Every aspect of daily life will be impacted by 3d design, 3d simulation, and 3d printing.
At this time a child can create an object in a 3d modeling program, and within an hour or two bring the model into the physical world using a 3d printer.I suspect it will not be much longer before entire machines can be printed from special models of 3d design. It is not hard to anticipate what sort of developments will come out of 3d printing: It’s likely that 3d printers will be able to quickly layer microscopic layers on a virtually molecular level while using different wavelengths of light to solidify various properties such as conductivity, rigidity, elasticity, and so forth.
Follow this simple train of thought a bit further, and our robotics will not necessarily be strictly moved by servos and pullies, but by more durable and less friction-based mechanisms of movement. All of this has 3d design at its core foundation.
3d Printed Robots and Computers to Replace the Workforce?
Barring the many world issues we have, I consider our generation very privileged to have attained even this level of capability in technology.
As robotics and computer technology have matured, many have found themselves without jobs. This obviously been percieved as a negative thing. Public assistance is now used by 20 percent of our population, and a great percentage of those people have fought hard to resist that outcome. I get the stark impression, however, that society has been creating its own prosthetic in the form of technology to be able to handle and manage the sheer scale of population that we currently have. I have a suspicion that our world will run entirely by automation, from cars to robots, to systems of every sort. Further, I anticipate that the so-called public assistance might just naturally evolve into a new form of communism, though not of the traditional sort — unique and honorable in its own right, yet not without its particular unique issues.
From Actual Reality to Virtual Reality and Back Again
Due to the maturation of the science of 3d design, virtual reality is also emerging at a much faster rate now. The first attempts of virtual reality were done in the 80’s and 90’s. The sensors and displays needed to simulate a virtual environment properly were not yet perfected. But with the invention of smart devices (such as our phones and computers) the mechanisms for tracking orientation finally exist. The displays needed to produce the quality and framerate necessary for a virtual environment also exist. And if that were not enough, there is this new concept of “augmented reality”. Augmented reality modifies the visual aspect of our actual environment, imposing virtual objects into it through special lenses.
The thing I find inspiring with virtual reality is not necessarily games and simulations themselves (although a VR flight simulator would the perfect way to train pilots) but rather the ability to virtually place yourself in a distant environment by means of a robot. The turning of your head causes you to see through the 360 cameras mounted on the robot, and the walking on the VR treadmill causes corresponding locomotion with the robot.
The internet itself is something we take for granted, and with all of its power as a reliable information portal, it brings proportionally greater dangers. All of these advancements in our modern world, on top of the increasingly worse human issues (not to mention natural disasters), reminds me of a line from the tale of two cities:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…
If you consider the harmony of all of the new elements and technologies we have to work with, it would be a comforting thought if by some phenomenon and change of patterns in human history, we could suddenly start benefiting human society in some meaningful manner with all of these things.
3d Printed and Fabricated Buildings also of 3d Design
Particularly interesting is the application of 3d printing to architecture and buildings. As the process is perfected it might be possible to 3d design and print dwellings for the homeless directly out of a mixture of sand and a cheap but durable resin.
Could the World of Jacque Fresco Exist? 3d Engineering Might Bring Us There
Certainly, we are living in a technological utopia. It reminds me of the architect Jacque Fresco. While Jacque had quite a few interesting ideas in a moneyless resource-based economy, the part of his work that impacted me was his city designs — elegant and purposeful to say the least. Have a look at them here: https://www.thevenusproject.com/resource-based-economy/environment/circular-city/
For the first time in history, we might just have the ingredients, the intelligence, and the economic power to start bringing such visions to life.
The Future of 3d DesignSometimes I think of the mythical city of Atlantis. Legend has it as a city of enlightenment and beauty. An honest look at our modern world reveals we’ve already acquired the tools to make Atlantis look like a slum. We surpassed our expectations long ago and never realized it. The question is: How long until our core human ailments such as homelessness and social inequality are remedied by means of these new tools? Many might say that Jacque Fresco’s world could never exist, and to some degree, they might be right. But it would be due to a limit in human nature, not technology.
With the advancements in 3d printing technology, more sophisticated 3d design methods, virtual reality, etc, we might just see an improved and more restful world, running with better efficiency. It does seem that we are still growing into our skin, coming into a state of maturity as a race. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before we harmonize and perfect these new technologies to get the human race ready for a dignified retirement.
Or maybe in the near future, a nuclear war will bring us back to start. God only knows. In the meantime, however, I can say with all of the evils society has endured, there has also been much blessing and enlightenment. Perhaps we will choose the blessings and finally be free of the curses for a good long time.