Archive for modelling

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.”

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?”