And it’ll never rust….

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3D printing company Solid Concepts announced it has manufactured the world’s first 3D Printed Metal Gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals.
The gun, a 1911 classic design, has already handled 50 rounds of successful firing. It is composed of 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, and decked with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip.

at 3ders.org

Build your own device Motorola’s (Google’s) next cell phone play

Motorola Announces “Project Ara,” a modular phone hardware platform20131030-225519.jpg20131030-225530.jpg

Motorola has announced a free open hardware platform for smartphones called “Project Ara.” The goal is to create a modular smartphone that would allow users to swap hardware components at will. Motorola says it wants to “do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.”

looks cool seems reasonable for the large geek, nerd, techie, metro, hip, individualist, contingents out there. Making it rugged and relatively ‘duh’ proof will be a challenge.

Spiders in Space! SpiderFab, a fabulous NASA initiative

3ders.org a great 3 D printing site has this up…..TUI, a space technology development company based in Bothell, WA is currently developing “SpiderFab” to provide order-of-magnitude packing- and mass- efficiency improvements over current deployable structures and enables construction of kilometer-scale apertures within current launch vehicle capabilities.
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Trusselator
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SpiderFab project (credit: Tethers.com)

Go NASA!

Here is the TUI SpiderFab site

And remember this, Lego for the MIT set20130830-102928.jpg20130830-102946.jpg

Nanotechnology steps up for the big screens

Tech Radar UK blog/magazine: The future of touchscreens revealed: bigger, cheaper, bendier
IN DEPTH Silver is becoming the gold standard for touchscreen technology20130818-161523.jpg

The mesh of tiny silver nanowires, head on and at an angle (very much magnified)

Because it’s flexible it can be roll to roll printed and the silver nanowire ink can be printed to final patern which will enable rapid cost reduction and new options. Cool stuff.20130818-161939.jpg

After the plastic has been sprayed with the nanowires and dried in an oven, the machine rolls it up again

3D printing antennas, is seen replacing conventional tech in production

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According to Optomec, Aerosol Jet printing utilizes aerodynamic focusing to precisely deposit nanomaterials to produce fine feature circuitry and embedded components without the use of masks or patterns. The resulting functional electronics can have line widths and pattern features ranging from 10’s of microns to centimeters.

Read more at: http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130531-optomec-is-3d-printing-antennas.html
The combination of 3D printing and Materials Technology, particularly the ‘nanoscale’ materials or the materials we now understand at atomic scale, is changing the world more quickly than some see. It is not always obvious because in the end the devices are not that different than what came before, just better, smaller, longer lasting, stronger, etc. over a relatively short time it is amazing what small increments of change, multiplied by thousands of applications and dozens of iterations, can build up to.

Multi material 3D printing // The Engineer

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Kinda creepy actually.

…multi-material 3D printing aims to address inefficiencies by reducing the number of manufacturing steps for one object. Compared with single material 3D printing, it allows a functional product to be created with different properties without the need to bring together components. It increases speed to market by allowing organisations to prototype increasingly complex parts and reduces waste products by using exactly the right amount of material required.

Read more: http://www.theengineer.co.uk/channels/design-engineering/in-depth/the-rise-of-multi-material-3d-printing/1016242.article#ixzz2Ujj5QP00

3rd Power Law, 0 Complexity premium, working memes for 3D Printing

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A 3-D printed table … with holes and all. Photo: rosemarybeetle / Flickr

WIRED http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/05/an-insiders-view-of-the-hype-and-realities-of-3-d-printing/

3-D printing is indeed an important fabrication technology, because it has the marvelous ability to make anything regardless of the complexity of the form.

BUT

Everything from cost and time to amount of material increases exponentially: specifically, to the third power. So if we want something twice as big, it will cost 8 times as much and take 8 times as long to print. If we want something three times as big, it will cost about 27 times more and takes 27 times longer to print. And so on.

Love simplifying memes, these are two great ones that help the mind focus on the issues involved when ‘discussions’ dealing with potentials are taking place.

Also in the article:
The reminder that these are not replicators, not yet anyway.

AND

That many of the technologies enabling 3D printing are enabling CNC machining, laser-cutting, robotics and more, at DIY / hobbyist scale.

21st Century Opportunity > Making The New Everything…

MIT Technology Review : Business Report : The Next Wave of Manufacturing

You Must Make the New Machines // Economist Ricardo Hausmann says the U.S. has a chance to invent the manufacturing technology of tomorrow.
From MIT Technology : read more: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509281/you-must-make-the-new-machines/

The basic knowledge is here, the ideas and innovation, even the entrepreneurial spirit, the problem is have we tied ourselves down with rules regulations taxes monopolies etc?