Now is the time to act on 3D printing

4 April 2013

Gartner, a leading IT research and advisory company, says that while 3D printing is gaining broader acceptance, now is a good time to experiment with the technology, because the prices for 3D printers are falling and will continue to decline. By 2016, the company says, enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for under $2,000.

Late last year, Airbus and Aerosud agreed to collaborate with South Africa’s CSIR research business to develop the fastest, biggest 3D printer using titanium powder to produce aircraft parts. Boeing is reportedly already using the technology to make small parts. By fusing layers of the powder together with a powerful laser, the part is built up from a design, rather than milled from a solid block. This is also known as Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM).

A third method of printing, other than melting plastic filament or sintering metal powders, focuses lasers in a bath of photo reactive fluid, creating solid structures only where the lasers come into focus. This is proving a great way to print micro structures that are detailed at the nano scale, quickly and accurately.

So this emerging technology is already beginning to diverge into several related but different fields, all with a role to play in innovative new manufacturing methods. Expect further breakthroughs to come thick and fast in the near future.

First posted on FuturesForum 


THE NEW MEXICAN REVOLUTION | MindBullets: News from the Future

22 March 2013

THE NEW MEXICAN REVOLUTION | MindBullets | The Mexican Wave becomes a tsunami.


14 March 2013

IT KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE THINKING | MindBullets | Now we can communicate with our thoughts – and technology.

Dateline: 13 June 2019
For generations, people have dreamed of communicating with their thoughts. Now, thanks to the first commercial device that successfully reads brainwaves and converts them into speech, telepathy is becoming a reality.
“We’re still short of the idea of being able to read someone’s mind, but theoretically that’s possible,” says Vincent Chang, who has worked with scientists at Stanford University and a range of neuroscience…

BABY, WHO IS CLONING YOU NOW? | MindBullets: News from the Future

7 March 2013

BABY, WHO IS CLONING YOU NOW? | MindBullets | Celebrities outraged at pirate body features, demand royalties for their DNA.

I’m moving

5 March 2013

Posterous is closing down, so I’m moving to Tumblr.

Follow me here

Or here

Or here

Or on Twitter @dougv

And we’re back

20 February 2013

It’s been far too long, but these days I’m blogging over at FutureWorld ( which is a really cool platform that anyone can join. Plus I’m the Editor in Chief. Sort of.

So I’ll put some stuff here too, but basically, that’s where you’ll find most of my thoughts.

And you can always follow me on Twitter @dougv

Rotorless helicopter laughs at gravity | TG Daily

16 January 2010

Rotorless helicopter laughs at gravity | TG Daily

Posted using ShareThis

Rotorless helicopter laughs at gravity | TG Daily

This is what the Skycar should have been developed into, only using four rotors instead of two.

Cool innovations on iPhone

18 July 2008

IPhone: Friend Book to Beam Your iPhone’s Contact Data with a Shake
“The coolest feature without a doubt is the new “Handshake”: put two iPhones running Friend Book together, shake them up and down, and the personal contact information of the phones’ owners will be beamed through the net to the paired phones. Handshake doesn’t work through a device-to-device connection, but instead passes location data back to Tapulous’ servers — two shaking phones in the same location means it’s time to swap information.”
Courtesy of Trends

Rumors of a future war: Fuel vs Food

26 May 2008

A recent MindBullet explored the scenario of competition between food crops and biofuel. Could it erupt into real conflict?


Read the full story online: FUEL VS FOOD: THE WAR SPREADS.

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Laptops and phones that self-destruct on command

12 May 2008

Have you got a laptop or printer that needs to be recycled? Here’s a cool idea for making them capable of disassembling themselves when required:

Active Disassembly is a promising technique for recycling electronics that relies on shape-memory connectors inside devices to pop apart under heat, separating valuable components without any manual labor required. Screws have been prototyped that lose their threads, as well as screen housings for laptops that pop apart to separate glass from LCD substrate. A typical cell phone can be broken down in seconds without any need to handle the toxic components”

Courtesy of Trends.

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