A potential solution for all kinds of problems is computer driven fabricators. When mature these technologies may function at the nano scale and sip energy and materials. Current technologies build objects by whittling away excess mass from stocks. These technologies build objects up by depositing mass in the right places. An overview of current capabilities.
With new materials, more-efficient lasers, and faster computers, techniques such as selective laser sintering and direct metal deposition are producing parts, not just prototypes.
Since its introduction in the 1980s, rapid prototyping has evolved from a relatively simple modeling technique that allows design engineers to “test” their ideas in three dimensions to a sophisticated custom-manufacturing tool that may one day find its place alongside the copy machines at the local copy center or in the parts department at the local auto dealership.
I expect we will have home fabs. Have your fab make a fab for me. There are some interesting implications for intellectual property in a world where things are easily produced from CAD designs.
posted by back40 |
5/02/2006 08:42:00 PM
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