1. ESA’s 3D Printed Lunar Base
Of all the things that 3D printing – as it develops – will allow us as humanity to build extra-terrestrial habitats. It starts with space stations and will start with the moon.
Science-fiction fans like me can already paint 3D-printed StarTrek-style extra-terrestrial cities, so I’m especially pleased to hear that ESA has created one of the world’s top architectural studios, Foster & Partners. and the same studio that designed Apple’s new “UFO-ish” headquarters in Cupertino.
3D printing is the only concrete way to build a lunar base because it is not possible to photograph a group of astronauts getting down and dirty out of cement.
Lunar soil has already been tested and can be used for 3D printing. The machine used in the study is D-Shape, the largest cement 3D printer. The extraterrestrial houses of the future will probably look like those round bubbles we’ve seen in sci-fi movies, because it’s actually easier to make round walls than square ones with 3D printing.
2. W. Build 3D Printer With Scraps From Affet African Computer Dump
What I love most about 3D printing is that it could potentially change all manufacturing and global production dynamics, in my opinion only for the better. 3D printing can completely localize the production of complex parts. Even though high-end industrial machines are very expensive and complex, basic rap-rap style machines can and will continue to evolve and allow anyone to make any item cheaply.
The W.Afate project is one of the clearest representations of this phenomenon: it is a project by Togo resident Kodjo Afate to build an FDM Rep Wrap 3D printer using scraps from huge dumps of Western and Asian electronic waste. All he needed was the chips and motor from the old scanner and inkjet printer, computer case and an Arduino (his only real expense).
3. 3D Printed Sugar
I am not a big fan of sweets. And I didn’t particularly like 3D printed pizza projects or 3D printed food in general. I’m from Italy and the food is sacred around these parts. You can’t just 3D print it, you have to cook it and it can take hours. Yet I really like the creations that were made possible by 3D printing Chinese using Chinese Lab’s technology.
I think the results look amazing and there is clearly a huge potential for 3D printing for desserts and amazing looking decorations for cakes or to satiate a sweet tooth. Apparently 3D Systems did it, because the giant swallowed Sugar Lab in one gulp (I mean they bought them). However, I do hope that this capital injection will help Kyle and Liz, the founders of Sugar Lab, take the experiment further and become more creative.
4. 3D Printed Wool Sweaters
How will clothes be 3D printed? Sure, there will be new natural plastic based materials that will become softer and more wearable but will they ever be able to beat wool and cotton? Maybe not. So how can we 3D print with wool and cotton? Appalach may have a solution.
He started a project on Kickstarter and got it funded (55.000 target 55.000). The idea is to apply the computer controlled manufacturing technologies of 3D printing to a computerized knitting machine.
This means that the fibers are woven to the exact size they need to be sewn into a customized fitted sweater or shirt. In their concept, fabric 3D printers would be locally present where the cotton or wool is produced. No transportation, no tissue waste, perfectly fitting clothing through technology. I love this
5. Lithose Ceramic Lithography
Lithos’ technology really impressed me at the last Euromold. I had never seen an accuracy capable of reaching 3D printing ceramics with my CeraFab 7500. It uses a lithography-based ceramic fabrication (LCM) process, which means that the ceramic powder is poured into a 3D printed resin container to give its shape and then transported to a kiln to complete the sinterization process. Gone.
Even my aunt, who is a traditional ceramic artist, loves that 3D printing can be used to create otherwise impossible ceramic forms (even though she will always continue to do it by hand. ), and lithose is about as unlikely as you can get.