Techno-Neuro Sculptor Collaborates With Your Thought To Build Unique Art Of “Intellectual I-Beams” Via 3D-Printed Mental Fabrications

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Art is in the brain of the artist. And, now there are new 3D printing-driven tools to transmute and transmit the “art” inherent in—and of—the brain for the eye to behold. As beauty…or not! But, certainly it is the “truth” of one thought now caught…as sculpture…

A "Mental Grid" Sculpture by Ion Popian: Thought Caught On The Fly...

A “Mental Grid” Sculpture by Ion Popian: Thought Caught On The Fly As Synaptic Fabrications…

If novelty is a component of beauty, then this “art” qualifies as beautiful for its sheer originality. The art is also intensely intellectual — both in the creating and in the perceiving — and can be as convoluted as a synaptic map. The 3D-printed “outputs” look like warped, white plastic wireframes or undulating geometric truss systems. They are, in effect, the solidified brainwaves of individuals volunteering to cooperate in this innovative creative process.

Ion Popian — perhaps the first “techno-neuro sculptor” — is an artist in Queens, New York with a day-job as an architect. Mr. Popian has created a collection of 3D artworks for an initial series of 3D-printed works he calls “Mental Fabrications.” Popian’s process of radically new art-making is both highly collaborative and highly technological.

Ion Popian comments, “The process of architecture is what I used to derive this whole concept. It’s trying to bring a scientific…process to an art project.”

Mental Fabs by Ion Popian 3d printing industry

After intuiting this new creative process, Ion Popian recruited a filmmaker — Noah Shulman — to help make specific “video stimulations” to prep participations for their best brainwave work as “co-artists.” Popian also brought in a programmer — Thomas Martinez — to take head-mounted, biosensor-harvested, brainwave data (via a electroencephalogram, or EEG, pick-up) and convert it to CAD files for 3D printing. Then, of course, he invited brainwave-creating volunteers — Popian’s co-artists.

Could these works of brain-state representation be as unique as fingerprints? Popian thinks so. Could the output of some thought-projecting co-artists come to be considered more beautiful than others? Probably…but the population of brainwave/co-artist participants is still too small to recognize the next Van Gogh of the Synapes. Yet.

Furthermore, Popian — architect by training, don’t forget — intends to scale-up his brainwave art to human-habitation size for a more ambitious project in this summer of 2014. (May I suggest branding the results as “Intellectual I-Beams?”) Perhaps some Popian brainwave co-artists will end up living in their own unique, 3D-printed, techno-neuro sculptures.

Would that constitute the “ghost in the machine” or the “machine in the ghost?”

C’mon Back!

LAND

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Bits To Bullets: Forget Supply Lines, The Australian Military 3D Prints New War-Making Strategies & Tactics For The DIY/DIT Armory On The Battlefield

Ever since David introduced the sling to Goliath, military innovators have been looking for the next best way to the best the next enemy on the battlefield. Now, 3DP’s new capability to DIY/DIT (Do-It-Together) print end-use metallic products (i.e., mission-customized offensive weapons or defensive systems) means the armory can move directly to a conflict’s leading edge or into asymmetric-war hotspots…

 

Australian Army strategists are planning to deploy 3DP to the battlefield and in-action 3D-print DIY/DITD, mission-customized, offensive weapons & defensive systems, such as these reconnaissance drones.

Australian Army strategists are planning to deploy 3DP to the battlefield and in-action 3D-print DIY/DITD, mission-customized, offensive weapons & defensive systems, such as these reconnaissance drones.

Defense establishments worldwide are in the business of NOT being the next Goliath.

Still, digital creativity in the shape of 3D printing—no respecter of national flags or borders or foreign policy—stands ready to present the game-changer’s lighter, smaller, cheaper, faster and better weapon to every David. Or, more-clever Goliath!

Many experts now think 3DP—bits to atoms (atoms that could be shaped like bullets or other deadly devices)—is uniquely susceptible to making military makeovers. (In the U.S., the consternation created by the 3D printed gun has already affected—perhaps further warped, if that’s possible—public policy in the age of the National Rifle Association “army” of lobbyist and advocates.)

Now, the Australian Army—or at least an unofficial spokesperson who happens to be a 3DP-knowledgeable officer in that military establishment—has revealed some innovative thinking about battlefield uses of 3DP. Australian Lieutenant Jacob Choi made a number of provocative comments—in a private capacity—at a 3D printing conference (another of the ubiquitous “Inside 3D Printing Expo & Conferences”) in Melbourne.

From Plastic Soldiers To Soldiers' (Combat) Plastic: Defense strategists plan to remove vulnerable supply lines from the battlefield equation with "Battlefield Armory" innovations to empower combat units to resupply themselves with mission-critical war materiel via in-action 3DP.

From Plastic Soldiers To Soldiers’ (Combat) Plastic: Defense strategists plan to remove vulnerable supply lines from the battlefield equation with “Battlefield Armory” innovations to empower combat units to resupply themselves with mission-critical war materiel via in-action 3DP.

Lt. Choi’s speculated not just on the military technology breakthroughs many see stemming from 3DP but also on how battlefield and logistics scenarios would be radically disrupted strategically and tactically. If war materiel can be created at or near the locus of conflict, then the age-old supply chain—key to so many classic military victories or defeats—will have many fewer impeding logistical “links.”

Not only compressed and quickened arms and armament distribution: think bespoke bullets! If you need a different kind of anti-tank round or shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile than the ones at hand, download the file from your “digital arsenal” in the Cloud and print the “armor stopper” or “helicopter downer” that will turn the battle.

Lt. Choi envisioned logistics warriors that would be just as important as foot soldiers on the 3DP-modulated battlefield. This “logi-troops” might be organized into squads, platoons and companies—just like their weapon-firing brothers—and embedded with tactical battalions. The term “APC”—Armored Personal Carrier—may be revived from the Vietnam War with a new meaning: Armored Printer Carrier!

The Lieutenant also speculated that 4DP weapons will replace or enhance the 3DP: “The next step is 4D printers which are in the development phase.” Arms created with 4D printing would enable battlefield-reactive weapons that would modify themselves in response to “programmed-in” tactical conditions.

The Australian Army Icon: Victorian "look" belies 21st C. innovative attitudes.

The Australian Army Icon: Victorian “look” belies 21st C. innovative attitudes.

Lt. Choi: “We should be able to have a 4D printed product put, for instance, in an open field and it should be able to develop by itself into an assembled structure,” he said.

Lieutenant Choi also saw the impact of 4D changing the concept of how wars—or insurgencies—might be waged. He said the targeted nature of 4D weapons “solved” some of the moral questions that exist with more indiscriminate weaponry—such as IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices] currently in use. “So instead of having to have a remote control or any sort of pressure plate-initiated blast, you’re talking about a system that is very discriminative,” he said.

The Defence Force officer said he would “like to see the Australian Army utilizing the full benefits of 3D printing by 2020.”

And, you thought 3D printing might just create the next platoon of plastic soldiers for your eight-year-old…

C’mon Back!

LAND

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USPS Delivers 3DP? The American Postal Colossus Makes Plans To Push The RePrint Button…

How Do Major Institutions Remake Themselves In The Face Of The Inexorable Change Being Driven By Technical Revolutions? Hope For A Gadfly Or Skunk Works Within Your Organization…Fortunately, The USPS Has The Office of Inspector General…

The United States Postal Service (USPS) Thinks Outside The (Shipping) Box To "Print" (Via 3DP) A New Route To Its Future With Hyper-Logistics

The United States Postal Service (USPS) Thinks Outside The (Shipping) Box To “Print” (Via 3DP) A New Route To Its Future With Hyper-Logistics

And you thought that dusty and dark United States Post Office (USPS) in your neighborhood or town was only good for registered mail and “Wanted” posters…USPS letter carriers at your door were really magazine and junk-mail haulers…and everything else was served by FedEx, UPS, email, Facebook and Twitter.

Now—if you’re the USPS—then you’re an institution that has been around since Ben Franklin (yes, THAT Founder) was (the first) Post Master General. You are billions of dollars in debt because you’re no longer government-funded as an essential good. And, you are constrained from making needed changes in rates, operations and positioning by DCOTUS (the Dysfunctional Congress Of The United States).

Hence, you might welcome some creative destruction. Some positive Disruption of your stultified and sterile stasis. Especially if your institution is under siege by the AGIB (All Government Is Bad) Republican Party—despite the fact that you are now a quasi-private company. (Go figure…)

To paraphrase an unknown wit, being hanged in the morning focuses the mind. The status quo will be fatal. So, the USPS (actually, its Office of Inspector General—the gadfly USPSers, NOT the management) has seized on 3DP as a route to a more certain future. (WHY, exactly, this 3DP epiphany has gained traction at the USPS would make another great story.) And, institutional survival…if not renaissance.

Latest USPS Stats 2Q 2014: First Class Mail Down (4.1% Decline Yr/Yr) BUT Shipping/Package Delivery Up (7.3% Yr/Yr); Nonetheless, USPS has sustained losses in 20 or the last 22 Quarters!

Latest USPS Stats 2Q 2014: First Class Mail Down (4.1% Decline Yr/Yr) BUT Shipping/Package Delivery Up (7.3% Yr/Yr); Nonetheless, USPS has sustained losses in 20 or the last 22 Quarters!

Still, the USPS “delivering” 3DP—in whatever shape or form, ways or means—is truly radical thinking. If today’s USPS isn’t being vilified, it’s being laughed at. Nothing pushing the printed envelope—to pun feebly—this far has been considered by the Postal Service management since its abortive attempt to fax first-class mail.

The USPS saw “electronic mail” coming. They just thought it was faxes…not email. (This latter had not been invented—along with the Internet as transport—at the dawn of faxing.) The Postal Service vision was stationing early fax machines at Post Offices for the creation of last-mile, hand-delivered, first-class letters—with electron transport in-between POs.

With the USPS up to its Blue Corner-Mailboxes in 3DP, this dowdy institution promises to contribute mightily to the democratization of manufacturing. Think the revenge of the Maker Movement and the “re-shoring” of jobs lost to globalization—and off-shoring of the American Middle-Class.

Besides this unwonted entrepreneurial chutzpa, the USPS possesses some unbeatable assets. Chief among these is its physical, on-the-ground, hyper-local, ubiquitous network. And, the hundreds of thousands of people who man and woman it.

Nothing in logistics matches the USPS’ scale and scope. No corporation or institution matches its geographic coverage. It’s as closer and more accessible to more Americans than any other entity. It got that way because of its original (and still un-assailed) monopoly on first-class (snail-)mail delivery. (Of course—with email in ascendance for most purposes of “written” communication—many might say: “Meh.”)

The other salient logistical strength of the USPS—developed over recent decades in response to UPS and FedEx competition—is effectiveness in handling and transporting lightweight goods. A perfect match with today’s 3DP’d offerings.

Supported by these strengths, the USPS is unrivaled in serving needs covered by its “first mile” and “last mile” logistical offerings.

When it was part and parcel (stop me before I pun again) of the U.S. Government, it WAS the Government to most citizens. It still has that look and feel—and a warm institutional memory in the hearts of many Americans.

Here’s how the USPS sees it…right in an official White Paper just put out by the Office of Inspector General, USPS. It’s even got a tagline-esque and pun-ish title: “If It Prints, It Ships: 3D Printing and the Postal Service.”

Perhaps the most provocative discussion in this White Paper is around the proactive role the USPS might take in helping to (re)foster American manufacturing. This idea circles back to the democratization effect of 3DP. Think the Maker Movement on steroids as supported, coached and mentored by the Postal Service. This might include the provision of 3DP production space, warehousing, service bureau output, printing materials depot, digital security, ancillary services and—of course—3DP’d product delivery from micro business to micro business, from edge-to-edge of the USPS’ dispersed network.

In the micro biz acorn is the oak of the growing small business…still THE engine of employment in the U.S.

In its projected role as logistics engine to the renaissance in Kitchen-Table Factories, eCottage Industry and Garage Makeries, the USPS could enjoy a renaissance of its own. “In fact,” states the White Paper, “the movement, storage, and home delivery of 3D printing materials alone could become a major new sector of the logistics industry. The Postal Service has many existing assets that could help it play an expanded role in helping products move throughthe supply chain.”

The USPS might also create entirely new categories of logistics-centered business: such as the digital “middle mile.” Here’s how the White Paper describes this novel entrepreneurial prospect:

“The Postal Service could create a platform for 3D printing that uses its national retail network and last-mile capabilities. By doing so, the Postal Service would create a digital “middle mile” where, at a basic level, designs are sent to the platform and then 3D printed and shipped via same-day or next-day delivery. This could be considered a “hybrid parcel” product, similar to the concept of hybrid mail where digital communications are converted into physical letters.”(This last smacks of the faxed first-class mail of decades ago…!)

The innovative entrepreneurial positioning of the USPS is a welcome advance by an important U.S. institution. The American Postal Service (or, at least its gadfly Inspector General) seems intent on a remake of its staid and sterile reputation for slow-motion stumbles from bad to worse on its colossal scale (a scale that is still its primary advantage).

As a great American asset, the USPS organization is still positioned to serve this country’s commerce and common-good. And, 3DP may “print” the road to that success. As the White Paper concludes:

“By establishing a role in the 3D printing market, the Postal Service could put a compelling 21st century twist on its historical mission to serve citizens and facilitate commerce.”

C’mon Back!

LAND

 

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