Tag Archives: manufacturing

3D printing and how it will change what things look like

Link here. The article not only outlines some of the newer developments in 3D printing, it gives a nice look at how that technology is literally going to change what the things it builds look like.

Simple shapes are popular in human designs because they’re easy. Easy to design, especially with CAD, and easy to manufacture in a world where manufacturing means taking a big block or sheet of something, and machining a shape out of it, or pouring metals into a mold.

But manufacturing is starting to undergo a revolutionary change as 3D printing moves toward commercially competitive speeds and costs. And where traditional manufacturing incentivizes the simplest shapes, additive manufacturing is at its fastest and cheapest when you use the least possible material for the job. That’s a really difficult way for a human to design – but fairly easy, as it turns out, for a computer. And super easy for a giant network of computers.

The result: a stronger object, less weight, and less cost.

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No 6207 A Study in Steel

An evening pause: A fascinating and well-filmed documentary from 1935 describing how a British company then built locomotives. Note the lack of construction helmets, gloves, or safety glasses. Note also the number of workers involved. Today most of this work is automated, making it more precise and efficient. Then, however, they did not yet have such technology, and instead found ways to build very sophisticated machines using the skills of ordinary humans.

Hat tip Edward Thelen.

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