30 October 2007

24 October 2007

Doris Kearns Goodwin @ EDUCAUSE 2007

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin kicked off the EDUCAUSE meeting with an engaging talk that included some interesting and entertaining anecdotes from her time as a White House aide and assistant to Lyndon Johnson. Most of the talk described her research on Abraham Lincoln and the attributes that make him a model for leadership. To summarize:

universal leadership traits -
1. capacity to listen to differing points of view. his subordinates could disagree and question him. But once decision was made, time for questioning over.
2. ability to learn on the job, acknowledge errors and learn from mistakes.
3. ready willingness to share credit for success. Truman - "you can accomplish anything in life if you don't care who gets the credit."
4. willingness to shoulder blame for his subordinates.
5. awareness of own weaknesses - e.g. slowness to fire McClelland who build Army but not take them into battle.
6 ability to control emotions. would write long hot letters and then put them aside and not send.
7. strength to adhere to his fundamental goals.
8. leaders have to know how to relax and shake off anxieties - Lincoln went to theatre more than 100 times during presidency. Sense of humor. Story about picture of George Washington in English outhouse.
9. going out into the field - managing by walking around

The thing that she didn't mention explicitly but was obviously important to Lincoln - as well as to LBJ and Doris Kearns Goodwin - is the ability to tell stories. Ms. Goodwin is an excellent story teller, and received a standing ovation at the end of her presentation.

23 October 2007

Cool Part!

Not sure why, but it looks like fun. "Why 3D Printers Should Be Banned."

20 October 2007

Blogger meetup at EDUCAUSE 2007 in Seattle

I'm off to Seattle to spend the week at the EDUCAUSE Annual Meeting.
Jeff at EduTechie has proposed a blogger meetup. One possibility is to use the BOF mechanism and meet either Wednesday or Thursday from 4:55 to 6:10 pm. Personally I vote for Wednesday because I'll be presenting a poster on Thursday. Hope to see some good stuff there and write about it.

"Fabbers Summit" at Maker Faire

Article from CNET about a meeting of people interested in low-cost digital fabrication tools. Wish I could have made it to this discussion!

19 October 2007

New Application for 3D Printing

New to me, at least. A British company called BlueSky uses aerial photography to print 3D models on demand. It doesn't say in the article, but from the picture it appears they are using a Z Corp printer. I might get an order quoted, just to see what it would cost. Any suggestions for what location in Britain I should order?

15 October 2007

Notes on 3D Systems V-Flash Desktop Modeler

There's been a lot of buzz regarding the V-Flash 3D Printer. Here are a few notes passed along to me from the 3D Systems World Conference, held at the end of September in South Carolina.

As anticipated, the introductory price is about $10,000. A 1.8 kg supply of build material will go for $850. Replacement bulbs are pegged at $800. Each build requires a disposable platform, and these run $95 for a pack of 20.

If you put this all together, you get a V-Flash production cost of about $10/cubic inch. This puts it about twice the cost of ZCorp printing, and around the same cost as FDM. By comparison, Desktop Factory is promising build material at about $1/cu in, but details have yet to be released.

It's also reported that the machine will have three operation speeds - proof, regular, and high-res - with the machine building about 1/2" per hour. (Not clear from the report I got, but I assume that's the "regular" speed.) The machine is designed to be low-maintenance, and the machines and cartridges will be built by Canon.

We're told they hope to have 100 machines in the field by the end of 2007, and we're working on trying to get one of them here at Art Center.

3D Printing: Making the Virtual Real

In my role as a member of the Emerging Technologies Committee of EDUCAUSE, I've just posted a whitepaper 3D Printing: Making the Virtual Real.

As the epigraph for this paper, I chose a quote from one of my top-ten articles of all time:

The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.
- Vannevar Bush, As We May Think, 1945

If you've never read this article, stop what you're doing and read it now. Don't waste your time reading what I've wrote if you haven't read As We May Think! Then if you still want to read my paper on 3D Printing, be my guest...

12 October 2007

today's visitor

Alex from Media Temple came by today for lunch, and I promised to blog the event so he would see it in Google Alerts. Hi Alex! Thanks for coming by!

03 October 2007

so I'm a little behind...

This was already featured in blogs including Make Magazine and Bruce Sterling's Beyond the Beyond, but I just saw it today and it's the coolest idea I've seen in a while.

Join the global making network

Ponoko.com connects designers, fabricators, and consumers around the world in a kind of worldwide virtual design studio-factory. Right now the only tooling they offer is laser cutters but when this expands to new kinds of low-cost 3D production it will be even more powerful. Take a look.

Ponoko: I make my designs real... and sell them