If the idea of 3D printing is something you’ve still not quite managed to grasp, then this clip of Andrey Rudenko “printing out” a castle he recently… built, might bring you up to speed.
It seems to me printing any given object is one thing, but the real work appears to lie in creating the “printing” device. Surely a mechanism that, say, prints out shag pile carpets would differ greatly from one that will produce cars.
So how do we bring such printers into existence, or there is like a master printer that prints out the sort of 3D printer that we need?
I had a helping hand from some great people while putting the magazine together but by and large I found myself wearing several different hats. Way more than I ever anticipated, and way more than I ever have with any previous project. By and large, most of these roles were completely new to me and I had to make it up as I went along.
Some modern printers can use matt, glossy or metallic inks to change the reflectivity of an image, but the inks are always used on their own, as so-called spot colours. But by carefully mixing a range of such metallic inks, Fabio Pellacini at Adobe Systems and Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, says it’s possible to reproduce subtle differences in reflectivity in the same way that mixing cyan, magenta and yellow can reproduce a range of colours.
As a first step in producing the Daily Titan, an editor (Gail Rhea) makes up an assignment sheet, using a device known as a manual typewriter. A marvel of mechanical engineering, this gadget was a true EPA Energy Star: it used no electricity whatever. A skilled journalist could write a story at a rate of perhaps 60 words per minute. But none of the original keystrokes could be preserved: someone would have to retype the story again to set it in type, inevitably introducing new typographic errors in the process. By the early 1970s publishers everywhere were beginning to buy video display terminals linked to typesetting computers so writers’ keystrokes could be preserved and copy editing could be done electronically, saving an enormous amount of labor.
The number’s length would depend chiefly on the width of the font selected, and even listener-friendly choices like Times Roman and Helvetica would produce dramatically different outcomes. Small eccentricities in the design of a particular number, such as Times Roman’s inexplicably scrawny figure one, would have huge consequences when multiplied out to this length. But even this isn’t the hairy part. Where things get difficult, as always, is in the kerning.