MIT’s breakthrough liquid 3D printer creates furniture in vats of goo like Westworld

May 15, 2017 by  
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Remember those 3D-printed humanoid figures that emerge from white, viscous ooze in HBO’s Westworld ? MIT is doing exactly that – with furniture. They call it Rapid Liquid Printing, and it takes digital manufacturing to a whole new level where printed objects can grow and change on their own. Rapid Liquid Printing forgoes the layered approach and instead injects 3D-printed substances into a vat of gel that provides support as the shape hardens. Essentially, you could print a large piece of furniture into the gel, let it set, and pull it out fully formed in a matter of minutes. Related: MIT’s self-assembling chair is really cool, but totally useless (for now) The process was created in collaboration with Steelcase and MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, and it can utilize stronger materials than traditional 3D-printing , which is often weak and limited. Although it is only being used in a limited way right now, imagine how it could change the future of 3D-printing. Could our very own Westworld be far behind? + MIT Self Assembly Lab Via Apartment Therapy Images via MIT

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MIT’s breakthrough liquid 3D printer creates furniture in vats of goo like Westworld

Amazing plastic bottle architecture withstands earthquakes in Taipei

May 15, 2017 by  
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Plastic bottle architecture is fantastic at turning a problem into an eco-friendly opportunity. The amazing EcoARK in Taipei , Taiwan is one such example. Built from 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles, this massive pavilion is surprisingly strong enough to withstand the forces of nature—including fires and earthquakes! Designed by architect Arthur Huang, the nine-story $3 million USD pavilion is powered by solar energy and was built to the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” Constructed for use as an exhibition hall during the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, the EcoARK pavilion continues to spread its message of sustainability for seven years strong. Though Taiwan is home to one of the world’s most respected recycling programs, the country consumes a whopping 4.5 million PET bottles a year. To spread awareness about plastic waste, the Far Eastern Group , one of the world’s largest producers of PET products, commissioned architect and Miniwiz founder Arthur Huang to design and build the eco-friendly EcoARK. As the world’s first building of its kind, EcoARK is an incredible architectural feat. The key to the EcoARK design lay with polli-bricks, a hollow building block made of recycled PET developed by Miniwiz. The polli-bricks were manufactured from over a million recycled plastic bottles melted down into PET pellets and re-engineered into a new bottle-like shape. The blow-molded polli-bricks feature interlocking grooves that fit tightly together like LEGOs and only require a small amount of silicon sealant. Once assembled into flat rectangular panels, the polli-bricks are coated with a fire- and water-resistant film. The EcoARK’s curved and transparent facade is made up of these modular panels screwed and mounted onto a structural steel frame. Although the EcoARK weighs half as much as conventional buildings, it’s resistant to earthquakes and typhoons, and can withstand sustained winds up of to 130 kilometers per hour. Related: Basurama transforms landfill trash into playgrounds in Taipei Use of recycled plastic bottles isn’t the only eco-friendly feature of the EcoARK. The pavilion was built with low-carbon building techniques to maintain a zero-carbon footprint during operation. The building stays cool without air conditioning thanks to natural ventilation. The air inside the polli-bricks also provides insulation from heat and rainwater is collected and reused to cool the building. The polli-bricks’ transparency allows natural light to illuminate the interior during the day. Solar – and wind-powered systems generate the electricity needed to power 40,000 LEDs that light the building up at night. + Miniwiz Images © Lucy Wang

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Amazing plastic bottle architecture withstands earthquakes in Taipei

Escape into the glass rivers and lakes of these beautiful wood tables

May 15, 2017 by  
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If getting lost in a coffee table sounds improbable, you may change your mind once you see these beautiful furnishings. Artist and designer Greg Klassen transforms reclaimed wood into mesmerizing works of art embedded with glass rivers and lakes. Klassen, who we’ve featured previously , handcrafts unique pieces that mimic topographic forms in the Pacific Northwest. Spotted by This is Colossal , Klassen’s newest works include a variety of coffee tables of different sizes and shapes, as well as wall hangings. “The collection is inspired by the exciting edges and vivid grains found in the trees sustainably taken from the banks of the Nooksack River that twists below my studio,” wrote Klassen. Related: Amazing Abyss Table Layers Glass and Wood to Mimic the Depths of the Ocean Blue Klassen uses a variety of reclaimed wood including maple, cottonwood, walnut, and sycamore. He uses the wood’s existing edges to inform the shape of waterways hand-cut from tempered blue glass. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and sells for thousands of U.S. dollars. + Greg Klassen Via This is Colossal Images via Greg Klassen

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Escape into the glass rivers and lakes of these beautiful wood tables

MIT researchers 3D print objects that remember their shape

August 30, 2016 by  
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3D printing has contributed to plenty of eco-friendly pursuits and artistic innovations, but one often-overlooked application of the technology is its impact on the medical field. MIT researchers have created a 3D printer that creates objects with shape memory , meaning they can take on different shapes depending on the temperature. This opens all sorts of doors for the future of biomedical devices, as well as aerospace technology. By using a 3D printing process called microstereolithography and a unique polymer mix which responds to thermal cues, the team has produced teeny structures that can be manipulated by changing the temperature. The polymer material used either hardens or softens when heated or cooled to certain temperatures, a reaction that could potentially be used in futuristic medical devices . Nicholas X. Fang, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, told MIT News , “We ultimately want to use body temperature as a trigger.” For instance, the device could deliver flu medication only when in the presence of a warming fever. Related: MIT is 3D printing functional robots that could walk right off the printer The team considers the technology to be beyond the scope of 3D and into 4D printing territory, since the fourth dimension of time is manipulated in the process. The innovation still has a long road ahead, but the researchers envision huge advancements in everything from biomedical devices to shape-changing solar cells  and aerospace technology. Right now, the team has developed a small Eiffel Tower replica and a tiny claw that can grip and release items when manipulated. +MIT Via Engadget Images via Qi (Kevin) Ge at MIT

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MIT researchers 3D print objects that remember their shape

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