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A material world
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A material world


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The advancement of our species is critically dependent upon a growing knowledge of materials and the ability to fabricate components, devices and tools. However, our molding, machining, shaping and …

The advancement of our species is critically dependent upon a growing knowledge of materials and the ability to fabricate components, devices and tools. However, our molding, machining, shaping and assembly processes are ecologically unsustainably in the medium to long term. The modern alternatives surpass our industrial past by wasting far less energy and material whilst achieving higher levels of recycling. Amongst the key techniques are 3D printing and the programming of composite man made materials.

A century ago no one could have guessed why we would become so dependent upon the purity of silica, silicon, gallium, carbon, metals and plastics. Today that has become very clear, and we can look towards a future of monolithic integration that combines physical and intelligent properties. In this presentation we examine the obvious pending changes and those just over the horizon.

1 Comment
  • Nicely articulated Peter. I see there being a logical intersection here with the technological paradigm and biomimicry - interesting to see where this goes next.
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  • 1. Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 2. Human Knowledge Mostly gained by the mastery and exploitation of natural materials over thousands of years...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 3. From Swords to Instruments of Science... ...leading to innovation and invention spanning organics, inorganics, minerals, plants, animals, gasses, fluids, ores, crystals...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 4. Human Ingenuity Leading Production Nano Edge Chips -Tech Evolutionary / Exploration Dimension Line > 1 nm > 20 nm > 100 nm > 1000 nm Atom Virus Crystal Bacteria Natural EvolutionThursday, 28 March 13
  • 5. We have created a world where we the manufacture goods in vast quantitates at consistently high quality... ...but now face the limitations of the planet !Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 6. A of world ubiquitous computing connectivity communication fixed and mobileThursday, 28 March 13
  • 7. A world of man-made materials that do not occur naturally in nature... . ..but where our core knowledge now spans atom, molecule grain and fibre...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 8. Probably our biggest challenge! Sustainability cannot be realized with old technologies & the industry models of the past...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 9. Continuing to do what we have always done, but more efficiently, will not solve our ‘green’ issuesThursday, 28 March 13
  • 10. Changing all the lightbulbs is just not enough ! We have to think and act in radically different ways...and we have to exploit new materials...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 11. We h a v e t o a d o p t s y m b i o t i c work with nature instead of against her ! We have to move from: ‘Food to Waste’ cycles, to ‘Food to Waste to Food’... We have to move away from: ‘producing more and more for the few’ to ‘producing sufficient for the many’Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 12. IT doesn’t have to be this wayThursday, 28 March 13
  • 13. Just suppose...we could go from Membrane Battery integrating boxes by Communications Film hand and machine Computing Film to printing... Interface FilmThursday, 28 March 13
  • 14. The printing of static and moving parts, tools & complex components is rapidly going main stream...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 15. Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 16. Boeing are printing over 300 piece parts for the DreamLinerThursday, 28 March 13
  • 17. The US military are deploying 3D printers on the front line and laboratoriesThursday, 28 March 13
  • 18. The first printed cars have been produced... Self healing body panels ? Programmable colour schemes ? Batteries integrated into the body shell ?Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 19. 3D Printed Lower MandibleThursday, 28 March 13
  • 20. Organic 3D printing is also advancing rapidly !Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 21. And then there are the new high performance materials such as Nano - Steels and Alloys Stronger, harder, lighter by 5 - 10 x fold Lower oxidation rates - and longer life Use far less to achieve far moreThursday, 28 March 13
  • 22. As things get smaller we can achieve greater purity and strength Forming nano-tubes Diameter > 1nm Strength > 5 -10 x steel Electrical Current Density 1000 x Copper Growing nano-tubes Pulling nano-tubes and twisting into fibresThursday, 28 March 13
  • 23. In the future we could be shipping bits instead of atoms: - Designs - Solutions - Expertise - Knowledge - Wisdom ??Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 24. But biology says we can program materials to do our bidding...if only we can master the genome - protein relationships...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 25. A breathing lung grown of proteins and stem cells...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 26. Replacement parts can now be grown using the hosts cells with no immune system rejection... ...many die through secondary infections...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 27. that infe cted us cer : som ething Can OR: a communications problem between genome and proteins ?Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 28. This is all converging in sensors, robotic & human prosthetics...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 29. Direct connection of man & machine - biological control of robotic elements...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 30. Direct connection of man & machine - mac hine control of biological elements...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 31. Nano sensors can now detect a single molecule of a substance in near real time...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 32. Genomic profiling at the doctors office will revolutionize medicineThursday, 28 March 13
  • 33. We need a symbiotic relationship with our material world and the help of intelligent machines to find workable solutions whilst minimizing waste and energy usage It may also be the only way to analyze and cope with complexity, and the data explosion, in a world with everyone and everything on-line, whilst enabling us to make good and sound predictions, and wise decisionsThursday, 28 March 13
  • 34. In the next phase of technology and industry the winning companies and people will sure.... risk takers, and the What we know for be the ones who dared to be different...Thursday, 28 March 13
  • 35. COCHRANE a s s o c i a t e s Thank You 1995Thursday, 28 March 13