Posts tagged with ‘3d printers’
via De Zeen
Foster + Partners is exploring the possibilities of 3D printing buildings on the moon using lunar soil.
The London architecture firm is working with the European Space Agency to investigate methods for constructing lunar homes and has designed a four-person residence that would shelter its inhabitants from dramatically changing temperatures, meteorites and gamma radiation.
The base of the house would be unpacked from a modular tube and an inflatable dome would fold up over it. Layers of lunar soil, known as regolith, would then be built up around the frame using a robot-operated D-Shape printer, creating a lightweight foam-like formation that is derived from biological structures commonly found in nature.
"As a practice, we are used to designing for extreme climates on earth and exploiting the environmental benefits of using local, sustainable materials," said Foster + Partners partner and specialist Xavier De Kestelier. “Our lunar habitation follows a similar logic. It has been a fascinating and unique design process, which has been driven by the possibilities inherent in the material.”
(h/t Bruce Sterling)
I gave a talk last year called What Will Matter In The Future?. One thing I suggested to the entrepreneurial types at a Montreal startup conference was that we might start making everyday goods at home, with 3D printers using recycled plastic.
Stowe Boyd, What Will Matter In The Future?
The frontiers of the future will the ruins of the unsustainable. - Bruce Sterling
Sterling’s tantalizingly bleak and oblique wisecrack has to be considered from the prospect of both real and virtual ruins.
Only 5% of the plastic from recycled plastic shopping bags is reused, because there is no demand. What if Makers start to reuse plastic bags in the home, in 3D printers? What if I could model and manufacture iPhone cases from those bags? Or planters? Or light shades? Or fruity-flavored condoms?
Well it turns out Tyler McVaney has gotten kickstarted on building the Filabot, which is a desktop plastic extrusion device. Basically it shreds various sorts of plastics, like the ones in soda bottles and milk jugs, melts them down, and turns them into the spools of plastic filament that serve as the most common input to 3D printers. Doesn’t look like plastic bags are an option, at this time, however.
McVaney’s been funded, so it just a matter of time before artisanal types will be making flip-flops, bricks, shower curtains, and iPhone cases out of plastic waste.
And all of a sudden, a revolution in recycling, happening at the micro scale, and empty milk cartons become an asset instead of waste.