Monday, September 1, 2014

Too Cool

From Minneapolis Tribune:
With just the click of some buttons, a 12-foot-tall castle has appeared in a quiet Minnesota back yard — proof of the very latest in technology.
Andrey Rudenko built the castle layer by layer with one of the first 3-D concrete printers in the world, an ambitious task given that most things produced by 3-D printers are much smaller, like plastic models or parts. Now the Shorewood engineer and contractor has an even larger goal: use his 3-D printer to build the first-of-its-kind concrete house.
“Every time, it’s getting bigger and more complicated,” he said of his creations. “It’s just magic for me.”
3-D printing has emerged in recent years, bringing the futuristic concepts to reality with everything from luxury cars to toy puzzles to the latest fashion. Researchers are even working to perfect printing human body parts.
And the Twin Cities is on the cutting edge of it.
Eden Prairie company Stratasys makes 3-D printers for everything from consumer toys to prosthetic arms and wax-ups for dentures. Maple Plain-based Proto Labs started selling 3-D printed plastic and metal parts, mostly to engineers, this year.
But in the Lake Minnetonka suburb of Shorewood, Rudenko is forging his own path in technology that’s so new there are few guides or tutorials to follow. With a background in engineering and design, the building contractor started experimenting with 3-D printing two decades ago. When the latest technology emerged a couple of years ago, he said, “Wow, it’s time to start experimenting again.”
This is so cool that I have no idea how to even comment on it because it is so far beyond comprehension for me.
But something tells me that if this technology catches on, buildings will cost cheaper and it will put construction workers out of work.

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