NOTA BENE

Notes, comment and buzz from Eugene Kaspersky – Official Blog

June 14, 2013

A 3-D printer in a wet Bavaria.

Hallo ihr alle!

In London it was dry and sunny, but not far away in Central Europe they were completely washed out with heavy and persistent rain. And that included Bavaria: gray skies and seemingly endless intermittent precipitation – nothing like what you’d normally expect in June.

We were in Germany – just outside Munich – attending the annual 24 Hours Conference VIP-shindig organized by Deutsche Telekom – in a rather fine ancient chateau. This is a get-together where a very heterogeneous selection of delegates from lots of different countries representing lots of different industries discuss the most burning issues of the day and share their dreams for a better future for all. Like :).

Munich_Germany_24_hours_conference1

Of course, they had me in the room with ‘Security’ written on its large oak door. But while looking for this room we passed quite a few others with interesting ‘themes’ on their doors. One of the most intriguing ones was ‘3-D Printers’. I was more than just a little curious, so poked my head round the door. And lo and behold, there one stood – a 3-D printer – in the flesh!

Basically it’s a cube-shaped frame inside which a secured hose moves about emitting a thin stream of liquid plastic, which slowly builds up… whatever it’s programmed to – well, so long as they’re small plastic knick-knacks. You can see some such knick-knacks next to the printer in the photos:

Munich_Germany_24_hours_conference_3d_printer1

Munich_Germany_24_hours_conference_3d_printer2

But before you get too excited – let me tell you that it’s real slow, quality is awful, and the usefulness of the articles made is far from clear. Of course, they say it’s only in its early stages just now and it will be developed, improved and fine-tuned in the future. They say it’ll be able to sculpt just about ‘anything at all’ soon too. What this ‘anything at all’ could actually mean was discussed aplenty in this room (though such fantasy-discussion is rife on the Internet already). But I was more interested in something else. I was wondering what industries and businesses would disappear first with the advent of high-quality 3-D printing. Surely it’s only a matter of time? The history books, after all, are full of stories of how new technologies killed old manufacturing and services – to the extent of whole countries’ socio-economic situations being affected by them, even the whole trajectory of modern civilization (in addition to new religions) :). So what will 3-D printers kill off first?

Well, what first springs to my mind are kiddies’ toys, since the 3-D items I saw were all fairly pointless – apart from perhaps as toys. Downloading from the Internet a model, customizing it as one wants, programming the printer, and in a few hours printing your kid’s bespoke toy… yep – that’d work. If I was Lego I’d be seriously worried (and I’d read the history of the Encyclopedia Britannica too).

What else will 3-D printers make extinct?

Confectioner’s shops (3-D food was discussed)? The underground firearms market? We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess…

comments Leave a note
Leave a note
April 17, 2015

On a plane to Singapore: the kino – very poor.

Hi all! Continuing a fave theme of mine here. No, not volcanoes; no, not cliffs; and no, not banya. Instead: planes, aeroplanes and airplanes… Recently we flew on an Internetted Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 to Changi. And the experience was… mixed.

April 1, 2015

Internet on a jet.

Back on the road again… Rather – up in the air. So I continue one of my fave, recurring themes – flying and planes and all that. 2015 kicked off with some serious avia action for me: I’m already on my 30th flight, having been up in the skies 130+ hours. Not that I’m complaining – […]

March 31, 2015

A hotel on the banks of the Colorado. Woh!

There are a great many beautiful and unusual towns and cities in the world, there are volcanoes, there are valleys and canyons, and islands and lakes. There are also of course rivers: loads of them – all different. There are the grandiose, like the super-wide Amazon with its adjacent jungles, anacondas, piranhas, crocodiles and other […]

March 28, 2015

Hold on tight! In an off-road vehicle – off-road in Utah.

A few words about the vehicle that transported us about in Utah. And let’s not forget the super chauffeur… Here she is, a classic of the genre, giving the Land Rover Defender a run for its money: the Toyota Land Cruiser. Quite an old one at that. Only demonstrates the ruggedness of this remarkable 4×4: […]

March 27, 2015

A quick guide to Utah arches.

Why this national park is called the Arches is a rhetorical question. But if you haven’t been following this mini-on-the-road series from Utah, then read this. Yes, you want huge natural rock arches – you need to come here. There’s just so much awesome archness here. Wikipedia says there are as many as 2000 here, […]

March 25, 2015

U tire of Utah’s canyons? Not possible!

The red rocks of Utah – a simply captivating sight; from the outside, that is, which is what we checked out yesterday. Today it was time we had a look at all this from the inside. So off we headed to the Arches National Park‘s Fiery Furnace rocky massif. This is what we saw…

More