Tag Archives: 3D printing

3D printed food to end world hunger?

In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy there’s a scene where Arthur Dent almost gets everybody blown to piece by asking the spaceship he’s on to make him a cup of tea, using the on-board food synthesizer.

And it would seem that it’s an idea that isn’t so far-fetched after all. The synthesizer, that is, not the getting blown up in space. Although, you could probably try that in the near future as well – just imagine one of Richard Branson’s Virgin Spaceships straying over North Korea…

And it’s not only in outer space that the synthesized food could prove a hit and provide sustenance. Actually, if the science and technology currently being tested by Systems & Materials Research Corporation proves successful, it could become a weapon in the fight against world hunger.

Systems & Materials Research Corporation recently won a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a universal food synthesizer.

The grant has been given to test if the system would be able to feed astronauts on long flights to other planets, including a mission to Mars.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life. The way we are working on it is, all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years,” Anjan Contractor from Systems & Materials Research Corporation says.

His long-term goal is to see the system in every kitchen, feeding people by printing out customized, nutritionally sound meals on what is essentially a 3D printer.

So far his team has released a few details about the project, including a video showing what must be the coolest way ever to make a chocolate biscuit:

Downloadable semi-automatic gun can fire 600 rounds

A weapon design that can be downloaded off the Internet and built using a 3D printer has been proved able to fire off 600 rounds without breaking down.

The design has been developed by Texan gun-smith Cody Wilson. It is a semi-automatic rifle, called AR-15, which is basically a carbon copy (pun intended..it’s not made of carbon) of the famous M16 rifle.

Last year, Cody Wilson and his group, Defence Distributed, published a video, showing a 3D-printed AR-15 rifle firing, but the weapon broke down after just six rounds. Since then, Defence Distributed have been tinkering with their designs.

The group has now published a new video, showing the AR-15 firing more than 600 round with any problems.

The latests development highlights how cheap 3D-printing continues to shoot down the idea that gun control in USA can be achieved through regulating gun shops.

Here’s the video from Defence Distributed:

Cheap 3D printing kills Obama’s clip control stone dead

In the wake of another school massacre, the US Government is once again looking at introducing some sort of control to the American gun market.

Now as a European, the fact that a large percentage of Americans seemingly think you really do need that semi-automatic rifle when hunting squirrels makes absolutely no sense. It’s like saying you need a canon to get rid of the sparrows who’ve set up shop on your roof and then being surprised when the cannon takes part of your roof with it in the attempt to get rid of said sparrows.

That minor tirade taken care of, let’s turn to a new suggestion by the Government who, instead of talking about squirrels and cannons, are thinking about introducing a law to prohibiting the size of magazines.

The proposal actually comes from California Senator Diane Feinstein, but President Obama has voiced support.

What the Government wants to is re-introduce the ban on high-capacity magazines that are capable of holding, well, a lot of bullets.

However, the suggestion isn’t likely to have the desired effect. And the rise of new technology is (sort of) to blame.

A group of gun-happy and slightly tech savvy people called Defence Distributed have already show that the rise of cheap 3D printing and the Internet is going to make it nigh on impossible to enforce a new ban on high-capacity magazines by just making it impossible for shops to sell them legally.

Defence Distributed’s plan is to prove that it is possible to create and build a lethal firearm with a high-capacity magazine solely using the blueprints supplied by the organisation and access to a 3D printer. Recently the group said that they had successfully a 30 round magazine for a semi-automatic and that they had fired a total of 86 round from the magazine.

So the end result they are looking for is a working gun with a massive clip that can be built by anyone with access to a 3D printer and the Internet.

Obama seems to be fighting an up-hill battle with people who want the right to not only build and fire their own canons at sparrows. They want ‘Mad Mike’ down the street to have exactly the same possibility. ANd the right to blame Obama when ‘Mad Mike’ decides that canons could be the thing that the game ‘Tag’ has been missing all these years….