David Kirkpatrick

April 8, 2008

Three dimensional printing …

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:18 pm

… is a cool technology. I’ve seen the results of rapid prototype 3D printing, and it’s impressive. Impressive and still in its infancy in terms of practical applications.

Here’s some of the latest news from the frontlines of 3D printing.

From the ComputerWorld link:

Based in the Waitakeres, in West Auckland, software developer and artist Vik Olliver is part of a team developing an open-source, self-copying 3D printer. The RepRap (Replicating Rapid-prototyper) printer can replicate and update itself. It can print its own parts, including updates, says Olliver, who is one of the core members of the RepRap team.

The 3D printer works by building components up in layers of plastic, mainly polylactic acid (PLA), which is a bio-degradable polymer made from lactic acid. The technology already exists, but commercial machines are very expensive. They also can’t copy themselves, and they can’t be manipulated by users, says Olliver.

(Hat tip: KurzweilAI.net)