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TED2013: 3D Printing talks
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SpaceTop 3D Computer
It’s often hard to digest all of the ideas and information that come out of TED conferences. There are so many talks it is virtually impossible to keep track, though we’ll probably have something to make that possible at TED2013.
In this blog, which I will be updating throughout the Los Angeles conference, I explore any talks or ideas that matter to us in the 3D printing industry. Here’s what I’ve spotted so far:
Jinha Lee’s SpaceTop 3D computer
This could be a very interesting one to watch, I mentioned before that I was very impressed by Leonar3do, 3D modelling software and hardware using virtual reality goggles to allow the user to model in a complete spatial environment. The SpaceTop 3D takes a similar idea and applies it to the whole computer.
In collaboration with Microsoft TED Fellow Jinha Lee has created a way to interact with solid objects in a 3D environment using facial and hand tracking depth cameras coupled with a transparent screen.
Although we’re yet to see this being used with 3D modelling software we imagine the next logical step is to allow the user to mould a model like one would a clay model. See the video for a demo.
Skylar Tibbts’ 4D printing
Now that the public are finally getting their heads’ around the concept of 3D printing it's up to a TED Fellow to put them back in a spin with 4D printing.
Architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits of MIT has developed a self-assembling part from multi-layered material that reacts when placed in water. Not only does his name sound like something from a sci-fi movie it appears his brain works like it is in one too.
In 2011 Tibbits gave a talk on how he believes in the future skyscrapers will build themselves by mimicking organic structures like DNA. Two years on and it appears that with the advancement in the 3D printing technologies Tibbits is now able to produce the multi-layered materials he requires for his process to work.
This story has had a lot of publicity due to the 4D printing tag they’ve slapped on it, I think that’s a slight bit of piggybacking on the trend but nevertheless the technology is truly astounding. Autodesk, who are partnering with Skylar and the rest of the MIT crew, are imagining a brighter future for all in which Ikea furniture assembles itself. Forget the skyscrapers that’s something I like the sound of.
UPDATE 01/03 9:00
Alastair Parvin's WikiHouse
Winner of a TED City 2.0 prize in 2012 Alastair Parvin's WikiHouse is an open source design repository for the people of the world to print their own house. The race to design a 3D printable house has been firmly on for a while now, and Alastair Parvin's entry seems to have a real chance in winning.
Alastair Parvin's aim is to democratise architecture by hosting a series of designs that allow anyone to download and print a building. Parvin believes the current architecture and design industry is too full of people wanting to build skyscrapers for the richest percentile of the world's population. His aim is to give affordable housing to the world.
His projects in the favelas of Rio has received widespread media attention as he seeks to create a WikiHouse that will then therefore spawn more WikiHouses throughout the slums. He says it is the world's biggest design community, sharing ideas and designs like WikiPedia shares information.
WikiHouse has a host of designs for you to download and adapt to your needs in Google SketchUp, no real professional skill is required, it is a bit like flat pack furniture except for instead of a wardrobe to go in your house, it is the house!
Let us know in the box below if you spot anything you think we should take note of...