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New thermoforming technique offers a faster alternative to 3D printing

With the advent of 3D printing, it’s easy to imagine a future where industry is as simple as pressing a few buttons on a computer screen. Just take any computer-generated 3D model, send it to a 3D printer, and within a few minutes to a few hours, you’ll have an actual, physical object that you can hold in your hand. The problem, then, is the wait. Whereas a three hour wait for a small statue might be bearable for individual use, large-scale production houses may not be able to afford the lost time when compared to more traditional methods. To…

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Ancient Syrian arch destroyed by ISIS recreated with 3D printing

The issue of whether replicas in restoration are or should be desired is a hotly debated topic. With a replica of Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph, which was destroyed by Daesh (Isis) last October, being unveiled in Trafalgar Square as part of World Heritage Week, this debate is brought back into the fore. The restoration, which is spearheaded by The Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA), is intended to be an act of symbolic defiance against terrorist acts of cultural destruction. Deborah Lehr, who heads the Antiquities Coalition, a private advocacy organization in Washington, told NPR “Unlike other militant groups, the Islamic State has…

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Knyttan makes personal fashion as easy as dressing a videogame avatar

Knyttan is a fashion startup or, if you would prefer a cultural reference, a 21st century incarnation of Cher’s closet in the opening scenes of the 1995 teen classic Clueless. In practice, the film’s build-your-own-wardrobe app looks an awful lot like the maker movement’s version of fashion design. You log in to the company’s website, pick an item of clothing—current offerings are limited to jumpers and scarves—and proceed to customize patterns that Knyttan has asked designers to contribute. Those designers do not all hail from the world of fashion: Moniker is an interaction design studio; Nicolas Sasoon describes his work…

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A pair of Dutch artists have created 8-bit food

There’s obsessive portion control as a dietary practice, and then there’s millimeter-perfect portion control as an aesthetic statement. “Cubes,” the latest project by Dutch artists Lenert and Sander, falls into the latter category.  The artists responded to a commission for a food spread in de Volkskrant by cutting 98 pieces of food into 2.5cm cubes. Though these cubes are precisely cut, they have little to do with traditional culinary knifework. Lenert and Sander have not produced an oversized brunoise of Wagyu beef, purple potato, and endive. Rather, the pair has turned foodstuffs into a sort of geometric artwork wherein each…