RADICAL: MIT Scientists Invent Brand New Form of 3-D Printing

Two words: Mind. Blown.

3-D printing has become the rallying cause for a rising generation of designers, engineers, and architects. There seems to be few limits to what the technology can do or what range of products it can spawn, from lampshades to lunar bases. Amid all the hype, however, it’s easy to neglect one key factor: Printing capabilities are directly wedded to the size of one’s printer…

…MIT-based researchers and instructors Marcelo Coelho and Skylar Tibbits teamed up to tackle this very problem… The solution is breathtakingly simple. By merely folding the object you want to print, you can jig it to fit into a small-scale printer… [they use] a dense cluster of thin but sturdy polymer links packaged in a three-dimensional puzzle that can be intuitively assembled.

…The chains are programmed with multidirectional notches, so that they can be latched together at right angles. Assembly is quick because each chain can only bend in the way it’s designed to, thus removing a large obstacle that plagues most 3-D-printing ventures. The final product, then, will look exactly as it does on your computer screen but will be structurally sound enough to stand on its own in physical space. In the process, Tibbits suggests, scale becomes virtually, if not entirely, irrelevant…

Please don’t tell any Democrats about this innovative new technology, because if they find out about it, I’m betting they’ll invent 12 new ways to tax it.

Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News.

Doug Ross @ Journal