Archive for the ‘3D printer’ Category

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez

3D printing is being used to produce more and more novel items: tools, art, even rudimentary human organs. What all those items have in common, though, is that they’re small. The next phase of 3D printing is to move on to things that are big. Really big. Like, as big as a house.

In a small town in western Russia called Stupino, a 3D printed house just went up in the middle of winter and in a day’s time.

Pieces of houses and bridges have been 3D printed in warehouses or labs then transported to their permanent locations to be assembled, but the Stupino house was printed entirely on-site by a company called Apis Cor. They used a crane-sized, mobile 3D printer and a specially-developed mortar mix and covered the whole operation with a heated tent.

The 38-square-meter (409-square-foot) house is circular, with three right-angled protrusions allowing for additional space and division of the area inside. Counter-intuitively, the house’s roof is completely flat. Russia’s not known for mild, snow-free winters. Made of welded polymer membranes and insulated with solid plates, the roof was designed to withstand heavy snow loads.

Apis Cor teamed up with partners for the house’s finishing details, like insulation, windows, and paint. Samsung even provided high-tech appliances and a TV with a concave-curved screen to match the curve of the interior wall.

According to the company, the house’s total building cost came to $10,134, or approximately $275 per square meter, which equates to about $25 per square foot. A recent estimate put the average cost of building a 2,000 square foot home in the US at about $150 per square foot.

The homes of the future?

Since these houses are affordable and fast to build, is it only a matter of time before we’re all living in 3D printed concrete circles?

Probably not—or, at least, not until whole apartment buildings can be 3D printed. The Stupino house would be harder (though not impossible) to plop down in the middle of a city than in the Russian countryside.

While cities like Dubai are aiming to build more 3D printed houses, what many have envisioned for the homes of the future are environmentally-friendly, data-integrated ‘smart buildings,’ often clad with solar panels and including floors designated for growing food.

Large-scale 3D printing does have some very practical applications, though. Take disaster relief: when a hurricane or earthquake destroys infrastructure and leaves thousands of people without shelter, 3D printers like Apis Cor’s could be used to quickly rebuild bridges, roads, and homes.

Also, given their low cost and high speed, 3D printed houses could become a practical option for subsidized housing projects.

In the US, tiny houses have been all the rage among millennials lately—what if that tiny house could be custom-printed to your specifications in less than a week, and it cost even less than you’d budgeted?

Since software and machines are doing most of the work, there’s less margin for human error—gone are the days of “the subcontractor misread the blueprint, and now we have three closets and no bathrooms!”

While houses made by robots are good news for people looking to buy a basic, low-cost house, they could be bad news for people employed in the construction industry. Machines have been pouring concrete for decades, but technologies like Apis Cor’s giant printer will take a few more human workers out of the equation.

Nonetheless, the company states that part of their mission is “to change the construction industry so that millions of people will have an opportunity to improve their living conditions.”

https://singularityhub.com/2017/03/05/watch-this-house-get-3d-printed-in-24-hours/?utm_source=Singularity+Hub+Newsletter&utm_campaign=12834f7547-Hub_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0cf60cdae-12834f7547-58158129

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Dubai launches world’s first “functional” 3D printed office building. 3D Printed Building Of 250 square meter structure, Comprises Of A Single Floor With All amenities was printed in 17 days, and assembled in just two days.

A Chinese construction firm based in Shanghai has succeeded in building 10 houses each measuring 200 square metres in 24 hours by using an enormous 3D printer.

The houses are all eco-friendly and constructed from 3D-printed building blocks made from layers of recycled construction waste and glass fibre and mixed with cement.

Each home costs less than £3,000 to build.

WinSun Decoration Design Engineering spent 20 million Yuan (£1.9m) and 12 years to develop a 3D printer 6.6 metres tall, 10 metres wide and 150 metres long.

Large 3D printers have been in existence for several years and have been used to make plane parts and prototypes.

“We purchased parts for the printer overseas, and assembled the machine in a factory in Suzhou. Such a new type of 3D-printed structure is environment-friendly and cost-effective,” said the 3D-printer’s inventor, Winsun CEO Ma Yihe.

Winsun used architectural design software AutoCAD Architecture to not only plan the building but also to calculate tracing paths that took into account plumbing, electrical lining, insulation materials and windows, that would be added once the main structure was built.

The company holds 77 national patents for its construction materials.

Ma’s office building, which covers an area of 10,000 square metres, was also constructed with 3D-printed walls and took a month to build from an assembly line of four 3D printers.

“Industrial waste from demolished buildings is damaging our environment, but with 3D-printing, we are able to recycle construction waste and turn it into new building materials,” said Ma.

“This would create a much safer environment for construction workers and greatly reduce construction costs.”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/china-recycled-concrete-houses-3d-printed-24-hours-1445981

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

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Delicious Uncle Sam’s Meal Cubes are laser-sintered from granulated mealworms; part of this healthy breakfast.
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NASA is funding research into 3D printed food which would provide astronauts with meals during long space flights. The futuristic food printers would use cartridges of powder and oils which would have a shelf life of 30 years.

While the idea may seem like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, the process of printing food has already been proven possible. The brains behind the innovation, Anjan Contractor, previously printed chocolate in a bid to prove his concept.

Contractor and his company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, will now use NASA’s $125,000 grant to attempt to print a pizza. The grant was applied for on March 28, 2013. The pizza printer is still in the conceptual stage, and will begin to be built in two weeks.

The printer will first print a layer of dough, which will be cooked while being printed. Tomato powder will then be mixed with water and oil to print a tomato sauce. The topping for the pizza will be a “protein layer” which could come from any source – animals, milk, or plants.

The concept is to use basic “building blocks” of food in replaceable powder cartridges. Each block will be combined to create a range of foods which can be created by the printer. The cartridges will have a shelf life of 30 years – more than long enough to enable long-distance space travel.

Contractor and his team hope the 3D printer will be used not only by NASA, but also by regular Earthlings. His vision would mean the end of food waste, due to the powder’s long shelf life.

“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently, ” he said, as quoted by Quartz.

“So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.” There are some conveniences which would come along with the printer. For example, recipes could be traded with others through software. Each recipe would have a set of instructions which tells the printer which cartridge of powder to mix with which liquids, and at what rate and how it should be sprayed.

Another perk includes personalized nutrition.

“If you’re male, female, someone is sick—they all have different dietary needs. If you can program your needs into a 3D printer, it can print exactly the nutrients that person requires,” Contractor said.

Contractor plans on keeping the software portion of his 3D printer entirely open-source, so that anyone can look at its code. He believes this will allow people to find creative uses for the hardware.

http://rt.com/usa/nasa-3d-pizza-printer-590/

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A man has had 75 per cent of his skull replaced with a custom-made 3D-printed implant.
The un-named patient in the United States had his head imaged by a 3D scanner before the plastic prosthetic was crafted to suit his features.

Oxford Performance Materials in Connecticut then gained approval from US regulators before the printed bone replacement was inserted in his skull during a surgical procedure earlier this week.

The ground-breaking operation has only now been revealed.

The company says it can now provide the 3D printouts to replace bone damaged by disease or trauma after the US Food and Drug Administration granted approval on February 18.

The implant is more than a simple moulded plastic plate: Tiny surface details are etched into the polyetherketoneketone to encourage the growth of cells and bone.

The company says about 500 people in the US could make use of the technology each month, with recipients ranging from injured construction workers through to wounded soldiers.

It says it can produce an implant within two weeks of obtaining 3D scans of the affected area.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/patient-has-75-per-cent-of-his-skull-replaced-by-3dd-printed-implant/story-e6frfro0-1226593075470#ixzz2MzSoM5gy

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

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All the way back in February of this year, Apple’s iPhone business alone surpassed the size of Microsoft’s entire business, reaching nearly $25 billion in annual revenue versus Microsoft’s ~$20 billion.

Since February, Apple’s iPhone business has only grown, widening this gap.

Here’s the outdated chart from February:

iPhone vs Microsoft

Remarkable isn’t it?

Here’s what’s more remarkable yet: At this very moment, Apple is working on technology that, if successfully developed, will cannibalize and ultimately destroy that iPhone business.

We have two pieces of evidence.

The first is that Apple has established a pattern.

Unlike most companies, Apple has a remarkable ability to predict the kinds of gadgets that will undercut the gadgets it sells, and then build these new gadgets better than anyone else could.

The best example of this is the iPad, which is actively disrupting Apple’s own Mac business.

During Business Insider’s Ignition Conference last week, top Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray talked about Apple’s tendency to cannibalize its own businesses and predicted that it would continue to do so.

He speculated that Apple is working on consumer robotics, wearable computers, 3D printing, consumable computers, and automated technology.

He showed everyone this chart, which visualizes Apple’s pattern:

Munster on Apple

Here’s the other reason it’s safe to assume Apple is quietly working on the destruction of its most massive business, the iPhone.

Just like Google and Microsoft, Apple is working on computerized glasses. 

Computerized glasses, are, at the moment, the technology that is most likely to bring the smartphone era to an end.

They fit into an obvious pattern, where computers have been getting smaller and closer to our faces since their very beginning. 

First they were in big rooms, then they sat on desktops, then they sat on our laps, and now they’re in our palms. Next they’ll be on our faces. 

We have the rough schematics of Apple’s project.

They’ve been  publicly available on the US Patent Office’s website since this summer, when they were noticed by several Apple-watching websites.

In the patent filing, Apple calls the gadget  a “head-mounted display” or “HMD.”  

The filing is authored by Tony Fadell, designer of the iPod, and John Tang. Fadell is no longer at Apple, but Tang is.

Some highlights from the description:

  • An HMD is “a display device that a person wears on the head in order to have video information directly displayed in front of the eyes.”
  • “The optics are typically embedded in a helmet, glasses, or a visor, which a user can wear.”
  • “HMDs can be used to view a see-through image imposed upon a real world view, thereby creating what is typically referred to as an augmented reality.”
Apple says HMDs can be used…
  • To “display relevant tactical information, such as maps or thermal imaging data.”
  • To “provide stereoscopic views of CAD schematics, simulations or remote sensing applications.”
  • For “gaming and entertainment applications.”
A gadget that features applications for maps, games, and a million other uses? Sounds familiar.

Here’s an illustration from the patent filing:

Apple Patent

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-is-quietly-working-to-destroy-the-iphone-2012-12#ixzz2E7XVXabt

EXPECTANT parents in Japan who can’t wait to show the world what their baby will look like can now buy a 3D model of the fetus to share with their friends.

Based on an MRI scan, a 3D printer can create a 9-centimetre resin model of the white fetus, encased in a transparent block in the shape of the mother’s body.

“As it is only once in a lifetime that you are pregnant with that child, we received requests for these kind of models from pregnant women who… do not want to forget the feelings and experience of that time,” said Tomohiro Kinoshita of FASOTEC, the company offering the service.

The 3D model is called Shape of an Angel and costs 100,000 yen ($A1171).

It also comes with a miniature version that could be a nice adornment to a mobile phone, he added. Many young women in Japan add decorations to their phone strap.

The company said the ideal time for a scan is about eight or nine months into the pregnancy.

For those who would like a less pricey version, the company will offer a 3D model of the face of the fetus for 50,000 yen in December.

It will use ultrasound images taken at a medical clinic in Tokyo that is working with the company.

FASOTEC, originally a supplier of devices including 3D printers, uses a layering technique to build up three-dimensional structures.

The technique has been touted as a solution to localised manufacture on a small scale.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/parents-to-be-in-japan-can-buy-3d-printed-model-of-fetus/story-e6frgakx-1226525367570

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.