Posts tagged 3d_printing

Here’s a 3D printed SLR camera. (via Boing Boing)

Of course you can’t print the optics (yet), but we are getting closer and closer to the kind of technology described in The Diamond Age. However, whether next-generation tablets will instruct the Nells of this world how to lead armies against injustice or will just teach them how to animate GIFs is a speculation I will leave to the reader.

The World of Tomorrow!

Yesterday I attended an academic conference at the Future Places festival that’s happening right now right here in Porto. I normally tend to be wary of such conferences, having previously seen my fair share of the “I’m a genius who knows magic and you’re not” attitude, so I was very pleased by the “Just do it, things do get easy when broken down in small problems!” message that prevailed in today’s presentations, which included, among others, a very interesting and entertaining keynote presentation by Golan Levin. However, by that time I was already dumbstruck by the relatively small presentation by Zach Smith of Thingiverse and Makerbot, about the subject of 3D printing — that is, desktop factories.

For now (and probably for a few decades still), 3D printers only ‘print’ plastic, but still — I held objects that felt right out of the fucking Diamond Age. Need a plug for your bath? Print it! A toy train for your nephew? Print it! A coat hanger? Print it! In time, no doubt people will be sharing the 3D models that will allow you to print more complicated things. Right now, everything that is made of plastic can be ‘printed’ (wouldn’t ‘sculpted’ be a better word?) right there on your desktop. At the moment the Makerbot 3D printer is sold as a kit you have to assemble, but so did the MITS Altair in 1975, and it only took a couple of years after that for ready-to-use microcomputers to hit the retail shelves. I’m only wondering how much will HP ask for a plastic ‘refill’…