Saturday, May 17, 2014

Recent 3D Printing

3D printing is a technology that is on the up and coming, as its uses are increased faster than I ever imagiend they could be. 3D printing has been mentioned in the news recently for the very things I predicted could happen in a previous blog. This being said, I am going to gloss over some of the news and explain its effects here. It really is the future, as Harvard will tell you. The advent of really useful 3D printing is arriving with methods to print off useful things and to vastly improve how we make things now.

The first piece of news I read recently was perhaps the most interesting piece of new I've ever read on 3D printing. It was about colonizing Mars, and how they will build there since it will be hard to transport pre-built buildings to an alien planet. The current plan that is being developed and has had some success is to take dust from the planet, put it into a printer, and literally print buildings from dust, TechCrunch says. How cool is that? There won't be glass or steel on Mars right away, because it would be hard to carry that all the way from Earth, but we'll have buildings that were 3D printed from dust! They also went a little less into detail about how 3D printing is helping out in today's Earth construction. Apparently it is used extensively, parts of buildings and models are quite often just 3D printed now, which is very cool that the precedent for building is that high already, it just raises my hopes even more that there will be more consumer-based products like this in the future that will see integration into people's everyday lives.
Successful 3D Printed Plane
The second piece of interesting 3D printing news I've recently read is about weapons, the part of this technology that I am most worried about. In the most basic sense of this news, weapons are being made more and more for use in 3D printers as the hardware becomes more advanced. This is a scary topic because right now, people who shouldn't have guns are often deterred by traditional gun sellers, in a world of 3D printing, someone could pirate the schematics that they are barred from using as TechRepublic attests to or just design their own weapon. This is a scary prospect and alludes to an even bigger potential problem. This problem was one I recently discussed with a friend on how schematics will be regulated, because it is hard to stop someone from using a schematic downloaded once,  a lot of times. In other words, people could print multiple objects for themselves and friends after paying for the item only once and getting the plans. This problem is not likely to be addressed soon, and will likely be the first major problem when 3D printing comes to the consumer.
3D Printed Assault Rifle Designed Pistol
This technology is something that I have great hopes for in the future, as this technology moves to being able to be used everywhere, making everything more efficient. There are some significant problems I could see developing, which is not uncommon to technology as many probably know. Things are often never perfect at first, but I have full confidence that with the import of this technology, it will be dealt with promptly.