You might not think there would be very many contenders in a race to see who can build a house using additive manufacturing (AM), and mainly you’d be right. Lately, though, the idea has been cropping up more and more often. The European Space Agency is even looking into using AM to build housing on the moon.
Monolite UK has been chugging along with the intent on printing a house using its D-Shape process for a while now, and has gotten some new attention from the artistically designed Landscape House. Now, a new challenger has appeared. London-based Softkill Design has a plan to build a house using more traditional AM materials. Continue reading
From the first time a warrior strapped on some leather hide, body armor has continually evolved. Each time a new type of armor was invented, weapons technology eventually surpassed the protection offered. This resulted in a new round of improvements in armor, followed by bigger and better weapons meant to defeat the newest upgrade.
No armor is proof against modern weapons tech. Bulletproof vests only stop small caliber rounds, and even the thickest Kevlar chest plate isn’t invulnerable. Modern armor is designed to reduce fatalities, rather than provide all-encompassing protection. What armor does best is reduce the impact of ricochets and shrapnel, saving lives by protecting the torso. Continue reading
The first two days of CES have shone a spotlight on continuing developments in additive manufacturing (AM). Rapid Ready covered 3D Systems’ CES premiere of the next-generation Cube and the new CubeX. MakerBot created a stir at the electronics convention with its announcement of the Replicator 2X.
With, perhaps, a bit less fanfare than that surrounding the newest offerings from 3D Systems and MakerBot, Afinia gained some attention for its home 3D printer, the H-Series. While not a new release, the H-Series is a good example of the variety of AM systems available. Continue reading
While I enjoy breaking up all the tech heavy talk about additive manufacturing (AM) here at Rapid Ready with stories about how 3D printing is being used in unexpected ways, I haven’t forgotten that rapid prototyping is still the heart of the AM movement. Yes, on-demand manufacturing is growing by leaps and bounds, but, overall, most AM systems are still chugging away making prototypes.
The devil is in the details. I find snippets, here and there, from companies that mention they’ve begun using AM, but not much in the way of specifics. Until recently, it almost seemed like 3D printing was something businesses were trying to keep behind closed doors. That is beginning to change, and for the better. Continue reading
It’s easy to start thinking that rapid prototyping is only used for part creation. When you see story after story talking about how this part of an engine or that part of a ventilation system was prototyped using additive manufacturing (AM), tunnel vision becomes understandable. With that in mind, AM is also a valuable tool for proof of concept when it comes time to decide on a product’s final form.
Along with form, the functionality of a forthcoming product can also benefit from rapid prototyping. While your math and software might insist a design will be functional, nothing beats trying out a hands-on version, particularly when functionality must coexist with style. This is particularly true for high tech devices like the forthcoming Microsoft Surface and Nintendo’s Wii U GamePad. Continue reading