Economist. 6/12/2004, Vol. 371 Issue 8379, special section p8-10. 2p.
RAPID prototyping, ARTIFICIAL joints, and PLASTIC surgery
Rapid-prototyping machines are, in effect, three-dimensional printers. They build up layer upon layer of a plastic, ceramic or metal, either by squirting the material out of a nozzle in a controlled way or by melting successive layers of powders using a laser. Originally developed to help designers and engineers visualize their inventions before going to the trouble of actually building them, the machines have now become so sophisticated that it is possible to print devices with moving parts. Medical and dental specialists were quick to spot an opportunity. Rapid-prototyping machines have, for example, shortened the casting process for facial and cranial plates used in reconstructive surgery, says Robin Richards at the department of medical physics at University College, London. Terry Wohlers, an American rapid-prototyping expert, believes it is only a matter of time before such machines become common fixtures in hospitals, with doctors and surgeons using them almost as routinely as they currently use X-rays. Wilhelm Meiners and his colleagues at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, Germany, are one group working to extend the technology to print reconstructive facial plates and even load-bearing artificial joints, such as hips, which could be customized for each patient. Meanwhile, researchers at Advanced Ceramics Research in Tucson, Arizona, are developing rapid prototyping to create replacement bones, with funding from America's Office of Naval Research.
MANUFACTURING processes, RAPID prototyping, NYLON, LASERS, and SINTERING equipment
The article offers information on the selective laser sintering (SLS) apparatus that is being used by the Digital Manufacturing Centre of the University College London in England. It says that SLS allows a move from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing due to its capability to create parts in 100 percent dense nylon, which eliminates the need to create master models. It also says that the technology gives an edge to micro-companies as it enables them to reduce cost on the prototyping phase.
CONFERENCES & conventions, SYNTHETIC biology, DNA synthesis, and SILICON
The article offers information on the SynBioBeta meeting held in London, England in April 2015. Topics include synthetic biology getting faster, cheaper and better and more powerful than ever before, supply made to the growing garage biohacker community by companies like Synbiota, whose Rapid DNA Prototyping (RDP) platform has been likened to a Lego kit for biology, and broadband DNA synthesis which is a silicon-based alternative to traditional, laborious 96-well plastic plate synthesis.
TECHNOLOGICAL innovations, COMPUTER software development, CONCURRENT engineering, RAPID prototyping, and DIGITAL printing
The article features the Metropolitan Works Digital Manufacturing Centre in London, England. Its aim is to provide its practitioners with the accessibility on new technology and software improvements. It uses facilities which are involved in rapid prototyping, laser cutting, 3D scanning, computer numerically controlled routing and digital printing.
The article offers information on the Kraft Work show focused on computers related to analogue materials including cardboard and paper, to be held at Aram Gallery in London, England from February 21- April 12, 2014. It mentions that the show focuses on improving the prototyping and sketching for final products. It states that the show will feature the work from paper or card including furniture, homeware and jewellery.
SERVICE industries, CREATIVE Commons licenses, and DESIGN competitions
The article reports on the international service design challenge set by Global Service Jam in London, England on February 24, 2012. It says that the challenge is run by Work Play Experience, a German service design consultancy, and involves developing and prototyping of a service solution. It states that the solution will be shared and published by Creative Commons licensing. The article also mentions several participants in the challenge.
SEMINARS, SUBCONTRACTING, MACHINING, and FORUMS (Discussion & debate)
The article highlights the expanded seminar program for Subcon 2006 in London, England. The scope will extend beyond the traditional areas of machining and metal forming to cover all aspects of subcontract manufacture. Areas such as electrical and electronic assembly, design and development, surface engineering, plastic moulding, casting, forging and rapid prototyping will be included in the program.
ART exhibitions, ART & photography, and GRAPHIC designers
The article reports on the art show in London, England that features the industrial and architectural photography of graphic artist Alexandre Vitkine. Trained as an electromechanical engineer, Vitkine became a photographer, graphic artist, and sculptor. He was also involved in pioneering work on rapid prototyping technology and computer-generated art, and is a founder of Ars Mathematica, dedicated to the intersection of electronics, technology, and art.