The future of manufacturing and design relies on a printer that costs up to $60,000. MIT Media Lab professor Neri Oxman and materials science professor Craig Carter have created machinery that makes 3D printing of buildings and other structural prototypes a reality.
One of the latest examples of 3D printing is a 6-inch cube sculpture that says “Making the Future.” Check out the process in the Mashable video above. The inkjet hovers over a flat surface and creates the cube from the bottom up, layer by layer. The biology-inspired printer consists of mounted inkjet heads that deposit plastic layers to form an object. Another laser-based model uses metal powder to make durable airplane creations.
The result of these 3D processes is better design, because it allows for the stretching of one’s creative mind. Designers can go from working with hard plywood, sheets of glass, steel beams and concrete to working with materials and molds that are 100% malleable.
So, what’s the science behind these printers of the new age? These machines rely on algorithms that make shapes with the “unmixing of two fluids” — a combination of thermodynamics and material kinetics. The lab continues to develop new kinds of 3D printers and perfect these models.
What do you think the effect of these new printers will be? Are you an artist or designer willing to use 3D printing?
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