[quote =]The revolution has begun. It is like a child in front of your eyes growing and changing each day. You can’t see the growth, it is incremental, but one day the child will be fully mature and there will be little or no inclination of the past.[/quote]
MIT Technology Review lists 3D printing or as one of top ten technology trends for 2013. Regardless of the benefits, nothing new comes without challenge and resistance. The challenges lie in quality control, intellectual property questions, environmental concerns related to the toxicity, sustainability and recyclability of the materials. I am not sure whether the decentralization of production is considered a pro or a con, I guess that depends upon whether your a budding creative individual or a manufacturing monolith. The benefits include growing creative class, decreased time to production, crowd sharing and problem solving in the refinement of design A ideally creates new business models for artists similar to giclee printing, which released the artist from the shackles of the galleries and the need to print in volume. Individuals artists, designers, industrial engineers and hobbyists are using 3D to create everything from shoes, dresses, jewellery and art to robohands, ears, guns and cars.
If you are really into the technology side of things you could buy a previous generation Makerbot and build a 3D printer which can produce the parts to build another 3D printer. Ok, being a raised by a seamstress, I am so not doing that, but I would want to make some funky custom shirts that fit my boobs. I can never get anything over the counter to fit my boobs, not sure what is happening in the boob department of fashion houses these days, but I digress.
To make my funky shirt, I would definitely need some creative minds to assist with design, fitting and production. A fashion designer for sure, a technology brain for the 3D printing component and maybe an industrial engineer to really get the custom fit on the boobs. A good choice of a flexible material to print would be required. You can print in a variety of material titanium might be good for support, but not so good in the comfort area. Nylon, rubber, some type of supple polymer would work.
Essentially the funky shirt would be drawn in a 3 dimensional format using computer aided design(CAD) software. The CAD software would create layers from the 3D elements of the design. The layers would be digitized and sent to the printer, which is equipped with the supple material in a powder form. The printer prints the layers microns thin, sucessivelly into a tray. Dependant upon the powdered materials, an assortment of binding methods including heat, laser or chemical are used to bind the layers. As each layer is printed the tray lowers and the next layer is printed.
I do have a sewing machine, I make my own jewellery and occassionaly create my own art, but not sure if I would want all the lasers and powders required to print a custom boob blouse in my house The clean up on this job could be a challenge How do you dispose of the excess? Would I need to wear gloves? In my case I think 3D printing it’s best left to the professionals.
Iris Van Herpen, 24 year old fashion designer, partnered with Stratasys Ltd and unveiled her nature inspired “Wilderness Embodies” 3D printed shoes at Fashion Week in Paris and her “Capriole” dress collection in Berlin. Designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti created 3D-printed nylon fabric for Dita Von Teese‘s realy see thorugh dress. Nike has cut the production to time, using 3D technology to create the Vapor Laser Talon football shoes. Jim Kor, a Canadian engineer in collaboration with RedEye, has 3D printed an ecologically-minded, 10-foot Urbee car: Read more: The 3D-Printed Urbee 2 Hybrid Car is Light, Strong, and Nearing Production | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building. Transylvanian artist Ioan Florea inspired by nano technology created 8′ x 10′ canvases of 3D printed art.
Three dimensional printing is affecting every major manufacturing industry from aerospace engineering to medicine. The next generation Replicator 2 by Makerbot sells for around $3000.00, and like a computer, it is coming to a home near you soon.By the way Makerbot was recently aquired for $403M by industrial giant Stratasys. According to Wohler Associates out of Colorado. additive manufacturing or 3 D printing is an industry that was worth 1.2 billion in 2008 and that it could double in size by 2015.
The 3D revolution is a game changer, it will impact politics, economies, individuals and globalization. The revolution is digitized, and driven by individual creativity. If you are a artistic innovative person, now is your time. Your virtual ideas can become reality.