The bottleneck for the 3d-printing workflow is creating the digital model, the information necessary to specify that which is to be printed. Specialists working in 3d, using complex, arcane software to build these models, create simple interfaces for their customization. Model parameters specifying quantity (measurements, temperature…), quality and locational information can be added by technicians in the field using web services. These parameters are based on field measurements, 3d scans or photographs.
The idea and the reality of 3d-printing has entered into the main-stream. People talk about 3d-printing not as science-fiction but as today’s news. This has lead small businesses and artisans to ask themselves the question concerning their own production and where and how 3d-printing can fit in.
Some of the differences between traditional manufacturing and additive 3d printing that are key for the FABMOBs|ATMOStag project are:
- complexity, customization and variety are free benefits to objects designed and prototyped using 3d printing.
- 3d additive printing favors low volume, high value production runs.
- There’s zero lead time between the design and fabrication process, and no assembly required of printed objects.
- Also, of particular concern to this project’s environmental activists, additive 3d printing produces less waste for our environment.
When we start to think hard about the convergence of 3Dprinting hardware, software and networks, we understand that it enables real objects to travel over networks. This not only transforms the way physical goods are (re)produced, but how they can be transported. This happens by sending the 3d model in an email or Skype, then fabricating the object using a local printer.
Touted as the “second industrial revolution”, FABMOBs|ATMOStag aims for 3Dprinting’s equally far reaching potential as a new media for cultural expression that will emerge from the convergence between automation (manufacturing) and customization (craftsmanship).
- **1984**, THE BIRTH OF 3D PRINTING: stereolithography enabled a tangible 3D object to be created from digital data, allowing users to test a design before investing in a larger manufacturing program.
- **1992**, LAYER BY LAYER: SLA (stereolithographic apparatus), a UV laser solidifying photopolymer, a liquid with the viscosity and color of honey that makes three-dimensional parts layer by layer. Complex parts can be manufactured overnight.
- **1999**, ENGINEERED ORGANS: The first lab-grown organ is implanted in humans using a 3-D synthetic scaffold coated with their own cells.
- **2005**, OPEN-SOURCE COLLABORATION & 3D PRINTING: RepRap is founded as an open-source initiative to build a 3D printer that can print most of its own components. The vision of this project is to democratize manufacturing by cheaply distributing RepRap units to individuals.
- **2008**, THE FIRST SELF-REPLICATING PRINTER: RepRap Project releases Darwin, the first self-replicating printer that is able to print the majority of its own components.
- **2008**, DIY CO-CREATION SERVICE LAUNCHES: Shapeways launches a private beta for a new co-creation service and community allowing artists, architects and designers to make their 3D designs as physical objects inexpensively.
- **2009**, BIOPRINTING: a 3D bioprinter to print the first blood vessel.