Polish jeweller Michał Baran has some pretty far-out ideas for the future of 3D printing. He's spent the last 30 years thinking up a much faster solution than our current methods. And the result of three decades of musing? Some tiny foam printing tests that look a bit like flubber.
In its current form—dish soap and UV resin—it may not look like much, but there's certainly potential for future application. In construction for example, if this process was combined with the right technology (such as that in the video below), entire buildings could be constructed in a matter of hours.
The guys Hackaday project (opens in new tab) looks like it could be the brainchild of some mad scientist, but Baran's conversation with Fabbaloo (opens in new tab) relieved me of that notion as I read about the projects humble beginnings:
“Once upon a time I met a bumblebee" Baran told Fabbaloo, and the bee told him this...
"Bro, finally someone sincerely asks us about it! The answer is very simple: start comparing how we, birds, trees and intoxicatingly beautiful dolphins are different from the things you humans make… Note that we are mostly made of nothing, the main ingredients are air and water… Dude! Your body is also built that way! Never forget that you yourself are the best model for what you’re doing. Additionally, notice our topology! This is crucial! Proper topology is key to everything. You won’t find a single point, straight line or right angle anywhere in nature. So why you even draw these wickedness?! The effects of human activities are like a cancer against the reality that surrounds you. Change it!"
The bee continues, 'Why are these skyscrapers are so silly shapes? Why don’t they look like redwoods or termite mounds? Look! Their females are so beautiful, rounded—why do they force them to live in hideous, angular houses?! What is going on here on this Earth?!"
This was the conversation that took place to change Baran's perspective on construction methods, and it birthed the concept of his foamy printing solution. The result is a 'Photopolymer Foam' that is dispensed using a foam cannon, then activated by UV radiation to harden it. This means no layering up, and faster production times could be achieved.
Sadly we have not located the Bee to confirm this conversation happened, but we will continue to keep an eye out for him. He was last seen wearing black and yellow, and mumbling about the downfall of humanity.