Part of our team is currently attending Additive Manufacturing 2012 and ASTM. It has moved this year to a big, better location with more speakers and an exhibition space. It has been an interesting few days so far with talks ranging from a cheap and accurate prosthesis creation using a Z-Corp, metal jaw implants and full jaw replacement, multi-material electrical printing, super rapid sub-micron two photon printing (including printing through living tissue) and printing of customized dolls. A talk by Assa Ashuach on user informed and customized objects mentioned Function Representation and showed a video of attempts to offer dynamic end user interaction by direct automatic morphing.
One of the most interesting talks was given by Neri Oxman on the fabrication of nature, who Uformia worked with on her recent exhibition at the Pompidou Center. (See our previous blog entry regarding this exhibit and the helmet we collaborated with Neri on.) Her talk discussed the development and application of algorithms and approaches that nature takes toward fabricating objects. This was great stuff and totally up our alley. In fact, Uformia's approach to modeling and fabrication was introduced in a paper called Fabricating Nature, around the the same notions (but with different objectives). It is great to see research that is pushing additive fabrication to truly reinvent the world we live in and the development of tools and methods that are needed to make it happen.