Scientists use Martian dust to 3D print tools

April 19, 2017 by  
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Food and transportation aren’t the only aspects of a mission to Mars scientists must consider. Limited cargo space means to obtain tools or similar items, astronauts may need to make use of resources available on the red planet – like dirt. Four Northwestern University researchers were recently able to utilize a Martian dust simulant to 3D print building blocks and tools . NASA started looking into space 3D printers back in 2013 to manufacture repair parts or tools. Now Northwestern scientists have used lunar and Martian dust simulants approved by NASA to 3D print tools in a process the university described as simple, scalable, and sustainable. Related: 6 space farming projects that could save the human race The researchers drew on a technique they call a 3D-painting process; engineer Ramille Shah said using 3D paints “really open up the ability to print different functional or structural objects to make habitats beyond Earth.” They’ve created a 3D ink and printing method they’ve used to print 3D graphene and hyperelastic “bone.” They made their 3D paints for this project with simple solvents, biopolymer, and the dusts, which are similar to real Martian and lunar dust in terms of composition and particle size and shape. The structures they printed are more than 90 percent dust by weight. The 3D-printed material is flexible, tough, and elastic, kind of like rubber. It can be shaped, folded, cut, or rolled. In addition to tools the team 3D-printed interlocking bricks Shah said are like LEGOS . According to Northwestern, “…this work highlights the potential to use a single 3D printer on another planet to create structures from all kinds of materials.” The journal Nature Scientific Reports published the research online in late March. Shah and another Northwestern professor, who was not a co-author on this paper, are working together on ways to fire the 3D-painted objects in a furnace to make them harder – more like ceramic. Via Treehugger and Northwestern University Images via Northwestern University and Wikimedia Commons

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Scientists use Martian dust to 3D print tools

This spellbinding icy blue throne was 3D-printed by robots

April 19, 2017 by  
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The robotically 3D-printed Voxel Chair 1.0 looks like it came straight out of a science fiction film. The futuristic mesh-like prototype was designed by Manuel Jimenez Garcia and Gilles Retsin , and manufactured using extruded PLA plastic through Robotic Additive Manufacturing Platform (RAMP), an innovative process that enables 3D printing of large-scale products with stunning detail and durability. The Voxel Chair, whose shape is inspired by the  Panton chair design, is the first prototype of its kind using new software that is specifically developed for robotic 3D printing. Unlike most 3D printing processes that use pre-defined forms, this innovative software – based on research by Manuel Jimenez Garcia and Gilles Retsin – allows for optimal control of thousands of line fragments. Related: Lilian van Daal creates a Biomimicry-inspired, 3D-printed chair Designed in collaboration with fabrication firms Nagami.Design and Vicente Soler, the chair was built out of transparent PLA, a non-toxic, biodegradable plastic that can be made out of various renewable resources like corn starch. Cyan-colored particles were mixed into the plastic to give the chair its unique glass-like appearance. The unique chair is just one example of how the RAMP process can be used to build stronger 3D-printed products . Considering the breakneck speed of advances in the field, unprecedented large-scale 3D objects are only a matter of time. The Voxel Chair 1.0 is currently on display at the Imprimer Le Monde in Centre Pompidou Paris. + Manuel Jimenez Garcia + Gilles Retsin Via Ignant Images via Manuel Jimenez Garcia, Gilles Retsin and Nagami.Design

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This spellbinding icy blue throne was 3D-printed by robots

Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

April 17, 2017 by  
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Mathematics is beautiful, a truth not lost on architects. Luca Poian Forms designed a gorgeous bamboo pavilion that draws inspiration from the Enneper minimal surface for its striking appearance. Conceived as a landmark structure for Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park, the pavilion combines innovative digital tools with low-tech and sustainable bamboo construction that also references traditional Cambodian design. Created as a submission for the Building Trust’s Camboo Bamboo Landmark Design Challenge , Luca Poian Form’s proposal responds to the competition’s call for an innovative and temporary pavilion to help popularize bamboo as a modern and desirable material in Cambodia. The architects designed a structure that uses locally sourced bamboo in ways both familiar and novel to Cambodia. The sculptural pavilion’s split bamboo roofing references traditional weaving while its undulating arches are inspired by the Ennerper surface as well as the radiating arms of the ancient Goddess Prajnaparamita. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects Win Bid to Design Mathematics Gallery in London’s Science Museum “Known for its characteristic tensile strength, bamboo is a building material that lends itself excellently to the construction of sustainable grid-shell structures,” wrote the architects. “Celebrating the material’s qualities, our proposal derives a grid-shell pattern from the trajectory of the structure’s principal stresses under gravity, effectively eliminating shear forces and maximising the pavilion’s overall stiffness. The result is highly sculptural, structurally coherent, and spatially expressive: a structure that is timeless in its architectural language and innovative in its structural and tectonic approach.” The 110-square-meter pavilion design received an honorable mention in the design competition. + Luca Poian Forms Via divisare Images via Luca Poian Forms

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Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

3 ways to embed sustainability in public-private partnerships

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Sustainability considerations should be prominent in the design, development and operational phases of the PPP process.

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3 ways to embed sustainability in public-private partnerships

Futuristic floating skyscraper ‘heals’ the effects of climate change

April 12, 2017 by  
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Climate change is rapidly affecting every corner of the earth – but could an innovative new skyscraper help turn the tide? Heal-Berg is a proposal for a gigantic iceberg-shaped skyscraper designed to stop, heal and reverse the effects of climate change using some of the world’s most innovative green technology. The Heal-Berg proposal, which was recently awarded an honorable mention in the 2017 Evolo Skyscraper Competition , envisions a futuristic floating skyscraper that actively heals the state of its surroundings. According to the creators, the design would use four criteria to help improve the environment. The first mission of the design would be to cleanse and purify the immediate air using lasers (invented by the University of California, Davis ) to zap carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen. Related: Hyper Filter Skyscraper Inhales Greenhouse Gases and Exhales Pure Oxygen The building would also operate on green energy by using osmotic power as well as wind power generated by the aerodynamic design of the building, which would channel wind through turbines. As far as green building materials, the design calls for 3D printed technology using a form of graphene, one of the strongest lightweight materials in existence, invented by MIT researchers . Within the building and surrounding area, a hyperloop would provide fast access and connectivity for residents and drones would enable the mobility of entire residential units between the different complexes. According to the designers, the healing skyscraper utilizes “some of the most recent innovative technology breakthroughs from all around the world, and combine[s] them as elements of a greater embodiment operating as a whole to achieve a goal, survival.” + Evolo

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Futuristic floating skyscraper ‘heals’ the effects of climate change

The view from this floating 40-story-high pool will totally freak you out

April 10, 2017 by  
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If you like your relaxing swim to come with a side of sheer terror, we’ve got just the swimming pool for you – floating over the street 40 stories in the sky. The pool at Market Square Towers in Houston cantilevers from the roof 500 feet above Market Square, so you can do a leisurely backstroke literally above it all, assuming you are brave enough. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Market Square Tower offers a living experience like nothing Houston has ever seen before. Come live the tower life. #luxuryliving #glassbottompool #livethetowerlife#marketsquaretower #tallestpoolintexas Call 713-777-7000 to schedule a tour or visit our website for more information: http://www.marketsquaretower.com. Posted by Market Square Tower on Thursday, April 6, 2017 The pool extends beyond the edge of the building, 500 feet up in the air, with an 8-inch thick plexiglass bottom that lets you see the bustling world below. Market Square Towers showed off their floating pool on their Facebook page , thrilling or terrifying viewers, depending on how you feel about heights. The tower is located at 777 Preston in Houston and, as you can imagine, people have been have an Instagram field day with photos from the hair-raising pool. Would you swim in an infinity pool like this? Freaky!!! #downtownhouston #marketsquare #infinitypool #skyrise A post shared by Lisa Forbus (@blackforestmom67) on Apr 9, 2017 at 6:28am PDT Swimmers high in the sky. #somanybutts A post shared by Traci Ling | HTX (@traciling) on Apr 8, 2017 at 4:47pm PDT Related: Glass-bottomed sky pool will be suspended 115 feet in the air The pool is only accessible to residents, so if you want to swim there, you will have to shell out anywhere from about $1,800 a month for 564 square feet up to $18,715 for nearly 3,000 square feet. And for those who just aren’t feeling the pool-in-the-sky scene, the complex has a more traditional pool on the fourth floor of the building. + Market Square Towers via Chron and Inside Swimming in the sky! This is the view from the balcony of our South Penthouse ??? We have 4 Penthouses available for lease. #MarketSquareTower #luxury #highrise #houston #TallestPoolInTexas A post shared by Market Square Tower (@marketsquaretower) on Apr 7, 2017 at 10:12am PDT

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The view from this floating 40-story-high pool will totally freak you out

Abandoned greenhouse transformed into gorgeous glass office filled with trees

April 10, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm O-office converted an old abandoned greenhouse in Guangzhou, China into a dreamy glass office space with filled with living plants. The architects paid homage to the building’s green roots by infusing the space with tons of sunlight and loads of greenery – including three trees that grow up into the interior space from the ground floor. Using the building’s original concrete portico, the architects recreated the entryway with pockets of mini gardens. The office space was designed for a local landscape design firm so the designers wanted to create an intimate space that evokes a small “village-like” work environment. Using the greenhouse’s original layout , the interior is flooded with natural daylight and ventilation, which reduces the energy usage of the building . Related: Nature-filled office takes over a former factory building in Amsterdam-Noord The interior of the office space is divided into two floors. The bottom floor is designed for team collaboration, while the upper floor has separate spaces for independent work. All of the interior, however, has an open-air feel to the space, which is naturally ventilated thanks to multiple timber-framed windows. Large concrete stairs with pockets of greenery lead from the central atrium to the upper floor and three large heteropanax trees grow up through the interior , further connecting the building to nature. + O-office Architects Via Architizer

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Abandoned greenhouse transformed into gorgeous glass office filled with trees

These campers made from 1970’s VW Bugs are the cutest things ever

April 10, 2017 by  
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Volkswagen Beetles have skittered across roads since the 1930’s – but in the 1970’s, a company transformed these iconic cars into adorable little campers . They sold these Super Buggers for $6,000 then – and a few of the unusual RV hybrids still exist today. A Costa Mesa, California camper company developed the Super Buggers. The quirky campers aren’t nearly as large as an average RV; inside there isn’t space for much other than the seats, some storage, and a small dining area with a two-burner stove and sink. There isn’t room for a bed, but the Super Bugger would be perfect for those happy to sleep under the stars on long road trips. Related: Nigerian Student Converts a VW Beetle into a $6,000 Wind- and Solar-Powered Car According to a 1970’s advertisement, the Super Buggers get 23 to 25 miles per gallon, and only weigh an extra 250 pounds more than stock vehicles of that time. The advertisement also boasts the vehicle had two double beds, although beds can’t immediately be seen in the Super Buggers in the video or photographs. Keith and Glenna Spelrum are the owners of one blue Super Bugger. The publication MyStarCarCollector photographed the well-maintained bug camper at a summer 2016 car show. Keith said the company used a 1968 model for the bug campers because that was the last year the car had a swing axle assembly, and the camper company wanted to utilize that particular axle in their vehicles. Their Super Bugger can reportedly maintain 50 to 55 miles per hour on the road. Today the Spelrums don’t often use their Super Bugger as a camper, but more as a conversation starter. MyStarCarCollector said out of around 1,000 vehicles at the show, the Super Bugger drew the most attention. Via MyStarCollectorCar Images via Pappy_Smith on Reddit and MyStarCollectorCar

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These campers made from 1970’s VW Bugs are the cutest things ever

California governor marks official end of state’s historic drought

April 10, 2017 by  
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A wet winter that filled reservoirs with rainwater and blanketed the Sierra Nevadas with heavy snow has officially brought an end to California’s historic drought . On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown lifted the emergency order in effect since January 2014 for all of the state except for the Central California counties of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne that are still dealing with dried-up wells. Brown’s executive order continues conservation measures such as the State Water Resources Control Board maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibiting wasteful practices like watering lawns right after rainfall or in a manner that causes runoff. Related: Only 9% of California is still in drought as Sierra Nevada snowpack hits 185% The severely dry conditions that began in the winter of 2011-2012 killed an estimated 100 million trees , disrupted agricultural production, reduced drinking water supplies in rural communities and diminished groundwater basins. According to the executive order, Californians responded to the drought by conserving water at unprecedented levels — reducing water use in communities by more than 22 percent between June 2015 and January 2017. Also on Friday, state agencies put forth a long-term plan to make water conservation a way of life in California as part of resiliency efforts to prepare for more frequent and severe droughts as a result of human-caused climate change . “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” Via The Washington Post Images via Flickr 1 , 2

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California governor marks official end of state’s historic drought

Modular Qube Tents snap together to create giant camping forts

April 7, 2017 by  
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The team behind the amazing modular Pod tent  has launched an exciting new line of tents that can be connected together to create complex structures in minutes. You can connect Qube tents at every corner to transform a solo camping experience into a communal one. M2C Innovation designed the structures to be tall enough to stand up in and to include solar panels, LED lighting strips and 13,000 Mh battery packs. Qube tents can be set up and packed away in less than 2 minutes. A universal tunnel attached to each side of the tent allows you to create bespoke configurations for a larger group of campers . A black lining prevents the sun blaring through the heavy duty 300D nylon material manufactured to withstand heavy rainfall. A removable ground sheet means you can have extra comfort underfoot and makes the tent easier to clean when you pack it away. Related: Lightning-proof Bolt tents will keep you safe in a storm A solar panel simply unfolds and slips into the pocket behind the window and plugs directly into the battery pack to store free energy. The battery pack can then be used to charge your smart phone or smart device– anything with a USB connection– or it can be used to power a LED lighting strip that offers a soft lighting inside the tent. The battery stores enough energy for charging devices to full power 5-6 times from one stored charge. + M2C Innovation + Qube Tents Indiegogo  

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Modular Qube Tents snap together to create giant camping forts

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