Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
3D Technology
January 14th, 2015

As further proof that you can now 3D-print anything, a company called Natural Machines has introduced a 3D printer for food called Foodini.

From spaghetti to chocolates to pumpkin gnocchi, the variety of foods that this new technology can produce is pretty amazing.  From savory to sweet temptations, the possibilities are endless!  The ability to plug the printer into a computer means that all sorts of novelty patterns become simple to make.

blog gingerbread

3-D gingerbread house cookie to prop on your hot beverage cup

Currently, the device only prints the food, which must be then cooked as usual. But a future model will also cook the preparation and produce it ready to eat.  What a boon for college students!

blog foodini

Pizza from start to finish

Natural Machines’ co-founder Lynette Kucsma said she is hoping that families and restaurants will both want to get their hands on the device.

The idea also comes with a social element too. “There’s a touchscreen on the front that connects to a recipe site in the cloud, so it’s an internet-of-things, connected kitchen appliance,” said Kucsma. Users will also be able to control the device remotely using a smartphone, and share their recipes with the community.

Taste tests have produced positive results – how do you feel about eating something you’ve printed?


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American company, Local Motors, has built the world’s first 3D-printed car, made from a mix of carbon fiber and plastic. The car’s body was created over two days, in a giant printer at a Chicago trade show. The name of the car, Strati, is the Italian word for layers.

YouTube Preview Image

Does it drive?  Yes. However, because of U.S. rules and regulations surrounding registration of vehicles, the car will not be drivable on public roads until sometime in 2015.

How long does it take to 3D print the Strati?  The Strati currently takes 44 hours to print. The goal for the next stage of research & development is to speed up the print rate while maintaining quality. The intent is to cut down the print process to 24 hours.

The Strati will retail for around $20,000.

Local Motors is taking orders – be the first one on your block to own one – order yours here!

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Moths have a bad rep.  They chew holes in winter garments or leave brown staining behind.  They can be annoying when fluttering around your home at night, attracted to every lightbulb that’s burning.  In the Dakota fields in the U.S., they can be so numerous at night that you think you’re driving in a summer snowstorm (I experienced this while driving cross-country – believe me, I’ve never needed my car washed so badly!)

There’s some new tech that is hoping to give moths a “new mission” in life.  Research is ongoing at North Carolina State University to create drones – not mechanical, but living.  Dr. Alper Bozkurt is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university and developed the technique with Dr. Amit Lal from Cornell University. It involves attaching electrodes to a moth while it’s changing from a caterpillar, a methodology named Early Metamorphosis Insertion Technology (EMIT).

The goal: remotely-controlled moths, or “biobots,” for use in emergency response, such as search and rescue operations.

Research Paves Way for


Cyborg Moth ‘Biobots’


Read an op-ed piece by Diane Shipley featured on the shinyshiny site that speaks up for the ‘rights of the moths’: Might bionic moths be the future of disaster relief?

And another article on the Kurzweil  site with some keen observations by readers giving their thoughts on the tech:  Remote-controlled cyborg moth ‘biobots’ to monitor emergency-response operations

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October 21st, 2014

This art project, which will ‘vanish’ at the end of October 2014, was created using eco-friendly materials and GPS technology in a fascinating way.  The National Mall in Washington, DC is the site of the commissioned artwork, created by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada.  The giant portrait is visible from the ground, from atop the Washington Monument, and from outer space!

A little explanation by the artist… “I use vector files, which are images based on points that have algorithms to keep the curves in position. Then we use high-accuracy GPS technology to place stakes in the ground, and string to delineate the curves. The etching design also makes it work — the farther away you are, the more it comes together as shadowing. So when we get the final images from the satellite from space, it will actually look photographic.

Read more about his vision & the work itself in these two articles:

Out of Many, One


This Six-Acre Portrait on D.C.’s National Mall Can Be Seen From Space

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada demonstrates how a ‘rover,’ or high-precision GPS marker, was used to create his six-acre sand and soil ‘facescape’ on the National Mall in Washington, Oct. 1, 2014. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada demonstrates how a ‘rover,’ or high-precision GPS marker, was used to create his six-acre sand and soil ‘facescape’ on the National Mall in Washington, Oct. 1, 2014. (Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images)

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October 17th, 2014

Building your dream home with your own two hands and a bunch of your friends just became a little easier…  That is, if your family will fit comfortably in about 700 square feet of house!

Check out this amazing structure assembled in public view, on the grounds of the London Building Centre, in England-

Downloadable, 3D-printed house built with staples, screws and a hammer



Take a look at the company’s website (including their blog):  WikiHouse

Challenges remain on the structural integrity in the face of weather issues – strong winds… lashing rains… violent, ‘no fun’ kinds of storms.  Maybe there’s an opportunity for you to bring your mind to the puzzle and create a more sustainable model?  Great opportunity to put your “inner architect”, as well as your techie self, into a potentially great future!

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