There were a lot of exciting technologies on display at last week's Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, and WestPack shows (among others) in Anaheim, Calif.
One of the best things I came across was at the Stratasys booth -- a 3D-printed face that had the texture of real skin. It was hand-painted -- which made it look very realistic -- and many people would do a double take when they walked by.
Another booth that had people crowded around it was Stäubli's. They used one of their industrial robot arms to play a game with the crowd. Using a push button, you pick a particular die and the robot arm spins a wheel. If the wheel lands on the die you picked it throws you a poker chip over the glass enclosure. If it did not land on the die you picked it swings around to you and motions back and forth as if to say, "no, no."
Click Stratasys's face below to see some highlights from the show floor.
Stratasys showed off this 3D-printed face that was made from PolyJet rubber-like TangoPlus material, which gave it the texture of real skin. It was then hand-painted to give it an even more life-like appearance. (Source: Design News)
We actually had the honor of having dinner with Andrew. He's an amazing inventor (not sure, but I believe he said he had 13 patents). The Gadget Freak column could not have had a better or more talented representative.
Thank you so much for the kind words. I do indeed have 13 patents. I would have had 14 patents, but my employer closed down the facility where I worked and laid us all off before the final step in the patent process could be accomplished, namely finding 2 qualified people to witness my invention. That invention, a digital motor speed regulator algorithm is now in the public domain and is the basis of one of my winning gadgets. I'm glad that the patent fell through, as now others can use it. I wouldn't have gotten any money from it anyway. It is a published patent application, which anyone can find in a patent search. I bought and reverse-engineered a cordless floor sweeper that has my invention in it. Good for them! I'm glad that someone else has found it useful.
The dental appliance fabber shown in image 9 is a perfect use of a small fabber. Imagine going to the dentist in the morning for mold-taking and returning in the afternoon for your finished appliance! I haven't had a crown in some time, but it took days for it to be manufactured.
I see Dental CAD providing a lot of benefits to third world countries who may not be able to afford traditional treatments. The playing field of 3D printer manufacters is staggering with cost as low as $300 dollars. Also, plans to build your own 3D printers have been open sourced thus making Dental CAD a reality.
I agree. The 3D printer is the gateway to developing an inexpensive dental cam device to disrupt the current expensive units used in the industry. There's an abundance of 3D printers and CNC machine projects that can be found on the instructables website which can be redesigned to implement a dental cam machine at low cost.
It's very impressive to see the developments being done in 3D printing. Most of the projects mentioned in the slideshow are of 3D technology, which in turn makes us realize the fast and efficient growth being done in this area by different firms. Now it's only a matter of time, when we would be making actual products through these printers instead of the prototypes.
I've been attending the show for a number of years, Daniyal Ali, and it wasn't very long ago that there were no 3D printing companies in attendance. But in the past five years, that has really changed. Today, you can't walk down an aisle at MD&M without seeing multiple 3D printed parts. It's amazing to see how fast that technology has been adopted.
I agree. The 3D printing has become quite common in industry and the Maker community. I believe Hasbro toys presented a 3D printer for kids to make their own toys at this weeks Toy Fair in NYC. How amazing to be able to make your own toys, as kid, based on drawings you've created. I'm wondering what will be the next big thing in tech: the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show may have the scoop next year.
While in Anaheim, I attended the "Golden Mousetrap Awards" ceremony, where I was handed my "Gadget Freak of the Year" trophy. There was a young woman there, named Justine Haupt. She's a real genius. I estimate her age to be in her late 20's or early 30's. She won the "Rising Engineering Star" award. The things that she has already done in her young life makes my accomplishments look like nothing, IMO. I'm not complaining. She deserves it. She said in her acceptance speech that she is on a campaign to encourage young women to go into engineering.
The 3-D printed face is simply awesome. I can understand how it would have made those people who were there have double look at it because it looked so real here in picture as well. At first look it made me feel that someone has actually put his face into some kind of scanning device. It was only after reading the description that I came to know it was a 3-D printed face. Simply brilliant!
The 3D Face Mask is great! Just what every common criminal needs for next-gen robberies, and just plain old-time yahooing beer from the local convenience store. "Analyze This" camera facial recognition software!
@ Charles Murray, it is really good to see the pace at which this technology is heading forward. In a matter of just a few years 3-D technology has made its present felt very strongly at such highly esteemed shows. I am sure it will not be long before we witness it moving forward from prototyping to making actual products.
@Anandy: 3D printing has already taken a giant step forward. Its just a matter of when the investors are going to place their trust on this particular item. Since its still on its early days there are lots of things which needs to be addressed and those points will have to be evaluated properly on a regular basis
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.