Here are a few non-virtual world things I wanted to mention.
The Desktop Factory is a sub-$5000 rapid-prototyping machine that was officially announced sometime shortly before the big Rapid 2007 show in Chicago, afaik. Tom’s information on the material is of particular interest to those of us looking at jumping in and buying one of these entry-level machines.
– can an older machine run the material?
– can materials be easily swapped?
– how much does the material cost?
– does it require special handling/precautions?
– what are the post-process options/requirements?
– can excess be reused?
– etc etc
Among the more interesting materials about which I’ve read this past year is DSM Somos’ DMX-SL 100 (Link). When a rapid-prototyping powerhouse like Materialise issues a press release (Link) announcing the availability of this material for customers, that tells me this stuff is probably as impressive as the hype I’ve been following. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a sample. But even if it’s great stuff, if those on the low-end can’t run it or some derivative of it, it’s nothing more than news.
From the article:
Sottos and her colleagues have designed the new material, reported in this week’s Nature Materials, to mimic human skin. If the skin’s outer protective layer is cut, the inner layer, which is infused with a dense network of tiny blood vessels, rushes nutrients to the cut to help with healing. The self-healing material consists of an epoxy polymer layer deposited on a substrate that contains a three-dimensional network of microchannels. The epoxy coating contains tiny catalyst particles, while the channels in the substrate are filled with a liquid healing agent.
And we all thought the geek in the Citibank commercial talking about building a robot – his girl robot – was joking.
So yeah, I’ve been posting more entries than intended on virtual worlds, but hopefully the fab side of this blog will pick up with accelerating industry growth and things will start to balance out a bit.