favela chic vs gothic high-tech: extra legal guns edition

Posted by on May 25th, 2013

From the pop gonzo journalists at VICE, a glimpse at the world of underground gunsmiths in the Philippines:

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The “hyper futurity”, crypto-libertarian poster kids at DEFCAD with their 3D Printed one-shot Liberator:

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You do the math.


Answer a)

In the horrible, spectacular events at Woolwich just a few days ago this gun was used:

via Daily Fail

With this result:

Here is one extraordinary chain of tweets by a rapper, Boya Deemarko, who says that one of the murderers fired a gun but lost his finger when the weapon backfired.


The truth is there is no solution to the math.

Hacking your Enlightenment and other transhuman future titbits

Posted by on August 22nd, 2012
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Particularly fascinating interview with Jeffery A. Martin here, not just for his research into the Enlightened, but for his eventual synthesis towards a speculative life for the newly near-immortal.

Other transhuman future titbits from around the web of late:

Shaping Things

Posted by on March 8th, 2012

Adam Rothstein just posted a fantastic essay on near-future fabbing over on Rhizome that should be mandatory reading for anyone who is a regular here.

On the other hand, there will be a new set of object hackers, who will be spending all their free time online, discussing the precise interior dimension ratios of the new set of Target glassware (which, they have discovered, is almost exactly equivalent in volume to a very famous American glass company’s 1940 catalog). Their forums will be filled with discussion of the best way to minimize wind resistance on custom bicycle fenders, while still maximizing spray blockage. Drug paraphernalia will be designed for maximum efficiency, with a willing and ready test market. A new hacker vernacular will be filled with implicit understandings of the integrals of surface area and volume, of curves and angles, of phase change curves and stress tolerances. One more set of bright kids will take a hard tangent outward from the common understanding matrix of “mainstream society”. But if you’re nice to them, perhaps they’ll fab you a custom iPhone case for Christmas.

Via Rhizome: The Shape of Shaping Things to Come

printrbot (your first 3D Printer)

Posted by on January 3rd, 2012

So I might have been a bit off the mark when I said 3D-Printing would mainstream, back in 2010… BUT! LOOKEE at this, the printrbot:

From the tail end of 2011, a Kickstarter to produce a more affordable, starter 3D-printer that ended up being 3000% over-subscribed, raising near 1M. A simpler, smaller, quieter fabricator, ideal for students or as a handy second printer for those with a bigger one in their garage or workspace. Well, that has to count for something, right?

In the year 02037…

Posted by on March 27th, 2011

Via Stuart “Futuryst” Candy we learn of MIT’s Future Freight Flows; four attempts to show just what the year 02037 might look like, from the POV of a person watching various iterations of a news program itself current to that period.  (Stuart uses the Long Now’s 10,000 year clock calendar.)

Of the four, this one seems closest to the mark:

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How close? Well in my view it’s good, apart from these elements of it’s depiction:

  • Firstly, and mostly obviously, Nuclear Power. An increasing problem in extrapolating from the present in these rapidly changing times, something can happen just next week that invalidates the prediction you made today. This is a perfect case of that. Except for maybe state-controlled China (and we’ll see how long that situation itself lasts), that push we’ve been seeing to “re-brand” nuclear power as being ‘Green’ is over. No matter how hard they green-wash it, the world’s just got a deservedly bad case of the NIMBY’s for nuclear reactors. My prediction: reduced energy demands thanks to efficiency gains, coupled with a distributed, renewable energy driven, grid.
  • Hyperlocal manufacturing thanks to 3D Printing tech? Hell yes! But… buying designs as DRM’ed products, controlled via IP law? Well, maybe for the new global elite it might be the chic thing, but for the rest..? No. Far more likely: downloading open-source designs from sites like thingiverse for everything from fashion and furniture to food to medicine, as the technology improves.
  • Finally the year itself: 02037. 02017, more likely. It’s been traditional to project radical changes as being far away, over the horizon of the present. So this imagining of a newish world, a fictional future present, is pitched as being 26 years distant. But as we ride the wave of accelerating change, 6 years is the new 26 years, and I will happily place a Long Bet to that effect.

By way of contrast with this, I leave you with my least favourite of the four scenarios: the quasi-fascist/quasi-communist Eco World Order future:

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3D Printing in Titanium

Posted by on January 19th, 2011

Offered by i.materialise, but very expensive:

Titanium 3D printing opens up an entirely new world of advanced engineering, manufacturing and jewelry applications for creative people worldwide. Titanium’s high heat resistance, high accuracy and unparalleled strength lets designers now make things that before now could only be made by the research and development departments of only the largest corporations in the world. By putting this technology in the public’s hands were democratizing manufacturing and giving you the opportunity to, design and order something this is exactly as you want it to be.

Link via make.

Acasa look to print new homes in the developed world

Posted by on December 13th, 2010

Acasa have released this video showing their plans to use 3D printing technology to print out new homes for the “over one and a half billion people worldwide [who] reside in substandard housing” in a few years.

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This is something that’s been talked about for years, but should finally be possible soon.  It’s a fantastic thing.  Drop a massive 3D printer off to a devastated region and watch it go to work, using local materials.

Mold Sculptures On an iPad App, Then Print Them With a 3D Printer

Posted by on November 4th, 2010

From Gizmodo, play with digital clay and then print out your masterpiece:

It’s probably the easiest way to design 3D objects, without mucking around on CAD or other design programs. Actually using your fingertips to bend the lump of clay within the iPad app, turning it into a little object to print out—well, it sounds like a dream come true. Imagine your mom making Christmas tree ornaments this way, or being able to conjure up a little doohicky for sliding under a short table leg, within minutes?

Now the 3-D printers need to drop in price, just a little more…..

The Urbee Hybrid is the first car to come out of a printer

Posted by on November 3rd, 2010


3D Printers are getting ever more advanced and, apparently, ever bigger too. Proof to that is the Urbee Hybrid, the result of a partnership between transportation company Kor Ecologic and Stratasys, who we’ve already seen shamelessly rebranding its 3D printers as HP Designjets. Kor provided the concept and the underpinnings of the thing, a design that amazingly has its roots in the early ’90s but has been given a new, teardrop body 100 percent printed by Stratasys. Underneath is a plug-in hybrid powertrain that manages up to 200mpg on the highway and 100mpg around town running on ethanol or plain ‘ol gasoline.

No plans for production (so far). Via engadget.com.

The year 3D Printing mainstreams

Posted by on January 8th, 2010

Over the holidays my Grandmother asked me to explain Twitter to her. To me, that marks the point at which Twitter has utterly and completely permeated society. From arguably being on the nerd-fringe at the beginning of 2009, to the punchline on Letterman by years end.

My prediction is that 3D Printers (or fabricators) will be the next to make this journey. Forget the iTablet (future destroyer of the magazine/newspaper industry), a friend with a MakerBot or RepRap is what you’ll be wanting when that Ikea-bought lamp breaks and you need to cheaply repair or re-purpose it.

So here’s a short interview with Bre Pattis about MakerBot, and the hacker space that spawned it, NYC Resistor:

Now have a flick through the site they mention, Thingiverse.

Another site to keep an eye on, The Product Bay.

Open-source zealots? Sure.. but this won’t be going away. Like Joe Rogan said right after his UFC co-host read out the full FBI Warning against piracy: “you can’t fight the internet baby”. Today’s pirated content is tomorrow’s pirated products.

Meanwhile, Shapeways – the experiment in fabricating-on-demand by Philips – continues to improve their ability to instantiate your designs. Check out this copyright infringing awesome grey alien!

How to Print a Building

Posted by on May 7th, 2009

3-D printing, unlimited potential. Via nextnature.net

Shapeways and Maker Faire

Posted by on April 30th, 2009

Shapeways is offering some new things and some free things. First up is color! Instead of the the plain white, how about Terracotta, Limestone & Blue Jeans? A little color can change a design completely. Also, the Make Faire is going on soon, and Shapeways is offering a contest to coincide with the event:

To inspire people we would like to show off the best models that you can possibly make. Something that will make people go wow! Something that explains how 3D printing will change things. Something that someone will look at, hold in their hand and go..you can make this?

The Maker Faire contest is your chance to have your most amazing design made. Anything you want, anything that you think will inspire and amaze is game. The top 3 models will be 3D printed, exhibited at Maker Faire and then sent to the lucky winners. The winning designer gets an additional $300 in 3D printing from us.

The fine print: The contest closes the 15th of May. Enter by adding the tag: makerfaire to your upload. Your model has to be less expensive than $200.

Excellent. If you haven’t tried their service yet, here’s a chance to get your design printed completely free!

Shapeways PhotoShaper

Posted by on March 9th, 2009

The Shapeways Photoshaper allows anyone who can click a mouse the ability to turn a photograph into a 3D image. No longer an exclusive right for the select few mass producers, anything a person takes a photo of can be created into a gorgeous 3D relief, which can be lit up from behind by a candle, or beautifully portrayed with natural light. The user has the options of how they want their photo finished.

Upload your photo, choose lite or dark, add text to the photo, then place your order.
Flipping the high to low option, the dark colors in your picture will become the highest parts of your 3D photo.

Thanks to Shapeways for the awesome sneak peek!

Instructables on how to build a Polar 3-D Printer from Legos

Posted by on September 4th, 2008

What are cool? Fabricators.

What’s cooler than a Fabricator? One made out of Lego.

What’s cooler than that? A Lego Polar 3-D Printer:

Lego Polar 3D Printer

A polar printer is a printer whose principal axes, or how it can move, are radius(in and out), angle(spin clockwise/counter clockwise), and as opposed to a Cartesian printer whose principal axes are X(left/right), Y(up/down). In other words, it moves just like a polar coordinate system.

So why did I make a polar 3D printer instead of a good ol’ Cartesian 3D printer?

  1. I didn’t have enough Legos to build a Cartesian printer.
  2. I hope to eventually add a 3D laser scanner to it so I can scan in objects and send them to another printer somewhere else in world. Making sort of a ‘teleporter’.

via the dynamic duo of Cory@BoingBoing and Bruce Sterling.

Shapeways beta invite give-away!

Posted by on August 5th, 2008

John from Shapeways has contacted us with the following offer:

We’d love to give your readers 150 beta codes. They can go to www.shapeways.com/beta and use the BETA code GrindBeta.

Thanks John and all the rest of the Shapeways crew!

Soon your design could be instantiated on their Objet printer, just like this one:



Shapeways – a new 3D fabrication service

Posted by on July 22nd, 2008

fab'ed monkeys!

From Mashable:

Enter, Shapeways, a new startup molded by Philips Incubator Project and currently tagged as a private beta service.


The promise of Shapeways is to enable consumers to make stuff, virtually anything of reasonable size and detail, and have it in hand in 10 days or less for an average cost of $50-150.

Users are asked to import files from 3D modeling software in STL, Collada, or X3D formats. At that point, one is able to specify material and size. Shapeways describes current options as “White Strong & Flexible (SLS), Cream Robust (FDM), White Detail and Transparent Detail (Object). Additional choices will come soon.

Interested? Mashable have a limited number of invites to the closed-beta, so get over there quickly and grab one!

As Jamais Cascio notes:

This won’t be for everybody. You’ll have to do the hard design work, in a 3D program that outputs their preferred formats, so I really don’t expect this to be the Next Big Web 2.0 extravaganza. Make an app that will convert Second Life (or other Metaverse environment) objects into fully-qualified X3D files, and we’ll talk. I’m just fascinated by how fast this market evolves.

RepRap – the DIY, Open-Source Fabricator achieves self-replication!

Posted by on June 4th, 2008

From the RepRap site:

RepRap replication

RepRap achieved self-replication at 14:00 hours UTC on 29 May 2008 at Bath University in the UK. The machine that did it – RepRap Version 1.0 “Darwin” – can be built now – see the Make RepRap Darwin link there or on the left, and for ways to get the bits and pieces you need, see the Obtaining Parts link.

This is neat-o! A key step forward for the Future. Generation One of the People’s Fabricator has arrived!

Now to improve upon it, and distribute the means of production world-wide.

Oh, sorry, should I knock-off the Neo-Marxism, and tell you more about this beauty?

RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right – a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer builds the component up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about €30,000. And it isn’t even designed so that it can make itself. So what the RepRap team are doing is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy (material costs are about €400). That way it’s accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. Following the principles of the Free Software Movement we are distributing the RepRap machine at no cost to everyone under the GNU General Public Licence. So, if you have a RepRap machine, you can make another and give it to a friend…

From here, it will continue to get more and more interesting! Excellent work RepRap!!!

via mech_angel