Open Source 3D Printers

One of my favorite indulgences is to look at a piece of technology and imagine what it might be capable of in a decade. For example, the Generation 1 “1000 songs in your pocket” black and white iPod was released in October 2001.

A decade later (to the month, by the way), we met Siri on the iPhone 4S. Think about that for a moment. In 2001, a digital mp3 player was groundbreaking and forever changed the way music was listened to. A decade later, we have artificial intelligence in our pockets alongside 50,000 songs, books, movies, apps, and even a telephone too I’m told.

Now, another Generation 1 technology is beginning to flourish that has the capacity to forever alter our perception of the world. 3-dimensional printers. Best of all, their design is open-source. Open-source, as anyone not employed by the RIAA will tell you, is widely recognized as the single fastest way to advance development. In simple terms, there’s a lot less red tape and profiteering standing in the way because the creators freely give away their blueprints and designs so that other creators can then collectively gain knowledge to further create and share.

Separate teams in America and Belgium have already presented some amazing initial uses of these printers. Unfold, a Belgian collective from Antwerp, has transformed the art of pottery by creating a digital device that registers human interaction, allowing people to digitally mold clay into a desired form, which is then literally printed, in clay, before the viewer’s eyes.

On this side of the pond, a team at Cornell University has created the Fab@Home project. This team has devised a way to print edible food, and hopes to make food printers as ‘ubiquitous as the microwave’ with an eventual expected retail cost of only about $700. Imagine being able to craft a family recipe that your descendants can recreate exactly from the digital recipe you left to them, even hundreds of years later. Now imagine what this technology might look like in a decade.

It gives me goosebumps.

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Nick Bertke is an artisan with sights and sounds, masterfully reworking famous movie clips into musical compositions. Utilizing dozens to hundreds of small loops, Bertke’s alterego “Pogo”, piece together the sound content from the clips into a montage wonderfully disguised as a song. He then further composes the looped images (with sound bytes) into a fascinating visual experience. I can’t even fathom the amount of time that goes into each half of the work, but Pogo has mangaged to publish over thirty projects, and counting. Releases include “Pulp Fiction“, Scooby Doo, and Disney’s “Up“. Speaking of Disney, listen carefully during “Upular” and tell me if you can discerne the hidden message.

Each one of these videos is breathaking, I highly recommend watching them all. The next one may be from a generation that doesn’t jive with EDM, but it’s a brilliant show and concept all the same.

Notable Comment: “With childrens’ shows like this, it’s no wonder my generation all grew up stoners” Also; “Skrillex is a band, they are good. Check them out.” Swear.

View more videos here

Download all songs for any sized donation here

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V Motion Project Revolutionizes VJing

Utilizing laser tracking technology through two Kinect devices, The V-Motion project from New Zealand captures each movement and action of the performer and ties these to sound generators or effects in Ableton Live. It took a very very dedicated and diverse team of technological wizards to build this program from concept to crazy cool. Even better, this technology is currently Generation 1 (if even attaining that level), so imagine how this might look in a few years’ time.

Okay, so it’s beyond cool. Especially when you consider that this is how it all began:

On an interesting side note, the client for this project was New Zealand soft-beverage manufacturer Frucor. Who’dve guessed.

For a fascinating discussion from the project leads on their own experiences creating this technology, check out the following articles:

V Motion Tech: How We Built It
V Motion: The Visuals

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