Last time I went on about 3D Printers was back in October 2008. Time for an update.
What I found interesting is that there are some sub $1,000 models. Granted, most of those are Kickstarter projects, but it shows that these things are getting some traction in the geek hobby market.
That expanding base also means a greater number of programmed designs as people share their experiments.
One that is sure to cause a stir is Defense Distributed’s plan to design a 3D printable firearm. They have designed, and printed an AR-15 lower. They have put over 600 rounds though a firearm using that printed lower in a single day. They claim that it should be able to handle a 1,000 rounds.
The AR-15 was a good choice. It is one of the most popular civilian firearms in the US, and as Gun Geeks will tell you, it’s the general purpose PC of firearms. It is very modular, with the ability to change stocks and uppers easily. It also has a large market of add on accessories, including pink plastic parts for the female (or male who just likes pink) shooters.
The inter-changeable upper (which includes the barrel) is key. You can convert your .223 AR-15 to 5.55mm NATO, .308 Winchester, .22 LR or even .50 Beowulf. All the same firearm by current US regulations.
On the lower end of the 3D printing scale, is the EDoodler. A hand held devices that extrudes a steam of heated material that you can create whole pieces or parts of a larger object. This is another Kickstarter project which blew past its original goal of $30,000 pretty fast. They have pledges of over $2 million and still have three weeks to go for fundraising.
Going even lower end, you have InstaMorph. I know people who swear by this stuff for really Q&D projects. You heat the stuff up and then are able to mold it. When it cools, it hardens. Kinda like a gateway drug for 3D printing.
Leo Leporte reports that Facebook has added a new “Feature”. Automatically uploading your mobile device photos to Facebook.
That’s right, all your photos, straight to Facebook.
If you were paying attention to the “user agreement”, Facebook reserves the right to use everything you load on it, including pictures, anyway they see fit.
That Facebook gets the right to use your stuff is nothing new. Been that way since just about Day One, if not before.
Here is a basic rule of the Internet you Coppertops need to understand.
If you aren’t paying for the service, you are the product.
Filed under: American History, Barking Moonbats, History, Politics, Space Tech, Technology
“Is it gonna go to where the astronauts planted the flag?”
Texas democrat and member of the US House of Representatives, Sheila Jackson Lee while being shown video of the Curiosity rover on Mars during a visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
I was going to post this without comment, but frag it, statements that stupid deserve comment.
The democrat from Texas, representing the district the Johnson Space Center is in, is so bloody ignorant of not so distant American history, that she doesn’t know that in 1969, Americans walked on Earth’s moon, not Mars.
This is beyond the level of ignorance so called “tolerant” liberals accuse Republicans in their fantasies. If anyone with a “R” behind their name, every news talking head would be leading their broadcast and the propagandists at NBC “News” would special graphic and running it constantly.
Since the Congressperson in question is a far left extremist liberal democrat, you can count on hearing crickets chirping before CNN runs this.
This requires the use of regedit. Pretty straightforward though.
Filed under: American History, Space Tech, Technology, Video
Bill Whittle on what the American Space Program should be like.
“To translate it into UNIX system administration terms … the post-modern, politically correct atheists were like people who had suddenly found themselves in charge of a big and unfathomably complex computer system (viz. society) with no documentation or instructions of any kind, and so whose only way to keep the thing running was to invent and enforce certain rules with a kind of neo-Puritanical rigor, because they were at a loss to deal with any deviations from what they saw as the norm. Whereas people who were wired into a church were like UNIX system administrators who, while they might not understand everything, at least had some documentation, some FAQs and How-tos and README files, providing some guidance on what to do when things got out of whack. They were, in other words, capable of displaying adaptability.” — The Cryptonomicon
Amazing stuff coffee. In addtion to it’s other amazing properties, including being good for the roses, the grounds can be used to produce biofuel.
The estimates are the coffee ground biodiesel industry could generate as much as $8,000,000 in profits annually using waste from Starbucks stores here in the United States alone. Ok, probably less given falling crude oil prices, but I’m still a big fan of any domestic fuel souces.
To add to the overall awesomeness of coffee, at the end of the biodiesel extraction and conversion process, the leftover grounds can be turned into fuel pellets for wood stoves and boilers.
Not only does coffee keep you moving, it can keep your car moving and heats your home!
Update: Crude prices have reversed the downward trend that was in place when this article was first posted (December 2008). They are now pushing $100 a barrel and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Starbucks brand biofuel made right here in the USA is starting to look like a good business opportunity.
A bit of hard science for you geeks and Greenies (real greenies, not watermelons), describing on how to use resources of the solar system for terrestrial benefit. Yup, going to space is good for Mother Gaia. Move your hard industry and power production to Earth orbit and mine the resources of the Solar System.
Filed under: Monday Book Pick, Space Tech, Technology
This near future adventure story about the return of maned space exploration, starting by returning to the Moon, was written by two actual NASA engineers, with a fistful of degrees in the hard sciences between them. Rousing good space adventure!
Get your hot iPad2 rumors here.
Some of the highlights:
- Slightly smaller
- better speakers