What's the Latest Development?

A new website called EndlessForms could hasten the adoption of 3-D printing by allowing individuals to create sculptures virtually and render them in physical form. After choosing and refining a shape from an online gallery, users can "send the object to a 3-D printing service to render it in a variety of materials, including plastic, silver, and gold-plated steel. A five-to-seven-centimeter plastic model typically costs less than $10." The system was created by researchers at Cornell University and takes advantage of evolutionary development. 

What's the Big Idea?

One of the researchers behind the new idea, Jeff Clune "believes this approach is a critical advance over earlier attempts to produce objects and shapes through digital mutation and selection." The website produces variations of each prospective printing object by manipulating its mathematical D.N.A., although this means a limit number of object can currently be produced. "However, the Cornell group and collaborators plan to develop the system to enable a user to input a 3-D scan of an existing object and then evolve variants from that."