We already know that 3D printing and robotic manufacturing technology can overtake centralized production. But the difference here is that a single company might not emerge to capitalize on these technologies the way singular brands like Walmart and Amazon have in the past. Instead, we are now entering the primacy of design.

4D Printing: Self-Assembly Brings 3D Printing to the next level

The next big thing may very well be 4D printing, a new technology from Skylar Tibbits, an architect, designer and computer scientist. The core concept behind this new technology is self assembly. It may sound strange and far out, but it’s actually quite simple. 4D printing is being billed as a process where synthetic objects can change and adapt themselves to the environment. In a recent TED interview, Tibbits compared the process of 4D printing to the process of natural adaptation:

Natural systems obviously have this built in — the ability to have a desire. Plants, for example, generally have the desire to grow towards light and they generate energy from the translation of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide to oxygen, and so on. This is extremely difficult to build into synthetic systems — the ability to “want” or need something and know how to change itself in order to acquire it, or the ability to generate its own energy source. If we combine the processes that natural systems offer intrinsically (genetic instructions, energy production, error correction) with those artificial or synthetic (programmability for design and scaffold, structure, mechanisms) we can potentially have extremely large-scale quasi-biological and quasi-synthetic architectural organisms.

(via 4D Printing Is The Future Of 3D Printing And It’s Already Here | WebProNews)lf

(via joshbyard)

How An Army Of MakerBot Replicators Will 3D-Print The Future

Ever seen a 3D printer in action? If not, here’s your chance.

At CES 2013, MakerBot showed off its new Replicator 2X, an “experimental” version of the company’s landmark 3D printer that offers some twists on the Replicator 2’s design. The 2X features dual extruding nozzles that allow printing in multiple colors, and it uses thermoplastic ABS instead of the material known as PLA, which tends to be the preferred material for those new to the 3D printing world.

What Is the Industrial Internet? | MIT Technology Review
What is the industrial Internet?
As good a place as any to find the answer is at General Electric’s newest U.S. factory, a $170 million plant it opened in Schenectady, New York, last July to produce advanced sodium-nickel batteries for uses that include powering cell-phone towers (see “GE’s Novel Battery to Bolster the Grid,” “Inside GE’s New Battery Factory,” and “Can We Build Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs?”).
The factory has more than 10,000 sensors spread across 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space, all connected to a high-speed internal Ethernet. They monitor things like which batches of powder are being used to form the ceramics at the heart of the batteries, how high a temperature is being used to bake them, how much energy is required to make each battery, and even the local air pressure. On the plant floor, employees with iPads can pull up all the data from Wi-Fi nodes set up around the factory.

What Is the Industrial Internet? | MIT Technology Review

What is the industrial Internet?

As good a place as any to find the answer is at General Electric’s newest U.S. factory, a $170 million plant it opened in Schenectady, New York, last July to produce advanced sodium-nickel batteries for uses that include powering cell-phone towers (see “GE’s Novel Battery to Bolster the Grid,” “Inside GE’s New Battery Factory,” and “Can We Build Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs?”).

The factory has more than 10,000 sensors spread across 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space, all connected to a high-speed internal Ethernet. They monitor things like which batches of powder are being used to form the ceramics at the heart of the batteries, how high a temperature is being used to bake them, how much energy is required to make each battery, and even the local air pressure. On the plant floor, employees with iPads can pull up all the data from Wi-Fi nodes set up around the factory.

Can 3D Printing Make Everything We Need? - PSFK
This article titled “Is 3D printing the key to Utopia?” was written by John Naughton, for The Observer on Saturday 12th May 2012 23.05 UTC
You know the problem: the dishwasher that has cleaned your dishes faithfully for 15 years suddenly stops working. You call out a repairman who identifies the problem: the filter unit has finally given up the ghost. “Ah,” you say, much relieved, “can you fit a new one?” At which point the chap shakes his head sorrowfully. No can do, he explains. The company that made the machine was taken over years ago by another outfit and they no longer supply spares for your ancient machine.
Up until now, this story would have had a predictable ending in which you sorrowfully junked your trusty dishwasher and bought a new one. But there’s an emerging technology that could change that. It’s called three-dimensional printing.
Eh? Surely printing is intrinsically a two-dimensional process, involving the squirting of coloured dyes on to flat sheets of paper? And indeed it is, so perhaps the use of the word “printing” in 3D printing is a bit naughty – which is why men in suits tends to call it “additive manufacturing”. But there is still a strong metaphorical correspondence between the 2D and 3D processes. In the former, we take an electronic representation of a document on a computer screen and output a replica of that on to paper; in the latter, we take a three-dimensional computer model of something and use printing-like technology to create a three-dimensional version of it in plastic or other materials.
It works like this: a designer uses computer-assisted design software to create a three-dimensional model of an object. Another program then “slices” the model into thin sections and instructs the “printer” to lay down an exact replica of the section in plastic (or other types of) granules which are then fused to become a solid layer. The process is repeated, slice by slice, until the entire object has been made.
via PSFK:

Can 3D Printing Make Everything We Need? - PSFK

This article titled “Is 3D printing the key to Utopia?” was written by John Naughton, for The Observer on Saturday 12th May 2012 23.05 UTC

You know the problem: the dishwasher that has cleaned your dishes faithfully for 15 years suddenly stops working. You call out a repairman who identifies the problem: the filter unit has finally given up the ghost. “Ah,” you say, much relieved, “can you fit a new one?” At which point the chap shakes his head sorrowfully. No can do, he explains. The company that made the machine was taken over years ago by another outfit and they no longer supply spares for your ancient machine.

Up until now, this story would have had a predictable ending in which you sorrowfully junked your trusty dishwasher and bought a new one. But there’s an emerging technology that could change that. It’s called three-dimensional printing.

Eh? Surely printing is intrinsically a two-dimensional process, involving the squirting of coloured dyes on to flat sheets of paper? And indeed it is, so perhaps the use of the word “printing” in 3D printing is a bit naughty – which is why men in suits tends to call it “additive manufacturing”. But there is still a strong metaphorical correspondence between the 2D and 3D processes. In the former, we take an electronic representation of a document on a computer screen and output a replica of that on to paper; in the latter, we take a three-dimensional computer model of something and use printing-like technology to create a three-dimensional version of it in plastic or other materials.

It works like this: a designer uses computer-assisted design software to create a three-dimensional model of an object. Another program then “slices” the model into thin sections and instructs the “printer” to lay down an exact replica of the section in plastic (or other types of) granules which are then fused to become a solid layer. The process is repeated, slice by slice, until the entire object has been made.


3D Printing On Street Corners: A Future Scenario? — The Pop-Up City

Rapid prototyping is still the domain of nerds, but it’s just a matter of time before 3D printers become mass consumer products. With its Kiosk project, Antwerp-based design studio Unfold explores a future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food is sold on the streets of New York City. 


The designers developed the concept for a mobile cart inspired by Bruce Sterling’s science fiction short story Kiosk and equipped with 3D printing technologies.
Advanced

via futuramb:

3D Printing On Street Corners: A Future Scenario? — The Pop-Up City

Rapid prototyping is still the domain of nerds, but it’s just a matter of time before 3D printers become mass consumer products. With its Kiosk project, Antwerp-based design studio Unfold explores a future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food is sold on the streets of New York City. 

The designers developed the concept for a mobile cart inspired by Bruce Sterling’s science fiction short story Kiosk and equipped with 3D printing technologies.

Advanced

via futuramb:

Open Source Ecology - Global Village Construction Set
Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set,  an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that  allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial  Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern  comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

Open Source Ecology - Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

Bimbo’s Wind Farm to Produce Near to 100% of Mexican Bread-Maker Energy Needs 
Groupo Bimbo, the largest mexican bread maker, is developing a wind  farm in the southern state of Oaxaca that will generate near to 100% of  the the company’s energy needs.
The wind farm will provide installed power of 90 megawatts, enough to  run 65 of Bimbo’s plants and offices in Mexico, the company said in a  statement.
Grupo Bimbo CEO, Daniel Servitje, called the effort the greatest the world food industry has seen to date.

Bimbo’s Wind Farm to Produce Near to 100% of Mexican Bread-Maker Energy Needs

Groupo Bimbo, the largest mexican bread maker, is developing a wind farm in the southern state of Oaxaca that will generate near to 100% of the the company’s energy needs.

The wind farm will provide installed power of 90 megawatts, enough to run 65 of Bimbo’s plants and offices in Mexico, the company said in a statement.

Grupo Bimbo CEO, Daniel Servitje, called the effort the greatest the world food industry has seen to date.

unknownskywalker:
3D Printing Device Could Build Moon Base from Lunar Dust 
Future astronauts might end up living in a moon base created largely from lunar dust and regolith, if a giant 3-D printing device can work on the lunar surface. The print-on-demand technology, known as D-Shape, could save on launch and transportation costs for manned missions to the moon. But the concept must first prove itself in exploratory tests funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).
D-Shape has created full-size sandstone buildings on Earth by using a 3-D printing process similar to how inkjet printers work. It adds a special inorganic binder to sand so that it can build a structure from the bottom up, one layer at a time. The device raises its printer head by just 5 to 10 millimeters for each layer, moving from side to side on horizontal beams as well as up and down on four metal frame columns.
Finished structures end made out of a marble-like material that’s superior to certain types of cement. The buildings do not require iron reinforcing. Such a concept might help future lunar colonists live off the land, as well as provide thick-walled structures that protect against solar storms or micrometeorites. D-Shape offers the added attraction of having a somewhat straightforward building process that does not require huge amounts of construction machinery or many robot laborers.
Space agencies have already begun testing other technologies meant to mine water and oxygen from the lunar regolith. NASA scientists have also played with possible recipes for a sort of lunar concrete based on moon dust.
Image: This 2-meter-tall gazebo was built with D-shape 3-D printing technology. The monolithic sandstone structure was made of about 200 thin layers and was designed to look like a micro-organism called Radiolaria. The structure in the background, overhead, is the printing device.
Source: SPACE.com

unknownskywalker:

3D Printing Device Could Build Moon Base from Lunar Dust

Future astronauts might end up living in a moon base created largely from lunar dust and regolith, if a giant 3-D printing device can work on the lunar surface. The print-on-demand technology, known as D-Shape, could save on launch and transportation costs for manned missions to the moon. But the concept must first prove itself in exploratory tests funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).

D-Shape has created full-size sandstone buildings on Earth by using a 3-D printing process similar to how inkjet printers work. It adds a special inorganic binder to sand so that it can build a structure from the bottom up, one layer at a time. The device raises its printer head by just 5 to 10 millimeters for each layer, moving from side to side on horizontal beams as well as up and down on four metal frame columns.

Finished structures end made out of a marble-like material that’s superior to certain types of cement. The buildings do not require iron reinforcing. Such a concept might help future lunar colonists live off the land, as well as provide thick-walled structures that protect against solar storms or micrometeorites. D-Shape offers the added attraction of having a somewhat straightforward building process that does not require huge amounts of construction machinery or many robot laborers.

Space agencies have already begun testing other technologies meant to mine water and oxygen from the lunar regolith. NASA scientists have also played with possible recipes for a sort of lunar concrete based on moon dust.

Image: This 2-meter-tall gazebo was built with D-shape 3-D printing technology. The monolithic sandstone structure was made of about 200 thin layers and was designed to look like a micro-organism called Radiolaria. The structure in the background, overhead, is the printing device.

Source: SPACE.com