Plotting vectors and lines in a 2D screen environment is time consuming. Swirling the image round and arranging the angles, knitting up all the edges and then making a test run to discover if it looks like how you imagined in real life has been the general process until now. It can take a long time to design that all important template. If you intend to print out thousands or more, then perhaps it doesn't matter so much but if you just need a few, then that time spent becomes expensive.
The interface between human and 3D printer has evolved. Using 3D virtual reality, this new system allows designers to talk directly to the printer while it works. Called the Robotic Modelling Assistant, a designer can produce a virtual copy of the item in the 3D world and the software then tells a robot exactly what to do. This ingenious and novel way of talking to robots is opening up doors in the design and artistic world.
Now it's possible to create something, look at it from all angles and press go. That's not all, in real time, designers can add to their design, creating new parts and even adjusting previous plans. The virtual reality drawing can be manipulated, changed, and worked on all the while. The robot knows to work on something else while plans are being changed, having a smart understanding of the design process, it works with the designer.
This doesn't only make it quicker to design items, it also allows designers to have much more tangible and mailable tools in which to create. Using technology to give us the power over hard materials so we can treat them like clay shows us that human-robot combinations can greatly improve many aspects of life. We have been using tools and machines to make us smarter, faster, stronger, and more artistic for millennia. Robots are simply one more step on the ladder of making our lives that bit easier.
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Watch the fantastic new design robot in action with this video.
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