Contour Crafting is a construction technology that potentially reduces energy use and emissions by using a rapid-prototype or 3-D printing process to fabricate large components. Comprised of robotic arms and extrusion nozzles, a computer-controlled gantry system moves the nozzle back and forth, squeezing out layers of concrete or other material to fabricate a form. The ultimate goal is to print a house in a day while drastically reducing material and energy consumption.
[…]it is doubtful whether big pharmaceutical companies will be able to pursue these goals within the old model of developing exclusive new pills that they can sell under patent protection. For one thing, pharma companies in the past were able to develop drugs for health problems that had never before been addressed. When anti-cholesterol drugs were first launched, for example, they created entirely new, multibillion-dollar markets. Today, in contrast, few such unaddressed categories remain, meaning most newly developed drugs will be competing with existing ones.
In addition, the pharma companies are feeling pressure from every direction — from regulators setting the rules for drug effectiveness and safety, from managed care organizations and employers pushing back on prescription-drug costs and reimbursement, from competitors coming to market with alternative brands or generics, and from disgruntled shareholders. Internally, the number of molecules in pharmaceutical company pipelines is shrinking, and the risk/reward ratio for research and development outlays is worsening. Overall, these trends have resulted in lower revenue, reduced profitability, and declining P/E valuation ratios for most major pharmaceutical companies.
In addition there are also threats from
new biotech based methods for innovation and identification of new active substances
threats from the outside e g functional food
changing views on body, health, ethics and the planet
Make your own slide-on macro lens for the iPhone 4 or 4S with $11 worth of 3D printing and a $4 lens from the Surplus Shed. This is an interesting use of 3D printing to help extend the capabilities of an existing product. Quite an amazing level of detail is achieved with just a few inexpensive parts, see the image below of the ruler taken with the slide-on macro lens.
Some see the future of the public library with the emphasis on the library part, regardless of what informtion or data is structured, archived and made available. Other see the future of the public library with the word PUBLIC in large letters and don’t care so much about the information organizing part. If you are of the latter kind, this might not sound so weird to you.
The Fayetteville Free Library of Fayetteville, NY recently has assumed a new mission in efforts to serve its constituencies with 3D printing facilities. The “FFL Fab Lab” is a space set aside with 3D printing technology, which seeks to encourage innovation and learning of the concept. At the foundation of the FFL’s Fab Lab will be a MakerBot Thing-o-Matic 3D printer, donated to the library. The Fab Lab’s 3D printer uses plastic as its raw material.
Spiders are very agile, and some can even jump. They owe this capability to their hydraulically operated limbs. Researchers have now designed a mobile robot modeled on the same principle that moves spider legs. Created using a 3-D printing process, this lightweight can explore terrain that is beyond human reach.
3d printing decrease price for surgical models dramatically:
Mark Frame, an orthopedic surgeon in training, came up with a new way to make bone replicas that help surgeons plan their procedures. Not that anything was wrong with the replicas they had, but at hundreds or even thousands of pounds apiece, Frame searched for a cheaper way to get the same result. His first production, a plastic bone of a patient’s arm, cost just £77. And everything he needed was right there on the Internet.
In areas where we are required to produce an unique object it is usually connected to signficant costs since we have been predominantly living in a mass production society and it is in mass production processes energy and brains have been focused for the last centuries. That is yet another reason why 3d print will turn a lot of things on it’s head. With 3d printing the price for making a single unique object is dramatically much lower than we have built our economic assumptions and systems on. This example here is a good example of that. Another example might be e g with dentistry where much of the labor and cost is connected to produce e g individually designed teeth that fits in a specific mouth.
Downloading — quite often stealing, in the eyes of the law — music, movies, books and photos is easier than bobbing for apples in a bucket without water. It has kept legions of lawyers employed fighting copyright violations without a whole lot to show for their efforts in the past decade. You think that was bad? Just wait until we can copy physical things.
It won’t be long before people have a 3-D printer sitting at home alongside its old inkjet counterpart. These 3-D printers, some already costing less than a computer did in 1999, can print objects by spraying layers of plastic, metal or ceramics into shapes. People can download plans for an object, hit print, and a few minutes later have it in their hands.
Call it the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Not only will it change the nature of manufacturing, but it will further challenge our concept of ownership and copyright. Suppose you covet a lovely new mug at a friend’s house. So you snap a few pictures of it. Software renders those photos into designs that you use to print copies of the mug on your home 3-D printer.
Did you break the law by doing this? You might think so, but surprisingly, you didn’t.