3D Printing Technology Poised for New Industrial Revolution When the TV series Star Trek first brought the starship Enterprise into German living rooms, the concept of a replicator was pure science fiction, a fantastical utopian vision we might experience one day centuries in the future. Replicators, something of a mixture between computer and miniature factory, were capable of creating food and replacement parts from next to nothing. They were highly practical devices, since Captain Kirk couldn't exactly take along a lot of supplies for his journeys through outer space. The real-world replicator-like technology poised to revolutionize the world is known as 3-D printing, though that term is misleading, since the process has little to do with printing. Many different technological routes can be taken to reach the same goal. Assembling, screwing together, adhering, welding -- all these processes are rendered obsolete when even the most complex shapes can be produced by a single machine using this casting technique. A Slow Process
3D Printed Food Could End World Hunger, Says 'Universal Food Synthesizer's' Anjan Contractor NASA has funded the development of a 3d food printer to feed astronauts in space. But the developer thinks the machine could also have a purpose closer to home: ending world hunger. The engineer of the so-called "universal food synthesizer," Anjan Contractor of Systems & Materials Research Corporation, told business news blog Quartz that he envisions every kitchen having a 3d food printer to keep the planet fed . People could buy the nutritionally complete cartridges of powder and oils at the store and keep them for up to 30 years, he said. “I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” Contractor told Quartz. Visit Quartz for more on Contractor's hunger-zapping solution. Ending hunger is a giant task. Other mass-produced food has been hailed as a possible hunger cure. As of September 2012, UNICEF planned to buy 32,000 metric tons of Plumpy'Nut in 2013, an increase of 4,000 tons over 2012, according to CNBC. Related on HuffPost:
This Mind-Controlled 3-D Printer Generates Creatures From Your Kid's Brainwaves When Bryan Salt, a creative director from the U.K., was a kid, he would dream "of a machine that could create real objects from thought alone: to imagine a thing and it would appear in front of me ready made." Salt is working to make that dream a reality with his Chile-based startup Thinker Thing, which is in the process of creating a system called the Monster Dreamer that can generate 3-D models of creatures built from children’s brainwave data via a sensor-equipped headset. From there, those objects are easily realized in plastic with a MakerBot. I caught up with Salt over Facebook chat, and he explained how exactly Thinker Thing is able to create 3-D models by reading brain waves. "It’s not that you imagine an object and it appears," he explains. Instead, children put on a headset and are presented with a variety of creatures with different characteristics. Let’s say you like a creature with four arms and two eyes and is long and thin. It’s a complicated system.
Coke Targets Teens With Black Friday SCVNGR Promotion Coca-Cola is kicking off a nationwide location-based rewards initiative targeted at young teens with SCVNGR as its platform of choice. The soda maker has seeded Simon Malls across the U.S. with challenges that players can complete to earn special Coke rewards. The campaign is called Coke Secret Formula and is set to go live at 10 malls beginning November 26 — otherwise known to holiday shoppers as Black Friday. SCVNGR players who complete the Coke mall challenges can accumulate enough points to redeem instant rewards including American Express gift cards and Coke-branded merchandise. Coke will be aggressively promoting the initiative with online, print and mall signage to include giant elevator wrappers like the one pictured above. Landing Coke is a big coup for the young startup, who competes with the likes of Foursquare and Facebook Places. SCVNGR anticipates that it will hit 1 million members before the year's end.
Mini Mushroom Farms: Gardenista Older Mini Mushroom Farms by Michelle Slatalla Issue 71 · Kitchen Gardens · May 10, 2013 Newer Issue 71 · Kitchen Gardens · May 10, 2013 After a childhood spent being warned against wild and possibly poisonous mushrooms, it's no wonder I still have an arm's-length relationship with fungi. But mini mushroom farms could change that: Above: Kits from specialty growers, such as California-based Far West Fungi, will grow indoors and are capable of producing multiple crops of shitake or oyster mushrooms. Above: Far West Fungi, which has a retail store in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, offers a Pre-Activated Shiitake Mushroom Farm for $25. Above: A Back to the Roots Mushroom Garden is $19.95; grown in recycled coffee grounds, the yield can be as great as 1.5 pounds. Above: Oyster mushrooms, via Hunger and Thirst. EXPLORE MORE: Issue 71: Kitchen Gardens, Indoor Gardens, Urban Gardener, Kitchen Gardens, Plants, Urban Gardens Woodland Plants That Bloom in Dappled Light Under Trees By Kendra Wilson
Why Does 3D Printing Matter? Email Scams Come To Facebook It was only a matter of time: scammers have started targeting Facebook's new messaging system. I got my Facebook email account last Thursday. Early this morning, I received a notice that I'd won 950,000 South African Rand (about $135,000) in a contest held by the South African branch of Shell Petroleum. (Screenshot below.) All I have to do is send along a bunch of personal information like my name, phone number, date of birth, and occupation. If you've been on the Internet for more than five minutes, you can probably guess how this would end up. This is the kind of obvious spam that never makes it into Gmail. To be fair, this message did show up in my "Other" box, rather than the main inbox used for communications from known friends.
Paula Deen Releases Delicious New Butter Product Made From Her Breast Milk SAVANNAH, GA—Expanding a retail line that already includes kitchen supplies, bakeware, and cookbooks, television personality and restaurateur Paula Deen today introduced Deen Farms Butter, a delicious dairy product concocted from her own breast milk. “My new butter’s so sweet and creamy, it’s just like a lil’ slice of heaven, y’all,” Deen said in this week’s episode of Paula’s Home Cooking while applying a generous pat of the tangy mammary butter to a freshly baked blueberry muffin. “Now, what I like to do is melt a stick of it in with my macaroni and cheese, and you know it’s just perfect drizzled over of a big ol’ pot of mashed potatoes, too. Dig in, y’all!" Though Deen’s new lactation spread represents her first foray into the food products realm, the chef indicated that she has several other tasty edibles in the pipeline, including Paula’s Perfect Pasta Topper, a rich bolognese sauce made from her own menstrual blood.
3-D Printing Will Change the World To anyone who hasn’t seen it demonstrated, 3-D printing sounds futuristic—like the meals that materialized in the Jetsons’ oven at the touch of a keypad. But the technology is quite straightforward: It is a small evolutionary step from spraying toner on paper to putting down layers of something more substantial (such as plastic resin) until the layers add up to an object. And yet, by enabling a machine to produce objects of any shape, on the spot and as needed, 3-D printing really is ushering in a new era. As applications of the technology expand and prices drop, the first big implication is that more goods will be manufactured at or close to their point of purchase or consumption. This might even mean household-level production of some things. (You’ll pay for raw materials and the IP—the software files for any designs you can’t find free on the web.) China won’t be a loser in the new era, but it will have to give up on being the world’s manufacturing powerhouse.