3D printers are becoming all the rage these days. Machines that can take a computer-generated blueprint and compile an object out of plastic that matches it exactly, what’s not to love about that? But recently, the Japanese company known as Daishin Seki produced a machine that could literally sculpt metal. The concept is pretty much the same: you create a diagram on your computer, upload it to the robot, make sure it’s loaded with a block of metal, and just sit back and let it do its thing.
The initial test of the machine was caught on video, where it turned a block of aluminum into a one-piece motorcycle helmet. Yes, this work of metallic art has no seems, no screws, no separate parts. So its likely to be a hell of a lot more durable than one that was slapped together. Quite impressive. The applications for this growing technology truly are limitless.
However, this does raise some genuine concerns. For one, human machinists can’t keep up with this kind of technology. So really, it is no longer a competition between a human being and a machine, but between two kinds of machines. This new form of computer-assisted design, known as “machining”, stands in contrast to “printing” – i.e. use of a 3D printer. As time goes on, these two methods are likely to compete for consumers and investment, eventually procuring certain niches of the design market. Meanwhile, human machinists will be left behind, with nothing to do but watch and get re-educated on the use of these machines.
Well, no one said “progress” was all sunshine and roses. And the elimination of man-power is one of the hallmarks of high tech. So unless we choose to jam these machines up, we’ll just have to be content to watch them churn out cool stuff, huh? Enjoy the video clip below: