Archive for fabrication

Diamonds Are Forever

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba appeared in the 3D Unit. It seemed the retired holy man had manifested miraculously. He had in truth walked through the doorway, with Sami too busy to notice, tinkering with feedback loops causing unexpected effects.

“I hate to ask,” said Guru Baba, “but can you please help me with some admin? You know it’s not my strong suit.”

Sami had felt bad about leaving Guru Baba’s side but he’d had no choice. The Authority had repurposed him, changing him from the holy man’s personal assistant to manager of the Transfer Station’s 3D Unit.

His new job was enjoyable – prototyping designs, fabricating components, and creating unusual gifts – but he was aware that Guru Baba’s organization was in trouble. Its charitable projects were struggling, and recent events had been poorly attended. This was all due to a lack of organization, leading to a lack of funds.

Sami had to face the fact that he’d left his previous employer in the lurch. Widows, orphans, disabled people and disaster victims were suffering because of him.

“Guru Baba, I will come to your office after work. I’m sorry I can’t come right now as I have many orders to complete today. Shall we say 6.30pm?”

The sage nodded and left.

Sami’s first job today was fabricating a range of jewellery. It was amazing how things like this could now be designed and made locally. No India or China required.

He set the printer to multi-materials, loaded metal, glass and pigment powders, processed the design, set it to high definition, and pushed GO.

While the jewellery was fabricating, Sami thought about Guru Baba’s situation. How could he help his organization. What was…

A flash of white caught his eye, and then a blue flash, a red flash, and yellow, green and brown. He was dazzled by light. Diamonds! That was the answer, diamonds!

Guru Baba had often used a diamond metaphor for spiritual growth.

Its cut was how you caught and revealed the light that was given unto you.

Its carats revealed your spiritual weight, which was substantial yet also weightless.

Its colour was every colour possible, fused together and shining alone.

Its clarity was the vision that guided your life, making all things manifest.

Sami could make diamonds to fund Guru Baba’s charitable projects! Sure, they provided good abstract metaphors, but they were even better as material goods, and there wasn’t any law against fabricating diamonds, as there was against printing cash.

He knew that a diamond’s atoms form a rigid lattice, allowing very few impurities to enter. The ones that do enter may degrade, but can also improve, the diamond, like grit in an oyster forming a pearl. One impurity per million atoms is all it takes. Boron creates a blue diamond, nitrogen a yellow or red one, lattice defects make brown diamonds, and radiation exposure, green. Their desirability differs by culture. Green diamonds had once been the most precious in Europe, but now it was blue and red.

What didn’t change were superlative physical properties. Diamonds are incredibly hard and have remarkable optical dispersion, creating dazzling lusters. Guru Baba said they were the mineral equivalent of great souls. Like those of diamonds, the tints and taints of people were easily confused.

Sami could fabricate diamonds easily at the 3D Unit. They were allotropes of carbon arranged in variations of cubic crystal structures. He could build these lattices at the push of a button. GO.

What about the powerful natural forces required to make these wonders: high temperatures, hundreds of kilometres of depth, billions of years of time, and volcanic eruptions? In the modern age are these things inconsequential?

He produced a test diamond, and showed it to the rag-pickers working the trash after school. “You joker!” said Jamz. “Trying to trick us! That’s not a real diamond. It’s too perfect. It seems artificial.”

“Isn’t it good to be perfect?”

“Maybe it is, but it is better to be real.”

Feedback Loop

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Conceptual Art, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2012 by javedbabar

The mayor seemed angry and not in a good way. There were times when his ire was productive, like when he stood up for local citizens, local issues and local foods. Lucerne’s citizens admired him then. That’s why they had elected him thrice, despite his style of politics being known as B&B: Bullying and Boring.

“Just coming,” said Sami, opening the door to the 3D Unit at the Transfer Station. He had seen the mayor’s truck pull in, and the way he had stalked towards the container and banged the door. He was angry about something.

“Those models you made for me, they’re not the same. They’re all different!”

How could they all be different? Sami wondered. He hadn’t checked every one as it came off the printer, but he had checked each batch. The mayor was accurately depicted, looking handsome and strong.

Sami said, “I’m not sure what you mean. I thought they turned out okay.”

“Look!” said the mayor, handing him a pair of small blue busts. Sami examined them carefully. The colour was consistent, so was their size and texture. The shape was the same.

Upon close examination, he realized it was true. They were different. Not in a dramatic way, but a series of small differences accumulated, creating a big difference. Thick hair became wiry, bright eyes became beady, a slim nose became thin, and the strong jawline became clunky. All in all he became a different person, not the one people were voting for.

“I am really sorry about that,” said Sami. “Can you please leave these with me today, and I‘ll look into the matter?”

“Well, you’d better hurry. Today is Monday and the election is next Monday. I need to get them all out by the weekend.”

When the mayor left, Sami tested the printer. It was fine mechanically but he noticed a quirk in information transfer. There seemed to be an extra factor, a hidden one, causing replication variations.   Sami had produced them in ten batches of a hundred. He needed to examine some more models, so called the mayor and asked him to bring one from each box. He checked and then rescanned each sample bust.

He detected qualitative and quantitative components. There was confirmation, correction, explanation, diagnostics, and elaboration of information involved. He detected gaps between actual and reference levels of system parameters, and dynamic data exchanges. He realized there was a feedback loop, a chain of cause and effect.

Sami analysed the mayor’s nose, which had gradually become thinner. This shouldn’t happen with digital reproduction, where every replication is exact. There was evidence of informational feedback, dependent on the context of the gap. Like the mayor’s nostrils, or his vote margins, there was widening or narrowing.

Sami examined the mayor’s jawline, which had become clunkier during the production run. He found traces of motivational feedback, dependent upon the context of action. The mayor used words as awards or weapons, and they were returned in kind. There was a tense dance of reward and punishment.

“So?” the mayor said that afternoon on the phone. “Are you making some other ones?”

“I don’t think they’ll turn out any different. The 3D Unit is a self-regulating system, and recognizes the local democracy process as its analogue counterpart. Your features are affected by your behaviour. It is modelling this over time.”

Good People

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami was spending all his free time at Lucerne’s new store, Additive Manufacturing Processes, known as AMP co. It wasn’t open for business yet, as the owner, Alfred, was testing his new equipment – an innovative 3D printer that could fabricate almost anything, given the right data and materials.

It was an amusing contrast to the previous business there, the General Store, filled with everything you could think of. The owner had sold it after 72 years of living and working there, which had cost him the chance of having a wife and family.

“I’ve often been tempted to create something living,” said Alfred. “But till now I have stopped myself. There could be a tricky situation…”

“We created a worm yesterday. That was successful.” Sami recalled stepping on the poor thing accidentally. “Well, sort of…”

Alfred stared hard at the 3D printer. He seemed to look at particular cogs and levers sequentially. After a while he said, “That’s the problem, my friend. We’ve crossed the Rubicon. We’ve gone beyond the Pale.” Sami must have looked at him strangely.

“Excuse me; I am a keen student of history. The Rubicon was the river crossed by Caesar with the Roman army, after which he became dictator of Rome. The Pale was the part of Ireland controlled by the British, beyond which was wild, lawless terrain. Making the worm was easy. It was a shame you killed it, but I don’t think we were really affected by its death. If we created a human being though, that would be a different matter.”

Sami had been following Alfred’s gaze as he was speaking, but now his head turned towards Alfred, almost snapping into place. He had imagined making a mouse or cat, even a dog, but Alfred was talking about creating a human. “Are you seriously considering that?”

“Well, yes. I have been for some time. The machine is life-blind. It does not differentiate between animate and inanimate matter. As long as we prepare it correctly, it will produce what we desire.”

“Why don’t we make gold then?” said Sami. “Or cash?”

“The problem is that gold can only be made from gold. We won’t be creating anything, just putting it through the machine. And cash – we could easily make coins, but notes have serial numbers, so we would either be forging them or creating new ones, which is also illegal.”

“But isn’t creating life illegal? You can’t just do it because you feel like it.”

“Of course you can. What do you think is the cause of the world’s population crisis? The people who can’t afford to feed, clothe and educate their kids are having the most. Only China has shown real leadership in this area. Anyway that is a different matter. This is science. Let’s make a person. Are you in on the experiment or not?”

Sami first said no, and then yes; his curiosity was too great.

The machine was too small to make an adult – at least in one piece – so they decided to make a baby. They fed in anatomical, psychological and religious data – hopefully covering the early needs of its mind, body and spirit. They wanted to make good people, not bad ones.

They set the chronometer to 1 month:1day.

After nine days they heard crying in the 3D printer. The owner of the General Store would have been pleased.

Another Printer

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami was thrilled by the 3D printer. Who would have imagined that a new store in Lucerne – till so recently the General Store, and now AMP co. – could contain such a wonder. When Alfred Choo had asked him what they should create using the prototype, Sami had said, “Another printer.”

Alfred stopped to consider this and said, “Neat idea, I was going to build another one from scratch, but we’ve got one already so why not put it to good use? Create a new cycle of life.”

Sami examined the machine, which looked like a large photocopier with extra wires and cogs and levers. He wanted to touch it but didn’t. It could be dangerous. “How does it work?” he asked.

“In the same way that there are inkjets, bubblejets, and mono and colour laser jets for 2D printing, there are also many technologies for 3D printing. I studied them all but found them wanting. I developed a new theory during my engineering project at university but kept it quiet. If I’d have told them they would have claimed ownership. So I dropped out of college and developed the technology myself.”

There’s more to this guy than meets the eye, thought Sami, and he wants to keep things quiet. Maybe I should stop asking questions.

Alfred however seemed comfortable with Sami being there. He continued, “I looked at Selective Laser Sintering – using carbon dioxide lasers to fuse powders in layers, slowly building up objects. Also Fused Deposition Modelling, where you unwind a filament or wire from a coil, extrude it through a nozzle, heat the material to set it. And Stereolithography – focusing a concentrated beam of UV light into a vat of liquid polymer, and cross-linking layers to create a solid.

Fancy stuff, thought Sami. Very complicated indeed.

“I also tried DMLS, LOM, EBM, plaster based printing, and Holographic Reproduction, but they all held complications and limitations. So I integrated all these methods into a new one that can fabricate objects from almost any material, including plastic, metal, ceramic, glass and wood powders.”

“Can you really make anything with it?” asked Sami.

“Yes, with the right materials.”

Sami was nervous, but decided to ask anyway. “What if you added organic matter? Things like calcium for bones and iron for blood?”

Alfred was quiet for a moment, and then turned to face the 3D printer. “Let’s do what you suggested earlier – make another printer. It should be easy. I’ve got the materials and plans here already. I just need to feed in the data.”

“How long will it take to make?” asked Sami.

“About twenty-four hours. Why don’t you come back here at this time tomorrow?”

That night Sami dreamt of the Beginning. The earth was without form and void; God separated the land from the waters and created every living thing. The next day Sami couldn’t focus at work. All he thought of was creation. He went to AMP co. that night.

“Here’s the second printer,” said Alfred. “It’s yours to try out. What would you like to make with it?”