My Robot Nation made its initial debut with the mission to give people with no experience or knowledge of 3D CAD tools the ability to easily create their own designs that can be output by 3D printers or 3D printing services. Now part of 3D Systems' content creation portfolio, the technology will no doubt be folded into the Cubify.com community to help orchestrate the movement toward 3D design and printing for the masses. (Source: 3D Systems)
Terrific slideshow, Beth. It looks like open source software is coming to 3D printing. It's wonderful to see the technology moving away from specialists and going out to the great unwashed budding design engineers.
Ann, these items look a lot like the Mold-A-Rama toys we used to get at the Muesems in the Chicago area. These are injection molded plastic toys. I really like them, but my wife was always wanting to get rid of them. It was fun to watch them being made.
On the other hand, I can see one problem with all this personal manufacturing. These are, of course, novelties. We used to collect small toys that were dropped off at a resales shop. They were great for target practice. (did I say that?)
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.