World's Smallest 3-D Printer Unveiled
A new milk carton-size printer developed by the Vienna University of Technology may allow users to download and print anything from earrings to replacement machine parts to silverware.
What's the Latest Development?
Is your Ikea desk missing a screw? Have you lost one of your earrings? Are all your forks dirty? Print another one! These are only a few of the possible applications of three-dimensional printing. Until now, 3-D printers have relied on casting techniques to produces copies of physical objects, but new technology from the Vienna University of Technology uses a light beam that hardens material according to direct specifications, allowing layer upon layer to be built in a small chamber until the object is complete. The new 3-D printer weighs a little over three pounds and costs $1,700.
What's the Big Idea?
While 3-D printing technology is still in its infancy, researchers already see a number of possibilities for its use. Not only can 3-D printers make exact copies of small household items at a fraction of the cost, such as hearing aid components which require very precise specifications, but 3-D printers could revolutionize the design world by allowing individual users to modify already existing technologies. And by producing novel designs on small, household-size printers, a new micro-economy may be waiting in the wings. "We will continue to reduce the size of the printer, and the price will definitely decrease too, if it is produced in large quantities," said Klaus Stadlmann, one of its creators at the Vienna University of Technology.
Are university safe spaces killing intellectual growth?
Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.
- Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
- Time travel may be possible.
- Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.