The phrase “slippery as an eel” takes on a new meaning when the eel is a swimming robot that moves speedily through enemy waters collecting data. Recently, the University of New Orleans (UNO) received a three-year grant from the Office of Naval Research to create what they call a “robotic eel.” As the name implies, the robot mimics the actual movement of an eel in shallow water areas such as rivers and coastlines. The researchers’ interest in the project lies in the benefits it can bring to monitoring and data collection in water, especially in harsh and dangerous conditions. (Source: Stratasys)
The posting of the furniture-producing robotic printing system shows an interesting departure from the way things are usually done. Given the present capabilities of robots it seems reasonable that they could also dispense all kinds of building materials, including cements and extrudable plastics, and posibly even melted glass. So I expect to see robots producing a huge variety of things in the near future.
Also, how about a "Lego" dispensing/assembling robot? We have already seen all knds of fantastic structures built with these toys, now just consider what a robot with an automatic feeder attachement could produce. The action video would be quite something to see.
I am impressed by the various fashion things produced by the process, but I don't imagine that the clothes are very comfortable. Producing fabric is still beyond the realm of the 3D printing systems, it seems. BUt it is probably only a matter of time until we see a "replicator" like the ones on Star Trek. That will be a real game changer again, no doubt.
@Daveca, aside from your assertions, which I believe are all correct, there exists the very real fact that printing a firearm is not economical. IN this area one can purchase on the street far better firepower for less than the cost of almost any 3D printer. So while it is probably possible to produce some of the gun parts on one, it is far cheaper to buy the real thing and not have to do any assembly or engineering.
On the other hand it would be quite interesting to see if somebody could design and print a "mini-cannon" version of a paintball gun. That should be quite do-able, although making barrels even smooth enough for paintballs would not be economical.
I would have to disagree as there are many items being produced on 3D printers for the fashion industry. Just this past week there was a big fashion show in NY that was based on 3D printed items. There is also a huge interest in the Arts sector. 3D printing is still in the early stages and has many posibilitise all we need is to keep an open mind and keep advancing new materials and higher resilution printers..
Many decades ago someone wrote a computer program that generated poetry by stringing together words from a dictionary according to a number of syntax rules.
I'd like to see someone write a program for computer generated abstract sculpture and pass it off to a couple of modern art museums (NY_MOMA?) just to see how many self-inflated art critics get it wrong.
This field of abstract patterns is really amazing field to work in. With different patterns and different mathematic techniques one can certainly form different artistic 3d designs. This might give artists a whole new field to work on.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
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