Friday, September 23, 2011
MIT News Office posted a survey of the fascinating research at the university, and by alum, on an array of 3D printing technologies and applications.
Another variant underway now is a system being developed by Neri Oxman PhD ’10, the Media Lab’s Sony Corporation Career Development Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and her graduate student Steven Keating for “printing” concrete. Their ultimate aim: printing a complete structure, even a whole building.
Why do that, instead of the tried-and-true method of casting concrete in wooden forms that dates from the heyday of the Roman Empire? In part, Oxman explains, because it opens up new possibilities in both form and function. Not only would it be possible to create fanciful, organic-looking shapes that would be difficult or impossible using molds, but the technique could also allow the properties of the concrete itself to vary continuously, producing structures that are both lighter and stronger than conventional concrete.
To illustrate this, Keating uses the example of a palm tree compared to a typical structural column. In a concrete column, the properties of the material are constant, resulting in a very heavy structure. But a palm tree’s trunk varies: denser at the outside and lighter toward the center. As part of his thesis research, he has already made sections of concrete with the same kind of variations of density.
“Nature always uses graded materials,” Keating says. Bone, for example, consists of “a hard, dense outer shell, and an interior of spongy material. It gives you a high strength-to-weight ratio. You don’t see that in man-made materials.” Not yet, at least.
"Printing off the paper"
Morskoiboy created an hydraulic typewriter that mixes cocktails -- the typewriter keys inject different liquids into a big LCD-like display, which then decants them into a waiting beaker.
So, if you’re interested, let me explain this contraption and the mechanism that makes it work. At the top of the machine there is a slot into which a bottle with alcohol, water, or even milk can be screwed. The essence of the art here lies in the ability of the syrups or liqueurs to tint the neutral color of the liquid. In the picture below you can see the connector itself and the regulator (which is actually an IV Rate Flow Regulator I picked up in a drugstore), which opens or closes off the air flow into the bottle and thus acts as an on/off switch. Once it enters the machine, the liquid spreads across the fourteen tubules.
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UC Berkeley researchers used brain scans of the visual cortex and computational models to reconstruct what the individual is seeing. From UC Berkeley:
As yet, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips people have already viewed. However, the breakthrough paves the way for reproducing the movies inside our heads that no one else sees, such as dreams and memories, according to researchers.
"This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery," said Professor Jack Gallant, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the study published online today (Sept. 22) in the journal Current Biology. "We are opening a window into the movies in our minds."
Scientists use brain imaging to reveal the movies in our mind
BB pal Jim Leftwich points out that the reconstructed video looks strikingly similar to how images from a science fiction "dream recorder" were represented in Wim Wenders' captivating 1991 film Until The End Of the World. Here's a frame grab Jim made from his VHS tape of the movie.
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This 3D printed bicycle, exhibited at this week's London Design Festival, is claimed to be as strong as steel. It was printed from layers of fused nylon, using a technique more commonly deployed in satellite manufacture.
Launched this year by a team of development engineers, the bike is made up of successive layers of fused nylon powder that are each just one-tenth of a millimeter thick. Designed by Andy Hawkins and Chris Turner at the Aerospace Innovation Centre in Bristol, UK, the bike is constructed from a manufacturing process known as additive layer manufacturing (ALM), which is also used in the manufacturing of satellites.
Nylon Bike Made Using Satellite Technology is as Strong as Steel!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The Deglon Meeting Knife, designed by Mia Schmallenbach, is a set of sculptural, nested knives (priced, alas, as sculptures, at $600 for the set). The proportions of the four nested knives -- paring knife, carving knife, chef’s knife and filleting knife -- are "determined by the Fibonacci sequence with as its base the average width of a hand."