In a Dumb World, Brilliant Invention Dazzles Me
You read about the incredibly stupid utterances of demagogues like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, about the “expert” who says homosexuals are preordained to go to Hell, about the clumsy power seekers in places like the Ukraine, and you might think the world is getting dumber and dumber.
And then you read about inventions like 3D printing.
My brain cannot completely grasp the intricate technology that produces such marvels. (To tell the truth, I am even in awe of the smart phone, but that’s probably just my age.)
If I can believe what I read, it’s possible to design a three-dimensional object on a computer and “print” it out on a 3D printer. The breakthrough is based on a process called Stereolithography (SLA). As my poor brain interprets it, the technology uses ultraviolet rays to harden liquid resin into solid objects, which are mapped out by computer signals.
What kind of objects? How about a door knob? Or an architectural model?
How about airplane wings, musical instruments, auto parts … Or sweets and chocolates?
And how about this excerpt from a recent New York Times article:
A University of California professor is working on printing out an entire house. Another 3-D artist has sculpted a “cyborg hand” that lets his son (who was born without several fingers) pick up a water bottle. More disturbing, a group called Defense Distributed claims to have produced a working gun from open-source plans and then printed it out.
Still shrugging those jaded shoulders of yours?
Try shrugging off this report by Sarah Gray, which I read in Salon.com this morning:
… the ability for 3D printable organs to have a potential for blood supply – the life-force cells need to bring them the nutrients and oxygen — is a huge advancement in 3D printing bioengineering.
Ms. Gray is talking about human-type organs. The kind doctors could use to replace your real organs. How’s that for advanced technology?
So who is this brilliant innovator who gave mankind the 3D printer?
You won’t find his name in the gossip columns or Yahoo News. You won’t see him on the Jimmy Fallon show. But you can Google him.
His name is Charles Hall, and his pals call him Chuck. He is a 74 year old American, and I think he lives in South Carolina (at least that’s where his company, 3D Systems, is located). And he is being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The announcement was made on Tuesday.
Didn’t see the story? That’s probably because it was published in such popular news sources as www.3ders.org. I guess it wasn’t sexy enough for the mass media.
It’s a dumb, dumb world, after all.