That is the thought-provoking possibility suggested by the RepRap project. RepRap is a simple 3D printer that can make plastic objects to any design, on your desk, using an ordinary PC. It can even make a copy of itself. It’s entirely open source and freely distributable.
Ryerson University, the University of Western Ontario, Rabble and The Tyee have also started a very interesting multimedia project to explore this technology and the effects it will have on society further, called Maker Culture. You can read a good introduction by Wayne MacPhail here.
I am intrigued to see where this might lead. Developments in computing capability and internet technology have given us recording studios, photo labs, broadcasting studios, video editing suites and printing presses from our desktop – and have completely changed those industries as a result.
What changes can we expect in the world’s manufacturing industries if goods no longer needed to be manufactured and distributed, but instead you downloaded a design and printed it yourself at home (much like you download an MP3 or movie and burn a CD or DVD now)?
Certainly this is a technology in its infancy, but full of promise. I can’t wait to see how this develops.
This is very cool.. There’s this problem with electric cars, that they’re too quiet, especially at low speeds – Pedestrians don’t hear them coming. Nissan have realised they need to give their car a noise. So they’ve turned to Blade Runner for inspiration.. Why make your car sound like a petrol car when it can sound futuristic! Read the full story here.
We’ve come a long way.. What will movies look like in another 100 years?!
(Great soundtrack by the Blue Man Group too!)
A few other ones I would have included as steps forward in movie visuals:
– Forrest Gump meeting JFK
– Final Fantasy movie pseudo photo-realism
– The Matrix – bullet time
– Sky Captain / Sin City / The 300 and other stylised films
– A Scanner Darkly – rotoscoping
And if we were including TV too:
– adverts that have brought back Steve McQueen, Bob Monkhouse, Alfred Hitchcock etc
Yes, that’s right, no bed!This was what greeted me at the Sheraton Toronto when I was there this week for IDEA09 (You can read my writeups at Bitcurrent) (well ok, there was a fold-down one.. but it was very odd nonetheless!) That’s what you get for booking through Hotwire – you get treated as a second class guest! Guess you get what you pay for. Ah well, it wasn’t so bad in the end. Great views from the 35th floor, as you can see.