kayshapero: deep sea squid resembling Mentor of Arisia. (Fascinating)
Pay attention to the video - interesting footage of buildings being built by 3D printing robot...

This robot can 3D print a building in 14 hours

by Kaya Yurieff
CNN Tech

A giant robot can now 3D print a building.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a robotic system that built the basic structure of a building in less than 14 hours. The dome-like structure is 50 feet in diameter and 12 feet high.

The prototype is essentially a vehicle with a large industrial robotic arm for reach, and a smaller arm for dexterity. Different tools can be attached to the smaller arm, such as a welding system or a spray head that shoots out building materials like foam.

"With this process, we can replace one of the key parts of making a building, right now. It could be integrated into a building site tomorrow," said Steven Keating, co-author of a paper published in the journal "Science Robotics."
(more, with video)
kayshapero: (CalicoCat)
OK, on top of the rapid rise of the plastic 3D printer...

Scientists Build a Low-Cost, Open-Source 3D Metal Printer
Michigan Tech News
November 26, 2013
By Marcia Goodrich

OK, so maybe you aren’t interested in making your own toys, cellphone cases, or glow-in-the-dark Christmas decorations. How about a brake drum?

Until now, 3D printing has been a polymer affair, with most people in the maker community using the machines to make all manner of plastic consumer goods, from tent stakes to chess sets. A new low-cost 3D printer developed by Michigan Technological University’s Joshua Pearce and his team could add hammers to that list. The detailed plans, software and firmware are all freely available and open-source, meaning anyone can use them to make their own metal 3D printer.

Pearce is the first to admit that his new printer is a work in progress. So far, the products he and his team have produced are no more intricate than a sprocket. But that’s because the technology is so raw. “Similar to the incredible churn in innovation witnessed with open-sourcing of the first RepRap plastic 3D printers, I anticipate rapid progress when the maker community gets their hands on it,” says Pearce, an associate professor of materials science and engineering/electrical and computer engineering. “Within a month, somebody will make one that’s better than ours, I guarantee it.”

Using under $1,500 worth of materials, including a small commercial MIG welder and an open-source microcontroller, Pearce’s team built a 3D metal printer than can lay down thin layers of steel to form complex geometric objects. Commercial metal printers are available, but they cost over half a million dollars.

His make-it-yourself metal printer is less expensive than off-the-shelf commercial plastic 3D printers and is affordable enough for home use, he said. However, because of safety concerns, Pearce suggests that for now it would be better off in the hands of a shop, garage or skilled DIYer, since it requires more safety gear and fire protection equipment than the typical plastic 3D printer.


Sep. 24th, 2013 02:15 pm
kayshapero: (glass squid fascinating)
Really... Kuriositas just answered a question I hadn't thought to ask though in retrospect it's a rather interesting problem - how DO you construct a haystack to keep all of the hay therein in good condition throughout the winter, rain, snow and all, all while removing bits from it every day, so that you can feed your livestock through said winter from it? This without so much as a roof over the thing. Here's how the Romanians have traditionally done it, and it's very well engineered. Looks interesting, too. Click on the photo for the article.

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