Results tagged “Maker”

Driven by design software, 3-D printers churn out made-to-order objects on a desktop. A myriad of materials from polymers to metal alloys enable virtually anyone to manufacture almost anything they can imagine, including glow-in-the-dark pens, Lego-like building blocks, cogs and gears, electrical circuits and jewelry. Advanced applications produce living tissue for replacement organs in the body, intricate engine designs and parts for spacecraft during deep space missions.

"SpaceGAMBIT is pleased to announce the first round of funding activity with an Open Call For Projects. We are looking for community-space built, open-source projects in line with our mission to receive $5000-$20,000USD for a 3-4 month development. Our overall mission is to promote humanity's long term survivability and expansion into space. Themes for this round of projects are Education, Habitats and Near-Space Economy. Submissions will be accepted from the date of announcment (2013/02/06) through April 19, 2013." More

NASA GRC Solicitation: Curiosity Rover Scale Models

"NASA/GRC has a requirement for two (2) high quality 1/10th scale models and one (1) 1/5th scale model of the Curiosity Rover. NASA/GRC intends to purchase the items from Scale Model Company on a sole source basis due to the proprietary restrictions on drawings."

Keith's note: "Proprietary restrictions on drawings"? Gee, I wonder were this company got the data for the drawings of Curiosity in the first place? (Likely) answer: one way or another it all comes from NASA - even if the company did additional work on the drawings for their own uses. Too bad NASA has to spend lots of money on these models. There is little, if any, incentive at NASA to find cheaper ways to procure things like this since the expensive way is the way things have always been done. I wonder how much they are paying for these models? If I ask NASA PAO what the models cost they will almost certainly refuse to tell me and will make me file a FOIA request.

More or less every NASA center has 3-D printers these days and is experimenting with 3-D printing of satellite and rocket engine components. Why not take NASA's Curiosity drawings and make them open source? There's a large, growing DIY / "Maker" community who'd just love to do this for free. Then anyone (including NASA) can just print the models out - at a variety of scales - in a variety of materials - on an as-needed basis. Not only would this provide a huge audience with a chance to get a more intimate understanding of how these rovers work, it would also end up costing less money to make these models that NASA just loves to spend money on.

That said, I am sure the ITAR enforcers will find reasons why you can't release things like this - even if the schematics simply show the outside of components - not their internal design. Yet nothing stops a company like Scaled Model Company from producing a model on their own - one of sufficient fidelity that NASA itself wants to buy it.

- 3D Printed CubeSat, Fabbaloo
- PrintSat - An Amateur Radio 3D Printer CubeSat, Southgate
- 3D Printing of cubesat structure, YouTube
- NASA 3D prints rocket parts -- with steel, not plastic, ExtremeTech

"OSTP is interested in working with SBIR program managers to ensure that the President's interest in hands-on STEM education is reflected in future SBIR solicitations as a topic. The specific opportunity that OSTP is interested in is the development of a set of affordable tools, equipment and kits that will allow students to (1) engage in citizen science; and (2) design and build manufactured products. These tools also have the ability to create opportunities for entrepreneurship in manufacturing, in the same way that the Web and cloud computing have made it less expensive for software entrepreneurs to launch a new business. This initiative could be implemented as a series of agency topics as opposed to a joint solicitation." More.

"As the President said at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, "I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, whether it's science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create and build and invent -- to be makers of things, not just consumers of things."

That's why today, we are excited to highlight a new effort that responds to the President's call to action: the Maker Education Initiative (MEI).

With leadership from Dale Dougherty, a White House Champion of Change and founder of Maker Faire, MEI has founding sponsorship from Cognizant, Intel, and O'Reilly Media.

The mission of the Maker Education Initiative is to create more opportunities for young people to make, and--by making--build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts--and learning as a whole. MEI wants young people to join--and eventually lead--the growing Maker Movement."

More at The OSTP Blog

Replicators On The Moon

Replicators Have Arrived, Paul Spudis, Air & Space

"Of all the wonders depicted in science fiction books and movies, one of the most intriguing is the machine that makes anything that you need or desire. Merely enter a detailed plan, or push the button for items programmed into the machine - dials twirl, the machine hums and out pops what you requested. Technology gives us Aladdin's Lamp. A handy device that will find many uses. We're not quite there yet but crude versions of such imagined machines already exist."

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