Pro-Quality Manufacturing at Home? There's a Program for That
Things have been created by tools as the 1950s. But these tools have long been overly intricate and expensive for home use. The buzzword for this domain where virtual reality meets real reality is “digital production”
As with everything related to computers, the price just keeps coming down. Now it’s likely to bring digital fabrication in your garage or home workshop. I’ll tell you below. But first, let’s look at why digital fabrication is wonderful.
The 2 Categories of Matters
Since computers became widespread, it has been possible to split objects into two categories: objects made out of atoms (physical objects) and objects made out of pieces (virtual objects made out of applications code). A book is made from atoms. An eBook is made from pieces.
The downside of pieces is that you can not touch them. They have no physical reality. But things made from pieces have upsides. You may store massive amounts of virtual items. Once generated, virtual objects may be copied, searched for and shared easily and fast. Bits may also be open source — meaning they can be continuously improved by dozens, hundreds, tens of thousands of volunteers, and each user can benefit from each improvement.
Here’s the thing: Digital fabrication brings atoms into the world of pieces. Physical objects can gain some of the benefits of virtual things. Listed below are two types of digital fabrication you can have in your own home.
MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3-D Printer – $2,199
Home 3-D Printing
the purchase price of good 3-D printers has finally come down far enough for home use. By way of instance, the MakerBot Replicator 2 prices just over $2,000 and is just one of dozens of 3-D printer products offered for under $3,000.
Wait, so what is a 3-D printer, anyhow? A 3-D printer functions just like a regular laser printer : It prints on a level surface. But instead of ink, it lays down a level pattern of some type of special plastic, usually. Then it lays down the following layer, then another, building a 3-D object out of flat layers.
The form of those layers is very precisely controlled by applications, so the result is a 3-D plastic object of virtually any shape. Below are some things people have made with 3-D printers.
Much like other 3-D printers, the MakerBot Replicator 2 enables you to download a increasing amount of 3-D objects to publish. These have been designed on computers (as most things are nowadays) and made in a 3-D printer document containing all of the software instructions your printer should create the atoms you publish match the computer design.
A Little Help Around the House
Home 3-D printers are particularly powerful for home design professionals and enthusiasts, since you can make things and parts which are not available in local shops. It’s possible to print replacement parts for those broken or missing furniture parts or conjure up custom-fitted objects to complete whatever project you’re working on.
You may even print easy furniture or appliances. MakerBot, by way of instance, offers a snap-together lamp you’ll be able to download and print. The MakerBot Replicator 2 comes with some starter material to print with, plus a one-year tech-support program called MakerCare.
Handibot Smart Power Tool – $2,400
App-Driven Power Tools
If you prefer more traditional materials than plastic, you might want to monitor the Handibot, and it will be a power tool controlled by applications. The Handibot drills, cuts, carves and engraves a huge array of materials, such as aluminum, wood, foam and plastic, and can so very precisely under the control of an app on your smartphone. You may even use it to complete MakerBot projects.
You do not place materials on the Handibot. Instead, you place the Handibot on the materials. So it’s very mobile. By way of instance, you could split a design into a wood door without removing the door from its hinges.
The manufacturers of Handibot are open sourcing the development of programs for the Handibot as well as the development of contributing resources. They anticipate a large and fast library of attributes, capacities, designs and projects that users can simply download and use to their own endeavors.
The Handibot is bringing in crowd-sourced funding on Kickstarter, and also the manufacturers expect the very first components to begin shipping later in 2013.
Chris A Dorsey Photography
Three-D printing took pictures in new instructions in the 2013 International Contemporary Furniture Fair. One of the new products were these Hyphae lamps, fabricated by Shapeways, an online marketplace allowing anyone to make customized layouts then create and promote a product using 3-D printing technology.
More illustrations of new 3-D printed decoration