Saturday, July 30, 2011

The next manufacturing revolution

I've been watching developments in 3D printing for a while now with growing interesting and excitement. Having seen this latest video of the test flight of a model aircraft this was entirely built in a 3D printer. I'm absolutely convinced that this is the next revolution in manufacturing.

When I first starting following 3D printing the buzz was about being able to rapidly prototype components at a fraction of the traditional cost of manufacturing a one off item or being able to print complex shapes that traditional manufacturing couldn't produce cost-effectively.

The revelation from this video I watched recently was that you could print moving parts in situ.

But that's just a spanner or wrench. In this latest video they print the entire plane in a single operation. If you can do that you can print a car or a refrigerator or anything. My prediction is that 30 years from now everything that is manufactured, and I mean everything, will be manufactured in a 3D printer.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


One of the many nice things about hiking in Steamboat this time of year is the wildflowers.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

If you are going to charge $5 for a cappuccino... ought to learn how to make a decent one. This means you, Hyatt Regency Reston. For your information a cappuccino is one third espresso, one third milk and one third foam. It's not a cup of insipid, watery brown liquid with a little foam on top!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I officially do not understand airlines

Today we're flying from Ottawa to Washington DC (this post is brought to you courtesy of Ottawa airport's free wifi!)

We arrived quite early for our United flight so we asked about getting on an earlier United flight (same airline) only to be told that it would cost us $120 each.

We were also told that it was too early to check in for our original flight. So we had lunch and a cup of coffee and came back. At which time we were told (by a different agent) that we could get on an earlier Air Canada flight (yes a different airline) for no charge. In fact, because Air Canada does not charge for checked bags, we're saving fifty bucks.

I actually do understand what's going on here. It's all about the check-in agent. One decided to be helpful and the other one didn't. Simple as that.