What a novel idea (and I don't mean it sarcastically): printing your own souvenirs from your vacation pix, after touching them up in CAD. Or for that matter, taking pictures of things around you (like redwood trees or other objects in nature). That gives me ideas for new materials and I wonder if anyone's working on them for 3D apps: ones that resemble natural substances, like wood or stone, and less like plastic.
One nice thing about using aCAD program to "print" 3D images on your home 3D printer is that you can "fix them up" before printing them. Another nice thing is that you wouldn't have to bring home souveniors, you could just take a picture (lots of pictures) and print them later. Lots lighter on the luggage.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.