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Engineering Materials

Self-Assembly Meets 3D Printing

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a.saji
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Re: 3D printing & self assembly natural partners
a.saji   3/12/2013 12:15:35 PM
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@Ann: Yes Ann I do get your poiunt. What I really wanted was to involve AI into the project so it will have loads of benifits.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D printing & self assembly natural partners
Ann R. Thryft   3/11/2013 12:22:53 PM
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a.saji, AI is a fun topic for discussion in the comments, but it's not a regular topic for coverage in Design News, at least for now.

a.saji
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Re: 3D printing & self assembly natural partners
a.saji   3/10/2013 9:08:26 AM
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@Ann: Do you intend to have anything to do with AI in the future ? I would love to join  if so since I think AI can add some value towards this.   

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D printing & self assembly natural partners
Ann R. Thryft   3/8/2013 3:19:19 PM
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eafpres, thanks for the feedback. My April feature on self-assembly and self-reconfiguring robots will touch on several of these subjects. If you're interested in nanoscale self-assembly, I suggest you check out DNA origami and the Wyss Institute work on DNA 2D tiles and 3D bricks.

eafpres
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3D printing & self assembly natural partners
eafpres   3/8/2013 10:59:56 AM
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Thanks for sharing this.  I watched the underwater cube, then I watched Skylar's TED talk as well.  When you think about a system like this, it makes sense that 3D printing (or some form of 3D manufacturing) and self-assembly go together--things we want in the world are mainly 3D, so they are assembled out of 3D parts (the printer that prints out of stacked sheets notwithstanding--they are still 3D--they have thickness!).

It is interesting to think about gravity as the main source of energy (potential energy) and building structures.  In a sense, this is already done on a large scale or certain types of retaining walls.  You have 3D blocks that fit together, and gravity provides the force to keep them together.  I have seen some blocks for walls that are very large--think a concrete lego brick the size of a bale of hay.  Some I have seen have bumps on one side and dents on the other, so they stack and won't move horizontally, and gravity does the rest.

On a smaller scale, I wonder what could be done with structures that respond to other sources, such as thermal, and pH, or even blood chemistry, and how those could be used in the body.

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