Generate additive manufacturing designs

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Combining two technologies can give some interesting results. In this case I am combining the generative capabilities of algorithms for text with additive manufacturing. Let’s start with a small introduction to additive manufacturing:

Additive manufacturing also known as 3D printing, is the process of making three-dimensional objects from a digital file. It is estimated that there will be more than 3000 3D printing systems worldwide by 2015, generating $1,5 billion in revenue, according to Juniper Research. The University of California, San Diego, has a 3D printing lab, and the University of Southern Californian has a 3D printing facility. At the California Institute of Technology, researchers are working to develop a 3D printable alternative to steel. “Imagine you could design a house and it would be printed in whatever material you want — wood, plastic, steel,” said Jordan Brandt, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Caltech. “you could actually make a working house that would be assembled on site. It’s a totally new way of making things.”

And in the future, we could be 3D printing human organs — even whole human bodies.

“The whole idea of being able to 3D print organs is really interesting,” said Thomas Boland, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Caltech. Scientist at Cornell University are printing organ tissue as part of the American Lung Association’s “BioLung” project. The goal: to create a 3D printed lung that will one day be transplanted into patients. Watch the video above to learn more about the future of 3D printing and how it could change the world.

Are you excited about the future of 3D printing? Let us know in the comments.

The introduction to additive manufacturing you have been reading, is a piece of generated text from the GPT-3 engine (https://openai.com/blog/openai-api/) It wrote an article for the Guardian in September of last year (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/08/robot-wrote-this-article-gpt-3). Astonishing to see what it can do; how quick it responds and what level of knowledge is in such a mechanism (it is acting at first year bachelor level now).

I dove into the topic of 3D printing this year(and als a bit of a new corona-hobby-project). The entry level for 3D printing is a lot lower than it was a couple of years ago. With an Ender 3 V2 you can easy start printing your own designs. Better yet the designs are already there. Thingiverse (https://www.thingiverse.com) is full of designs that ready for printing. I expected it to be a lot fiddlier at first sight (like the first matrix printers with paper blockage all the time). I am printing daily without big failures for now.  Even the resolution of the printed product is good enough. Being a keen collector of miniature for tabletop wargaming, I will try 3D printing for this as well. That is the level where I think we run against the limits of low cost and simple 3D printing.

Doing some hands-on 3D printing gives me a lot more feeling to the current situation with industrial grade 3D printing. This is of a completely different level than what I am doing at home. The option to print spare parts on-site can have such a big impact on down time of a machine. But what is even better: it has a huge impact on the environment. Not having to ship a (big) product with all the packaging involved (waste), can make a great impact. With COVID we need to stay at home as much as possible and 3D printing can be a great way of delivering a prototype in the confines of your home office. A quick print of the design (I consider a 12-hour print, quick) lets you touch and experience a new product a lot better than a virtual render, movie or talk through. 

Overall, I am quite enthusiastic by all this new technology out there taking big leaps to become very mature solutions for day-to-day usage. This goes for GPT-3 and 3D printing. In no time the impact on the environment and the speed of product development will be felt. Combine the generation capabilities of algorithms and additive manufacturing to get the best of both worlds: 3D printed generative designs.

What do you want to print tomorrow?

Tom Van de Ven

About

Tom van de Ven is active in the field of High Tech testing for 15 years. As a High Tech test expert he is a frequently asked sparring partner for Sogeti High Tech customers with regard to starting/professionalizing test projects. Besides a multitude of test assignments (eg. in the field of healthcare, semiconductors, agriculture and automotive) he is an active member of the Sogeti High Tech Test Competence Centre and a speaker for High Tech seminars. Tom uses his experience in a role as a coach for (starting) High Tech test engineers and is constantly looking for improvements in High Tech test methodologies. He is the author of the book that combines Internet of Things and TMap: IoTMap!!!. He also teaches and develops several testing courses in the embedded and high tech domain. If not teaching, testing a tunnel or promoting “Quick Tech Testing” you can find him setting up a high tech test automation framework for the odd customer.

More on Tom Van de Ven.

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