3D printers have now entered the world of construction. You can actually build houses using 3D printing technology!
An innovative construction firm in Shanghai, China, has built around 10 houses using gigantic 3D printers. These amazing, earth-friendly, safe and durable houses are cost-effective and were built within a short span of 24 hours. Cost-effective because recycled materials mixed with fast-drying cement were used in construction. The houses are said to have cost less than $5000 each.
The construction firm also believed that 3D printing technology ensured better worker safety and healthier working conditions. Imagine mass producing affordable houses on a regular basis using a 3D printer – the thought is mind-boggling!
3D printers are literally the new printing blocks in the world of manufacturing and technology. Though 3D printers have been around for some time, they’ve not been widely used because of prohibitive costs. Experimentation and a growing awareness of 3D printers’ potential are exciting users and bringing them sharply into focus. As a result, 3D printing costs are coming down, albeit slowly, and these printers are seen as the next big thing that are set to revolutionize the way objects are made. You’ve heard of guns, toys, surgical prosthetics, aerospace parts, prototypes and the like being created using 3D printers. Even human organs using a person’s own cells are created using this technology.
So how does this work? A 3D printer can ‘print’ objects in plastic, metal and various other materials. If a material is available in powder form, it can be used for 3D printing. It’s the art of making or printing a 3-dimensional product with a computer-created virtual 3D model or blueprint. You feed the blueprint into the printer over a cable (just like you would with an inkjet 2D printer that prints 2 dimensions on paper). The printer “prints” it out on to a metal or glass platform, precisely and layer by successive layer, running into hundreds and thousands of horizontal layers until you have your whole object in 3D.
The waiting time that goes into getting prototypes is lessened considerably with 3D printing techniques which will in turn enable hefty cost-saving. Any changes you want to make to the prototype can be made instantly by making changes to the virtual model and reprinting the prototype immediately. Very soon, existing virtual model files will be downloadable from the internet if you don’t have your own model of any object you wish for.
The phrase “Business Intelligence” (BI) is biting at everyone’s ankles, and doing it with increasing intensity. Darn, it’s getting hard to ignore!
There is going to be a large body of people coming into BI’s user domain in 2014, so we at TMG thought it would be useful to new entrants for us put down some curated predictions for BI for the period. Please take note that this post will be constantly refined as we come across predictions that we feel are more accurate.
- The extraction of information from data will no longer have to be done only by PhDs in computer science. New tools have emerged that put serious capabilities into the individual user’s hands
- Up to half of BI vendors will exit the market
- Tableau and QlikView will outpace Microsoft Excel
- Data analysis and visualization will be increasingly be performed by cloud-based software
- Large databases will move to the cloud from earth-based (kidding!) servers
- Using Agile methods for BI will burgeon in popularity
- BI will be increasingly embedded in software and hardware, from which data will be streamed in real time
- BI will be more often be wrapped in a story-like narrative
- BI will go mobile
- Companies will stop faffing around with social media analytics and get serious
- The popularity of NoSQL will go through the roof
- Spending on BI tools will be low until 2016 (since it will take till then for companies to comprehend the meaning of Big Data)
Every time you see this post in the search results, revisit it: we will be updating it very frequently!
Top 10 trends in business intelligence for 2014, Gigaom.com
Gartner Predicts… Gartner.com
Top Business Intelligence Trends For 2014: Enterpriseappstoday.com
Five Business Intelligence Predictions For 2014 Forbes.com
We read an interesting article on the Internet recently which succinctly describes how data analytics can easily lead to wrong conclusions.
The illustration was simple and eye-opening: A man with only two hours’ sleep the previous night rear-ends a car at a red light. Based on the data thus far, we conclude that his lack of sleep caused a lack of attention.
This is an example of a wrong conclusion drawn from data analysis. The deficiency of the analysis is that the data did not log all possible factors that had a bearing on the mishap. For instance, was the man busy tweeting from his phone at the time? Was there a defect in the road? Did the brakes fail?
The lesson here is that prior to embarking on a data analysis project, we should make sure the data is comprehensive. If it isn’t, either draw conclusions with a rider mentioning which factors were not considered, or declare that the data is insufficient for the task (this might cost you additional revenue, but will preserve your reputation).
Read the article we read
One of the most powerful tools of humankind, Big Data Analytics, is being used to locate Malaysia Airlines’ Flight 370, the plane that vanished without a trace on March 8, 2014.
DigitalGlobe is a company that has satellites take pictures of global terrain. It has taken more than 400,000 photographs of the oceans around Malaysia after March 8th and put them up for free public study on the Tomnod.com website. Go to Tomnod.com to look at the pictures and help find the aircraft.
DigitalGlobe keeps track of the locations mentioned by the public, then uses cluster analysis on the location data to find hot spots. These hotspots can then be handed over to search and rescue teams so that they can physically fly over the spot.
If this process leads discovery of the missing airliner, it will indeed be a crowning glory for Big Data Analytics.
Read more on the web: http://www.eweek.com/innovation/how-big-data-analytics-is-aiding-search-for-flight-370.html
Related posts on this blog:
A Database of Cancer-Linked Gene Mutations
Databases vs Cancer Cells: A Clash of Titans
3D printing has a good future and a bad future. On the bad side, there are 3D printers which can print working guns (read our post on that); on the good side, there are 3D printers which have started printing body parts. This post is about the good side (and it will be updated as the technology progresses).
Please note that in this post we are not talking about prosthesis that remain made out of metal or plastic after implantation: we are describing objects that morph into living tissue once they are in you.
3D printing used to rebuild British man’s face
17 March 2014
Hopefully people who have had their faces disfigured by accidents or surgery now have hope for near 100% restoration. How this accident victim’s face was reconstructed.
Californian Company Prints Liver Cells
30 December 2013
They haven’t printed a full liver (yet). At the rate at which things are going, it will happen (with FDA approval) in about 10 years. Read about it here.
Printing Ears and Noses in China
Aug 29, 2013
Researchers in China devise a 3D printer that prints from a container of cell material:
Printing body parts in China
TMG cannot create the input files for a body part printer (yet!) but can certainly create the files needed for complex mechanical parts and other solid objects. Have a look at what we can do and message us from our page on modeling for 3D printers.
Have a great day,