All posts by griffey

Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’

Really great article about how 3D printing will compliment other manufacturing techniques, and what it’s really good for.

Never before have we had a technology where we can so freely translate our ideas into a tangible object with little regard to the machinery or skills available. Yet just as the microwave didn’t replace all other forms of cooking as initially predicted, 3-D printing will not replace other manufacturing technologies let alone industrial-scale ones for a variety of reasons. It will complement them.

via An Insider’s View of the Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’ | Wired Opinion | Wired.com.

Pneumatic logic

The RepRap project was how I first learned about 3d printing. It has the remarkable mission, in that I’m remarking about it, of printing all of the parts to make another printer. Wow. Well, in principle, all of the circuits can be replaced with pneumatic ones. And also, you know, it might make a cool theme for a sci-fi flick. Just imagine a 3d printer printing with a background of hydraulic valves, pumps and hoses. Generate a pressure difference with steam and you’ve made a steam punk wet dream.

Insects au gratin

Insects Au Gratin looks for new ways of consuming insects and debates the nutritive and environmental aspects of insects as human food. One of the aspects that deters people from eating insects not only has to do with cultural background, but also with the aesthetics of the dishes themselves.

A project that takes insects, renders them into a sort of “flour” and then 3D prints edible objects with them. Watch the video to see the process in action.

via Susana Soares: Insects au gratin / Project.

The $12 Gongkai Phone

Amazing bit of techno journalism by Bunnie Huang that tracked down a particular piece of hardware in China, and what that piece of hardware says about the future of gadgets and open.

$12 is the price paid for a single quantity retail, contract-free, non-promotional, unlocked phone — in a box with charger, protective silicone sleeve, and cable. In other words, the production cost of this phone is somewhere below the retail price of $12. Rumors place it below $10.

This is a really amazing price point. That’s about the price of a large Domino’s cheese pizza, or a decent glass of wine in a restaurant.

via The $12 Gongkai Phone « bunnie’s blog.

Shooting the $17,000 Linux-powered rifle

This is a wonderfully detailed article about an interesting new blend of weapon and tech…the Precision Guided Firearm. For those unfamiliar with guns, it’s effectively a computer-assisted firearm, relying on a human to pick a target and tell the gun where you’d like the bullet to go. The gun then tells you when it’s in the right position and angle to actually hit the target you chose, and fires appropriately. According to the article linked below, the reporters were able to hit targets the size of a dinner plate at 1000 yards…insane, unheard of accuracy even for the very best human marksmen.

With a marketing plan that involves iPads, Google Glass, and gamification of target practice, this company is very, very savvy. I am interested to see what they come up with, and how quickly this system drops in price.

The Precision Guided Firearm is a “whole widget” type of thing—it’s not just a fancy scope on top of a fancy gun, but rather a tightly integrated system coupling a rifle, an ARM-powered scope running a modified version of Angström Linux (with some custom BitBake recipes and kernel modules to support the rifle’s proprietary hardware), and a linked trigger mechanism whose weighting is controlled by the scope.

via Bullseye from 1,000 yards: Shooting the $17,000 Linux-powered rifle | Ars Technica.