Friday, 29 June 2012

—And He Built a Crooked House

I particularly enjoyed this small gardenhouse designed by architect Manuel Villa (an compelling choice of name for his profession). The dark wood exterior and natural wood interior gives a particularly cozy feel - and while I was going to say that it is disappointing that it's not a true platonic solid the interior is far more spacious and usable than it would be if it stuck to its true form - particularly  glazed facade that opens onto a teak deck.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A generalized Von Neumann universal constructor?

Following on Rapidly from my post on 3D printing I noticed the RepRap which claims "RepRap is humanity's first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine."

Of course this isn't really a Von Neumann universal constructor as a human would be directing the cutting processes and then assembling the parts with non-autonomous "self-replication" but in a limited environment these are still pretty interesting.

One of the most significant technological advances of the last 10 years.

3D printers, rather than social networks, blogs or gaming apps seem to me to be one of the most significant technological advances of the last 10 years. The computer and communication revolution of the last fifty years or so has allowed us to manipulate abstract information within plastic and metal boxes but for most users it has not affected what they can create in the material world. 3D printers like the IModela 3D Modeling Machine change all of that.

The products site says that it

 "Easily and accurately create and embellish a wide range of projects by producing 3D shapes, reliefs, textures and patterns from modeling wax, foam, balsa wood and plastic materials. With a milling area of 3.39 inches wide by 2.17 inches in length and 1.02 inches in height, iModela is the perfect tool for small-scale creative projects. iModela Creator design software is included." 

 Its going to be of limited use until the CAD/CAM software is better and you can flash materials over to something more durable, but I think these types of devices have great potential for leading a whole new wave of creativity "outside the box".
See the manufacturers site

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Earth at night seen from the ISS. Includes amazing Aurora Borealis shots.

Earth Time lapse sequences of photographs taken by the crew of expeditions 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011 at an altitude of around 350 km.