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What’s the biggest obstacle to printing objects if I’m not a specialist?
3Dprinting physical objects necessitates the creation of a 3D-model that *describes* the form of the object to be printed. The software to make these models is challenging to use; its workflow demands the ability to project and visualize objects in the 3D space of a 2D screen. This is not a natural skill, but one that designers and architects are trained to master. But not everybody is trained as an architect or designer…
Currently, 3d printing is widely used in the aeronautics, automotive, and electronics industries, as well as for medicine and dentistry: big, high tech industries were precision, speed and customization in the manufacturing process are competitive necessities.
But 3d printers are also widely used at another scale of production by designers, makers and increasingly by small businesses for making jewelry, toys and even food. This is the economy and scale of the growing 3d printing culture that is engaged by this project.
3Dprinting is the transformation of information and data into physical objects through the direct conversion of a digital 3d model into a physical object using some form computer assisted manufacturing, such as extrusion, sintering, curing, printing, complex mold making…
Digital fabrication also involves the technological and social developments from the research, experimentation and production involving a convergence of different disciplines, economical interests and critical initiatives.
Additive digital fabrication will become a natural extension of The Craftsmen’s toolbox. Sometimes the printer will stay in the studio, and the printed object will be delivered to a client1. Sometimes, the printer will follow the craftsman2in-situ, to be a part of the printed object’s3 or building’s4 milieu. Despite the bulk, unreliability, and energy requirements of today’s 3d-printers, we can easily imagine the imminent evolutions in 3d printer technology5 to afford the gains necessary for mobile printing, especially for industries such as customer service and construction sites6. FABMOBs | ATMOStag anticipates the evolution of digital fabrication by building a constructive design fiction7 activating scenarios based on mobile networks, open hardware and software platforms, and embedded capture+transmission of data in relation to 3D printing.8
The cultural, technological and scientific forces resulting in the development of additive digital manufacturing are, as the historian Lewis Mumford would qualify, “the interplay of technologies with the specific social circumstances they arise from and lead to.” Mumford called this technics: the art, skill and interplay of a social milieu and technological innovation leading to change1: the result of the wishes, habits, ideas, goals of the industrial processes of culture. FABMOBs | ATMOStag is a new model: technics fabrica2.3
“…the interplay of technologies with the specific social circumstances they arise from and lead to.”1
Technology is rooted linguistically in action (techne), or craft: making something versus knowing about it. Craft is about building things, and about building relationships. The vision: technology = craft + relationships — is a very contemporary idea of technology, observing it transcend the scientific, reaching across to its potential as a cultural force2. It is the harbinger of a shift from a knowledge based culture, towards the New Craft Culture, or “crafty knowledge”.3 Craft based cultures (and craft-based niches within a culture) depend on the direct interaction between craftsman and project: the materials, the tools and the professional environment. FABMOBs | ATMOStag is a hybrid media emerging from a natural convergence between automation (manufacturing) and customization (artisan).4
“…simple conductive thermoplastic composite (carbomorph)… can be used in an unmodified low-cost 3D printer to print electronic sensors able to sense mechanical flexing and capacitance changes.”1
The materials used in the FABMOB 3d-printer forms and informs the physical objects it fabricates. On one hand, the invention of newcomposites2 to be heated/extruded or sinter-ed in the ever cheaper, ever more reliable devices being designed and marketed in 20143. These material innovations for 3d printers will ostensibly increase the color palette, texture and strength4, as well as the tolerances and precision of the objects being produced. But they will especially lead to the production of objects with conductive filament for conductive electronics5 for the integration of a variety of object embedded sensors. The specific quality of a material is used to articulate the form of every ATMOStag, to inform every FABMOB. FABMOBs | ATMOStag starts with the living rather than the tech, in order to develop a “bottom-up evolution”6 of machine intelligence.7
Technology innovation: Top down or bottom up? via Deloitte(PDF) ↩
“This Third Industrial Revolution is based on lateral structures (networks, co-operation) – as opposed to the hierarchical (centralized, top-down) structures of the 1st and 2n industrial revolutions.” via petertroxler.net↩
A random list of innovation in 3d printing: Food, Personalised gifts, Open-source 3D printing communities, Home printing, Advertising and marketing, Transport, Warfare, Medicine, Surgery, Manufacturing in developing countries… via V3↩
3dhubs.com/paris : connecting people who want to print to the people owning the machines. ↩