take a seat






30.04.2012 ways of seating Paolo Capizzi

“If you are a designer in this century you must transform the web into things”, emphasises Massimo Banzi, one of the inventors of Arduino (which takes its name from the bar in Ivrea where the working group used to meet for an aperitif) used by MIT of Boston, but also by Apple, Panasonic and Google, just to mention a few big names. It is possible to “produce with a click” and it is done with a 3D printer that permits you to transform ideas directly into objects thanks to a pc and open source software linked to printers that shape objects like a milling cutter or build them in layers like a loom. This is what is called in the jargon “the internet of things”. At the last CES in Las Vegas these printers dominated the scene with an undisputed star: the MakerBot Replicator, which takes its name from the science fiction technology of Star Trek, can print objects with dimensions of about 22.6cm x 14.5cm x 15cm. The Replicator is produced in two models; one for $2000 offering two colours, while the model with a single jet featuring normal “monochromatic” print costs $1800. Both models use Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), high-density Polyethylene and Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastics to print. The possibility of printing in two colours at the same time, for example, is perhaps the most captivating of the new functions, facilitated by a technology called “dualstrusion”, where the printing heads extract the raw plastic from a set of spindles located at the back of the printer. MakerBot has also improved the interface of its sharing site Thingiverse, a design community/archive that contains more than 15,000 open source projects that can be modified from which users can import 3D models to their computer and then send them to the printer. Replicator is a product of the mind of Bre Pettis, 38 years old, a hacker with a passion for robots, co-founder and CEO of MakerBot Industries, and a video blogger/multi-artist. His dream was to produce a low-cost 3D printer and he did it. They say that this “maker” will be the new industrial revolution. The first to realise this was the director of the magazine Wired, Chris Anderson, who in 2010 entitled one of his essays: “Atoms are the new bits”, taking his inspiration from the name of a laboratory opened up at MIT in Boston called the "Center for bits and atoms" - a place where almost anything can be produced. With this passage a circle is closed and we return to the self-production of things, utilising naturally digital know-how and resources.

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Periodico online registrato presso il Tribunale di Udine il 28 gennaio 2012 n° 1