Local Motors revolutionizes manufacturing

A speaker from Local Motors came to the GAA conference in Clemson last year and then I was able to go by their facility in Phoenix when I was out there for a conference. At the facility, they had vehicles that were in the middle of assembly, but they aren’t moving down a line. They are built one at a time, many times with the participation of the person who purchased them. Some parts of the vehicle are 3D printed, but the large printer was not in Arizona when I went by (they have several different facilities that share the 3D printer between them).

At Local Motors, there is a huge area set aside for local creatives to come and prototype their own ideas. Parts and pieces that are mid-construction are all around the shop room floor.

Local Motors re-envisioning manufacturing in the 21st century

Local Motors re-envisioning manufacturing in the 21st century

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The 3rd Industrial Revolution

Have you ever thought about the possibility of a 3rd industrial revolution? Now for a bit of history.

The 1st industrial revolution started in the mid-1700s when people moved from hand production of products to machine production. Imagine making each individual shirt or pair of socks, one by one by one. It would definitely be an incredible boost to productivity to be able to use machines to produce multiple shirts simultaneously. The 1st industrial revolution was based new iron production processes, improved use of water power and steam power, and the change from wood to coal as a source of energy.

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What’s more romantic than 3D printed dinner?

3D printed dinner

3D printed dinner

I promise this is my last 3D printing article (for a little while anyway). This popped up on @ClemsonGC and I think it is brilliant, 3D printed dinner! We definitely should have one in Godfrey that prints us snacks! No more traditional snack machine, just a food-grade 3D printer to print up those Godfrey goodies!

The hype over 3-D printing intensifies by the day. Will it save the world? Will it bring on the apocalypse, with millions manufacturing their own AK-47s? Or is it all an absurd hubbub about a machine that spits out chintzy plastic trinkets? I decided to investigate. My plan: I would immerse myself in the world of 3-D printing. I would live for a week using nothing but 3-D-printed objects — toothbrushes, furniture, bicycles, vitamin pills — in order to judge the technology’s potential and pitfalls. Continue…

Software that allows your camera to capture 3D images

3D Modeling softwareUsing your regular camera and this software, you’ll be able to “scan” a 3D model out of a regular photograph and then print it on your home 3D printer. One of the more difficult aspects so far about using a 3D printer is the fact that you also need the 3D CAD files that you want to print. Most of us regular people don’t have access to CAD or know how to use it, so how can you copy that fork to complete your grandmothers set or duplicate the house key that you keep misplacing? This software allows you to turn a regular image into a 3D one that could then be translated into a printable file.

There was a time not long ago when digital image editing was something left to the experts. Then tools like iPhoto and Instagram came along and brought some of those capabilities to the masses. There’s still room for experts today, but for most of us, quick fixes and prepackaged effects are enough. These tools effectively democratized image editing. Tao Chen hopes that 3-Sweep, an incredible piece of software he created with a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University, can do the same for 3-D objects.

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3D printing: art or function?

3D printing

3D printing

So here is the question: What is 3D printing and what can it REALLY be used for? Not all of the examples in the following article link are items that you must have in your homes, but many of them are gorgeous and would make great conversation pieces. Most often we hear of prototyping with a 3D printer, but what about creating unique one of a kind items? 3D printing can be used for both the functional and the purely fun and aesthetic. With an ever growing array of materials, 3D printers can create items in many types of plastic, metal, concrete, and even food-based items. I, for one, am very excited to see where the innovators of our industry take this technology.

3D printing has been boggling minds the world over for years now, but recently the technology has become even more accessible. Continue…

A home 3D printer, scanner, fax machine

There was a time when everyone wondered why everyone would even need a phone in their home, now we have one not only in every home, but literally in everyone’s pocket. Could a home 3D printer be next? Would you get one for your house? What would you use it for?

3D printing may finally make its way into the home. The aptly named home 3D printer scanner, Zeus, may be a game changer in getting 3-dimensional printers into the consumer market. Invented at the University of Southern California‘s new incubator/accelerator,  Viterbi Startup Garage, the team comes from a unique mix of robotics, artificial intelligence, and computer vision) and appears to be pushing the envelope, so to speak, in creating a multi-functional, all-in-one, 3D printer.

You can check out the Kickstarter project: ZEUS: The World’s First ALL-IN-ONE 3D Copy Machine. Continue…