Yesterday our digital environments elective group visited Central St Martins to see the 3D Printing facility of UAL (which we are free to use of course!)
Although rapid prototyping has been around for 20 years, it hasn’t really taken off anywhere outside of top-end manufacturing industries, most likely down to the sheer expense of it. Recently artists have began using the facility in interesting ways. And also, along with the open source culture that is increasingly popular over the world wide web, projects such as RepRap have popped up, allowing everyday people with smaller budgets to print their own objects at home. Sooner or later, buying a 3D printer could become commonplace like buying an inkjet printer from your local Asda. This could theoretically lead to us to, in a way, go back to a time and become self-efficient again in small communities, however with the amazing advantage of gaining information from other humans around the globe. An interesting concept to consider.
The visit reminded me of this video I saw a few months ago –
Although only 2D printing, it was hand built from scratch like the RepRap. Pretty impressive!