Archive for June, 2011
Industrial phase shift

Western Australia is set to become an industrial powerhouse:

Merging two of the deserts most abundant resources, nearly unlimited quantities of sand and sun, he created the Solar Sinter, a device that melts sand to create 3D objects out of glass.  Hat tip Boing Boing

As some commentators say, our deserts could be covered in glass cities. As could Mars or other planets prior to colonisation.  The potential of a swarm of these machines working in co-ordination is hard to overestimate.

On a more mundane note, how about cheap housing for miners? What about indigenous housing? It’s not such a problem if the housing is trashed if a large solar powered 3D sand printer can pump one out in no time.

Needless to say deserts in America, Africa and the middle east tend to have ample sand and sunlight.

The technology is rough and no doubt unreliable now, but in due course it will be refined or replaced by something even better. Nanotechnology has long held the promise of creating something out of nothing, or more precisely nothing we value.

There is a glorious future awaiting us if we can avoid doing something stupid over the next few years. A big “if” given the doctrines of the politically correct, actions of our politicians and views of many economists.

Cheap 3D Printing

$500 for a fully functioning 3D printer!  I paid more than that for a fax machine 10 years ago. If the $500 machine is a bit industrial for your taste, How about this one?

3D printing technology is on the cusp of  a mass market breakout. When the technology comes of age it will revolutionise society. It will restructure industries and change the pattern of global trade.

Sure 3D printers are simplistic at the moment. Just as an old dot matrix printer was simplistic compared to the colour lazer printers we get now for less money. These things can change fast.

3D printing represents the end point of the trend toward niche manufacturing. So much for much of the existing manufacturing sectors around the world. New products and new materials will blossom once there are enough 3D machines in operation to really stimulate demand.

How long will much of the retail sector last when hit by both the internet and home manufacturing? Not to mention inventory parts and supply. You meed something, you simply print it off.

The Microsoft Kinnect was the fastest selling home electronics product. People are already hacking it to create 3D images and displays. How soon before people have an accurate image of themselves as their avatar and use it to try on new clothes or fashion accessories?

There is a wonderful future waiting for us once the global economic reset is behind us – if we are able to put it behind us peacefully.

Increasing volcanic activity

One swallow does not a summer make. But the correlation between reduced solar activity and increased volcanic activity which we commented on back in March 2011 seems to be holding up.

Relatives had their flight cancelled in Melbourne on 12 June 2011 due to ash from a  Chilean volcano. The UK experienced similar flight disruption back in May 2011 due to an Icelandic volcano.

New Zealand has also been rocked by earthquakes.

It’s too soon to confirm the theory. But it is a worrying trend.

Update 15 June 2011

Watts Up With That reports: Major AAS solar announcement: Sun’s Fading Spots Signal Big Drop in Solar Activity

“If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades,” Hill said. “That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate.”