The next step in 3d printing evolution is here: Metal, yes metal. The ESA (European Space Agency) has started a project called AMAZE, that stands for Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste & Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products. This project aims to deliver the first 3D metal printer to the ISS (International Space Station) to allow astronauts to print metal pieces on demand.
The AMAZE project is supported by 21 industry partners, eight academic partners and two intergovernmental agencies and has a budget of 19 million euros. This new technology will also have numerous applications in areas like aeronautics, automotive, nuclear fusion and tooling.
This initiative joins other efforts in developing metal 3D printers like Siemens (in the video) or EOS. Although this initiatives are focus by now in industry, soon any person will be able to have his own 3D printer at home, allowing to print any kind of object in any kind of material. This is only one more step in the industrial revolution that is bringing the manufacturing power from big industries to your home. In this field we consider Makers, a book by Chris Anderson a reference that everybody should read.
Citing Chris Anderson: “The digital revolution has been largely limited to screens. We love screens, of course, on our laptops, our TVs, our phones. But we live in homes, drive in cars, and work in offices. We are surrounded by physical goods, most of them products of a manufacturing economy that over the past century has been transformed in all ways but one: unlike the Web, it hasn’t been opened to all. Because of the expertise, equipment, and costs of producing things on a large scale, manufacturing has been mostly the provenance of big companies and trained professionals. That’s about to change.”
How do you think this technologies can change our lifes and the way we build things?