Tom Wujec, Fellow at AutoDesk, spoke at the Thinking Digital event earlier this year. In a video of his fascinating talk, Tom speaks of the nature of emerging technologies, specifically tech evolution and tech possibilities.
He describes a special moment in the evolution of technology where the previously “impossible”, suddenly becomes possible. This is the “sweet spot” where investment recognizes the opportunity and companies actually bring the concept to life. However, he says, timing is always critical. A product too early may fail, even if it’s a great idea (Newton? Google Wave?)
He reviews several key technology concepts, including Computation, Analog to Digital, Digital to Analog, User Interaction/Augmented Reality, Mobile and Bioinformatics, most of which focus on the notion of a digital representation of actual objects. The one most interesting to us is Digital to Analog, where digital models are transformed into physical objects.
He describes a class of objects that are not producible by any other means, including an “insane” model made by one of his clients: a running shoe made from four different materials, including rubber, cloth, etc. The really interesting part was derived from a spiderweb inspiration: an intricate series of thin strands wove over the shoe. Evidently this was printed by a complex six-axis device that extruded the strands and then carefully tied the strings together in 3D!
Tom believes this type of technology could transform the shoe (and other) industries into a manufacturing-by-one model. For example, scan your feet, then select a design and await the printout. However, the shoe lasts “only about ten minutes” as it’s made of very fragile stuff.
He also describes a concrete printer able to print buildings and bioprinters, capable of printing various replacement body parts. We’ve written of theseconcepts before many times, but it’s still quite amazing to think about.
is 3D printing ahead of its time? What happens next?
Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!
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Welcome to Fabbaloo, one of the world’s oldest online news sources for 3D printing news. We’ve been in operation since 2007, where we first started examining the state of 3D printers. These devices are now relatively common among some circles in today’s world, but years ago it was extremely rare to see a 3D printer or even a 3D printed object.
At that time it was challenging to find any 3D printing news, so we decided to make our own site that covered 3D printer news, and even associated technologies like 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Today it is common to find 3D printers in schools, workshops and makerspaces, and you probably have been using 3D printed objects without even knowing they were 3D printed.
Today’s industry has finally taken up the challenge by installing thousands of industrial 3D printers, each producing previously impossible 3D printed parts that make today’s society far more efficient. The aerospace industry in particular has been producing many 3D printed parts, some even for flight critical purposes.
If you want to learn about 3D printers, then there’s no better place than Fabbaloo’s 3D printer news to see the latest happenings.
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