Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
3D Technology
May 29th, 2015

While most of the press received about this topic is cynical (to say the least) and downright rude in some cases, as a person who loves history and inventions that have been marketed and discarded and now re-discovered, I find this absolutely captivating!  You may fall into the camp of “creeped-out” listeners; but, think about the innovative use of technology here and you might be less freaked and more fascinated…  For preservationists, this is a breakthrough — and who knows what else we may hear and learn?

Read about Thomas Edison’s talking doll sound technology from the 1800′s which made use of pre-recorded voices.  The recordings, are now being heard once more.  The tech responsible, called Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.) is the brainchild of particle physicist Carl Haber and engineer Earl Cornell.  According to the National Park Service, “The IRENE-3D system creates a digital model of the surface of a phonograph record. With the digital model, image analysis methods are used to reproduce the audio stored on the record.”

Edison doll

The dolls, which were an instant commercial failure, were invented by Thomas Edison and feature some of the first recordings ever made. Now, scientists have found a way to bring these ghostly recordings back to life.

And there’s a lot more being said on the subject…

by NEDCC.ORG            by The New York Times          by PBS.ORG

by The Daily Mail in the UK          by QZ.COM

Take your pick from the reports above – they each give a slightly different perspective and detail on Edison’s invention.  For anyone who is interested in sound and its properties, this will be a real eye-opener.  What other gems from history might be waiting to be given new life?  And will you be at the helm of their resuscitation?



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The housing industry is employing 3D printing resulting in drastically reduced cost and time using predominantly recycled materials.  The Chinese Company, Winsun, constructs a house by 3D printing the house components and then transporting them to the construction site for fabrication into a home.  The total cost of houses in this manner is approximately $5,000 making them substantially less expensive and more attainable for those in need.

blog 3d printed wallWith this improved production method, 10 houses can be constructed in 24 hours.

YouTube Preview Image

This method contrasts with that of scientists in California, USA.  They propose massive 3D printers for construction and call it Contour Crafting.  The Contour Crafting device has the potential to construct one house in its entirety in less than 24 hours. In addition to dramatically decreasing the cost of construction and the safety risks that come with traditional construction methods, Contour Crafting could help eliminate poor housing conditions in third world countries by providing home construction at a fraction of the price as well as health and environmental risks. It also could provide a cheap, eco-friendly and efficient solution to cramped urban areas and developing countries in need of building more living space for rising numbers of inhabitants.

In either case, this would dramatically change the housing market and enable so many more people to afford their own dwelling.

Do you have the engineering skills to contribute to this industry?




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The concept is a rolling classroom; its purpose is to bring hands-on tech education to classrooms and build interest in students for science and math as fun subjects.

Where there’s a spark, there’s a flame – and the blaze is growing!!  This Stanford University (California, USA) rolling classroom is reaching both students and teachers alike…

Read about their beginnings and their continuing journey here:



And if you’re inspired by their success, maybe this is a project you and your fellow students will want to take on at your university!  Click the pic for a guide…



Where will you roll?

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Bikes made from bamboo are becoming the latest rage.

HERObike does it a little differently -  featuring a composite frame that adds bamboo, balsa wood and 3-D printed parts to the mix.

blog ebike

Using 3-D printing technology, the sides are joined to one another (and to the rest if the bike) using a series of 3D-printed spacers.  Together, those side panels and spacers form the frame.

Once completed, the bike will utilize a SRAM E-matic rear hub motor and rack-mounted battery.  Sounds like a sweet ride, but it doesn’t come cheap.  The price is expected to be around $2,500-$3,000 USD.

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Ever think about the machines behind the machines?  I really hadn’t given it much thought myself – until I stumbled on this particular announcement about a machine that performs laser deposition welding and precision milling.  What’s so great about it?

“By combining both, additive manufacturing via powder nozzle and the traditional cutting method in one machine, totally new applications and geometries are possible. Especially large workpieces with high stock removal volumes are now possible to be machined in an economical way.”

Read more on the actual product specs here:  LASERTEC 65 3D

Having made its debut at IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2014, the new machine by DMG Mori was pulled straight off the line from its Davis California plant – machines, the company says, that are “made in the USA for the USA.”  Read the pre-announcement about the product at American Machinist.

DMG Mori

Part 3-D printer, part machine tool, the Lasertec 65 3D can produce parts in steel, nickel and cobalt alloys, brass or titanium.  (Photo Credit:


And, it you’re not convinced that this is a way cool technology – watch the video on Gizmodo!

If this stuff fascinates you, check out job opps at DMG Mori by clicking here:  DMG Mori logo

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