Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (2) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: newsreporter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 482  
Subject: Next gen of 3-D printing? Date: 4/11/2012 11:09 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I'd say it's nothing concrete, but maybe food for thought.

3-D Printing Is So Last Year: MIT’s “Self-Assembling Sand” Builds Objects Instantly
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669426/mit-developing-self-asse...


If Terminator 2 taught us anything, it was that a properly timed thumbs-up can make us cry. Also, autonomous, self-shaping blobs are a must-have on our checklist for the future.

Now, MIT professor Daniela Rus and student Kyle Gilpin are publishing a paper on building such a wonder goop. They tend to refer to the technology as a smart "sand,” and they imagine scenario in which you could drop a small model into a vat of the sand, and the sand could sense that model’s contours and create a 3-D version of the object from that information. So you could drop in a tiny cup, the sand would sense the cup’s negative space and then it would shape into a cup that was 10x (or much more) larger.

...

That said, the technology’s promise is massive. You could build structures that were far smarter than even our most advanced 3-D printed parts (even those that we’re using within the human body), that can respond and adapt to their environment. “In addition to duplication, I would see our modules used for sensing tasks in constrained spaces,” writes Gilpin. “Perhaps you could pour our modules down a pipe in order to both map the shape of the pipe while finding defects or cracks. The modules could potentially help reinforce those weak points…Because it can self-disassemble, perhaps it could be used as an intelligent scaffolding for bone, or even organ, regrowth. The system could sense and relay important information to doctors and then disassemble as the bone healed.”

Gilpin knows that the technology is a ways off, believing it to be closer to a 10-year vision than a five-year one. In other words, this self-assembling sand could be waiting for us right where 3-D printing leaves off.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (2) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

Post of the Day:
Macro Economics

U.S. Stable, Europe Stalling
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement