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Smart Materials with Smarter Uses

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posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:58 PM
A delve in to the world of materials.

Not what it seems, and I just made the name up. It's something I am working on at the second and other people have been working on to. Its a very simple formula, take bio-resin, a sunflower derived resin which sets with very similar attributes to standard casting or gel coat resins. But its 100% natural, so natural infact for every 1 tonne of bioresin, it stores 2.5 tonne of CO2. Generally casting is used in conjunction with a silicone mold to create intricate, but sometimes delicate pieces, pigments can be added to the resin to add colour, or like normal resin it can be dyed in pigment after depending on what effect you would like to achieve. The techy point is, if you take a cane of bamboo and strip off the outside layers you are left with very thin bamboo hairs, which can be very long depending on your stripping skills. All you have to do is lay up a layer of bioresin, leave for 30 minutes to become tacky then as any fibreglassing lay in the bamboo hairs and lay up more resin. Viola, you now have a boat, bathtub, shin pads, surfboard etc which is 100% organic which pretty much identical attributes to its oily sister product. Some special attributes are shatterproof and flex.

3D printing with the 30 grand price tag.
This is an open source initiative to bring 3d printing into every home. In layman's terms 3D printing is the ability to design an object in 3d software such as Autocad, Lightwave, pro/ENGINEER, Prodesktop etc. and have the object built realtime in plastic based materials, newer machines have the ability to do the same in a ceramic slip and solder.
This all sounds very appealing, but complicated, so this is where RepRap came in, the designed a machine for £500 give or take £150 due to the self replication process of the machine.
You buy from the company the circuitry at £100-£150 the metal tubing for around £100 again and the plastic ABS components at around £70 and construct it yourself for free.
You can them upload the open source file for the RepRap ABS components into the machine and print off more components which can be sold on ebay to make your money back, or give to friend and get them started.
You now have a 3D printer which prints in organic plastic (specified by company) so what are the applications?
A real life example, you have a child who needs sandals, you cut up a couple milk bottles, put them in the hopper, download or make a 3D sandal file and print off the sandals. But next year their footsie is 2 sizes bigger, so you chop up the sandals, add another milk bottle, upscale the sandals file and voila, another set of sandals, no waste.
A speculation of the future of this machine, your washing machine breaks and you need a specific plastic part, which would take weeks to arrive, be expensive, or very time consuming contacting the company. So you download the file from the company, print out the piece overnight and have the plumber fit it the next day.
Unfortunately I don't think that idea would be too popular among business's though.

Shape Memory Alloys
A material which can remember its cold forged state which can morph from new state to old stare through application of heat. They are commonly used in industry and medical but yet to touch our homes. In home applications are that it forms structures for windows which open and close to retain a constant heat in the room without means of electricity requiring, temperature sensors and motors. The possibilities are endless, like a safety feature on taps to limit the hottest it could run to avoid scalds, the metal would adjust the cold tap automatically. Pretty much any function where there is a temperature sensor and a motor it can replace, again business's wouldn't be too happy.

I was hoping to add more to this thread and will when I get the chance to.

I am new guys, and I'd like to say a big thank you to a lot of hard work by all you ATS'ers and have noticed a few trying to spoil it. I already feel welcomed by the community, and yet again like a lot, I was fly on the wall for a fair few months.

P.S. Sorry I couldn't be more visual, am still figuring out how to post images without a huge html line.
edit on 17-9-2011 by MBUK3D because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:11 PM
Question on REPRAP/3d printing.
The only 3d printing I've seen within touching distance was in my 3ds Max class and the plastic resin stuff took soooooooooooooooo long to print. A little 8 inch figure could easily take 16+ hours to print aka we'd leave it overnight to print and then you'd have to soak it in really strong chemicals to removed the frame that held it up.

Is the way your talking about different? Do they not have to use the corrosive chemicals with the new version? Would the material be flexible enough to be made into a pair of sandals? The time it would take to make though....couldn't you just make a pair out of I don't know tire pieces or something? How much energy does it take to create its printings? I'm just not sure if energy + time costs would be worth it at this point.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by MBUK3D

i watched a video of the 3d printing. its some crazy stuff. the guy gives the tech a monkey wrench or whatever it is that you spin the middle to widen it and he put it in the machine. a little later out came a working hard tool that could be used

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:16 PM
The economy can't enforce itself on consumers forever. Eventually, it shifts to accommodate them. For example, record companies are fighting file sharing websites. But it's easy for consumers to copy songs so this consumer tendency to copy songs is futile to stop. Eventually, the record companies will stop fighting it and some other solution will present itself. Similarly, once 3d printers become common and most people have them then depending on companies to replace parts will become harder and harder to be enforced. So, eventually, companies will allow consumers access to the 3d file for the part so that they can print it out. They will make up for the loss in revenues in other ways by offering new services or rethinking their business. Etc.

I imagine eventually consumers will start copying the 3d files for different products and then companies will start fighting that to preserve their copyright. But I predict that they'll eventually stop trying. Besides, there're some products that will not be able to be printed. So either companies will change their business plan or they will produce a product that cannot be easily printed. An example of this is how singers/musicians do live concerts instead of making records. Live concerts offer something that's uniquely distinct from an already recorded song.

Similarly, if it's true that fossil fuel companies are buying patents and killing inventors so that they can put consumers over the barrel and call the shots then over time their job will get more difficult. As new technologies emerge the fossil fuel assassins will just be overwhelmed. Eventually, they'll stop trying to prevent it. They'll change their business plan in response and the world will move on from there. It's the nature of things. It works to our advantage.

Ironically, this encourages new technology because hackers and file sharers require time to figure out a technology. There's a delay between the time it's introduced and when it's hacked.

Broadly, these things require businesses to keep ahead of the curve to stay afloat. They need a lot of ambition. If they fall behind then they must turn to more dirty methods.
edit on 17-9-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:16 PM
Double post. Sorry.
edit on 17-9-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:35 PM
reply to post by kittendaydreamer

The time is a lot quicker as it doesn't need the frame anymore, the finished product is the finished product, no chemicals needed, but a sand down wouldn't go amiss thats for sure. But if your thinking about big pieces its best to leave it overnight.

In relation to materials and energy, there are a few materials they recommend which comes in wire/rod form by the 40meters, but anything material which can be processed into a rod can be used, depends on thermoset/thermoplastic qualities. I know a friend who has a rod extruder now and has been messing around, wax is a fun one as well. From solid to plastic cups to as flexible as wrist watch straps. Energy wise, its not powering a massive computer processor like some of the massive enclosed 3D printers, instead its running through a fairly small electronics board, the only power is for processing the diagrams (minimal) to a small motor, and the heating of the rods. Rods also means it only needs to heat the tiny bit needed for building, instead of heating up a vast hopper.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by jonnywhite

That is all true.
But fortunately Bath Spa University were the people to pioneer the 3D printers and are keeping it strictly open source, I can only hope that other business's would follow.

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