One vital element for local communities to become sustainable is increasing the amount of vital economic activities performed within our communities, increasing the amount of money circulating in our communities.
Every week and sometimes more often, I learn of exciting new technologies and applications for 3-D Printing or, what we like to term it – Tabletop Manufacturing.
Here are some of the most recent developments:
How about replacing your stove with a printer that creates food? As increasing numbers of people live in spaces of under 1000 square feet, miniaturization of the things we need makes sense. Cornucopia creates food using robotic tools using fresh ingredients. Invented by MIT researcher Marcelo Coelho, “The Digital Fabricator is a personal, three-dimensional printer for food, which works by storing, precisely mixing, depositing and cooking layers of ingredients.” Using this technology, you can create new foods and flavors You can learn more about this on Marcelo’s site, Cornucopia.
New from Old
Do you remember or have you seen products from the past that might have uses today? We certainly have and Martin Galese, an attorney in New York is searching through expired patents and producing redesigned versions of these, creating design files for 3D printing. You can see examples of his reproductions of items like tools on his blog. If you want to use designs he has created, he has placed them into a library called Thingiverse. . What Galese has done is only a fraction of the some 6 million expired patents in the public domain now for anyone to re-purpose.
Many uses for 3D printing are being applied to art. An example sculpts black and white photographic prints on a thin porcelain white material, called Lithophanes. “When backlit with a diffuse light, they recreate images with surprisingly high precision and even add some subtle dimensionality and texture to the scene.” The software is free, enabling you to pursue art or become an artist yourself.
These are just a few examples of the many uses of tabletop manufacturing or 3D printing.
Consider what fast manufacturing, creating replacement parts, medical uses such as bone replacements and organ and tissue generation, and even large structures, such as buildings being done locally by local people can mean to a community.
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