweighs the bad. Whether it's 3D printing or just buying a gun on the street, somebody who wants to do harm is going to do harm. Will the ability to create a gun mean in the long run that statistically the number of shootings rises? Can it get any worse than it already is?

Final Word
Wow, wow, and more wow. My mind is going a mile a minute mulling this one over. Some prognosticators have talked about 3D Printing turning the manufacturing world on its head. Instead of me going out to the store and buying, let's say a wrench, I could go to the Internet, download a specifications file, and then make one right in my own home.


Google image search: 3D Printing

Google video search: 3D Printing

Wikipedia: 3D printing
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).

Published on Aug 9, 2012 by Technion
Escher for Real The Belvedere, Waterfall, Necker Cube, Penrose Triangle 3D Printing from Technion
Many people are familiar with the work of M.C. Escher. We have all learned to appreciate the impossibilities that this master of illusion's artwork presents to the layman's eye. Many of the so-called 'impossible' drawings of M. C. Escher can be realized as actual physical objects, Prof. Gershon Elber of Technion's Faculty of Computer Science has done just this. His research team has developed a unique CAD application for designing "impossible" 3D objects, with the 3D printer in Technion's Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning The Belvedere comes to life in a 3D model.


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