Tags: didiy*

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  1. What are the limits to urban manufacturing? Surely not everything can be made/produced locally, so as a percentage of a city’s total consumption of resources, how much can we expect to shift?

    In theory, a city could make anything. It depends on factors such as whether we shift to safe, non-polluting products and production processes – one of the reasons for zoning in cities was to separate sensitive uses such as residential areas from the nuisance and potential danger of industrial areas (and there are environmental justice issues with who lives near dirty industry). What a city can produce also depends on what it wishes to prioritise, for example, does it want to invest a lot of land in car-dominated transport, or can it reclaim land for all kinds of productive purposes? Does it have the energy available to relocalise more of its production, or is it willing to invest in building such capacity?And governments and business love to talk about the circular economy, and recycling, but if you’re not making locally, if you’re not providing a way for things to be produced and materials to be remade locally, you don’t have a circular economy.

    Most cities could readily produce more of their own furniture, utensils, fixtures and fittings, appliances, equipment/tools, textiles and clothing – as cities once did anyway before cheap fossil fuels allowed production to sprawl across the globe. But not all cities can or would want to make more complex artefacts like aircraft, which require specialised skills and facilities. It is likely that some kinds of manufacturing will still require an economy of scale – regional, or national, but not necessarily international. It depends on the size of the city; the skills of the workforce; whether the city values local production and associated economic and social benefits over windfalls derived from property speculation; and what its policy and incentive frameworks prioritise, though these are often influenced by national policy.

    Each city will have its own unique way of addressing this, however here are some suggestions:

    Build the understanding and buy-in to get people invested in the idea. Determine how you can best communicate what cosmolocalism means, and articulate the benefits for different interest groups – why would they want to pursue this, what’s the story to engage them with?
    Make an inventory or map of what locally productive capacity already exists, both formal and informal.
    Know when and why local production might not be the best option for a certain activity.
    Keep the emphasis on people and culture first – and then appropriate technology. Give at least as much emphasis to the role of ownership and underlying economic DNA in local production as to the flow of physical materials.
    Appreciate that innovation occurs and is being practised by people who do not identify with the language of innovation, who might not see themselves as entrepreneurs or makers or agents of change. Recognise that remarkable, innovative activity occurs in unexpected places – outside the boundaries of ‘innovation districts’ where, all too often, business and government and the big end of town have determined ‘this is what innovation looks like, who does it, here’s where it happens’ because you will miss many voices, many ideas, and a big part of what’s going on in your city.
    Take some calculated risks – you can’t be innovative, or achieve anything audacious, without it!
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  2. Ultimately, as a community tool, el paquete serves to inform and connect members of the community in ways the official channels haven’t ideologically or practically acknowledged need connecting. In a sense, the network is facilitating an exchange, not of ideas, which Cubans have always had, but opportunities, which have traditionally been limited.

    The paquete is more than a big dump of media. It’s a system, an economy, and maybe even a mental model for understanding how Cuba operates, in spite of, or as a result of, the otherwise antiquated media economy, with state-controlled broadcast and print networks. It serves to entertain, educate, and inform the Cuban people of what’s happening on and off the island in a way that’s unique to their cultural situation.

    The next time I head back to Cuba I’m going to try to patronize as many paquete advertisers as possible, as not just as a way of getting at the Cuba that’s behind the tourism curtain, but as a show of solidarity with their resources encouraging this emerging cultural ecosystem.
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  3. the mirror combines high efficiency with minimal material requirements and therefore has the possibility to become a mass-produced economical workhorse for various applications such as around-the-clock cooking and operating as a decentralized multi-functional power source.

    We left the conference not only with appreciation for our work, but also with concrete proposals for further cooperation in developing the prototype to market-readiness.

    The knowledge and certainty gained by working with the technology and seeing it functioning – melting metal, cooking for 15 people long after sunset, resisting wind and rain – confirms the importance of creating a working demonstration model of the mirror.
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  4. We are in urgent need for regulatory innovation. The affirmation of this sentiment is increasingly visible globally in the evolving discourse along with world wide adoption of emerging tools such as regulatory sandboxes. But beneath the buzz, hype and coolaid are structural realities & necessities driving this trend.

    Regulatory Explosion — we have over the course of the last few decades witnessed an explosion in Regulation and Legislation both in quantum and by a multiplicity of stakeholders beyond the national state (implications of trade agreements, global compacts etc) — a defacto and predictable response to an increasingly complex digital economy sought to be regulated by analogue means. In this world, increased regulation isn’t just a temporary challenge — it’s the new reality. Research from Thomson Reuters published in its 2013 Q3 TRust Index showed that the global increase in just “financial regulation” tracked an average of 110 regulatory changes every day in the third quarter of 2013, about double the daily updates the tool recorded during the same period in 2010. Through September 2013, the number of tracked regulatory alerts that year had already reached an all-time high of 18,986. Whilst this increasing regulatory burden does have costs — it does also provide a means to create structural lock-in and walled gardens for incumbents — a useful if expensive means to preserve growing monopolies of power.

    we need to shift from regulating the ghost of the industrial economy to the reality of network economy if we are unlock its benefits and mediate its impacts and potential damage.
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  5. By Kali Akuno and Gyasi Williams, for Cooperation Jackson and the Community Production Cooperative: The Third Digital Revolution 1 » , a revolution in cyber-physical integration and personal fabrication, is changing the world, and changing humanity, culturally and physically, in the process. The Third Digital Revolution is marked by technological and knowledge breakthroughs that build on the first two Digital Revolutions, and the three Industrial Revolutions that preceded them, which are now fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds—including the human body. The main technologies of this revolution include advanced robotics, CNC (computer numeric control) automation, 3D printing, biotechnology, nanotechnology, big data processing, artificial intelligence, and of course these autonomous vehicles we’ve been hearing so much about of late. As a result of these developments, soon millions of people will be able to make almost anything with their personal computer or smartphone and fabrication technology in their own homes. Truly, a new era of technological innovation is upon us. One that could enable many of the social freedoms envisioned by scientists and science fiction writers for over a century.
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  6. The reduction of size and number of parts wasn’t the only benefit that Optisys saw by 3D printing the antenna array. Conventional methods of manufacturing antennas such as the Monopulse Array can take eight months of development time on average, plus three to six more of build time. By using 3D printing, Optisys was able to reduce lead time to two months. In addition, production costs were reduced by 20-25% and non-recurring costs were reduced by 75%. Weight savings added up to 95%.

    “Our unique offering is that we redesign everything from an additive manufacturing perspective,” says Optisys COO Robert Smith, M.E. “We take into account the entire system functionality, combine many parts into one, and reduce both development and manufacturing lead times to just a few weeks. The result is radically improved size and weight at lower costs.

    In addition to what our test-piece project revealed, 3D printing offers a number of other advantages. When we design multiple antenna components into a single part, we reduce the overall insertion loss of the combined parts. And because our antennas are so much smaller this also lowers insertion loss dramatically despite the higher surface roughness of AM build, for similar or even better RF performance than conventional assemblies.”
    Tags: , by M. Fioretti (2018-01-19)
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  7. Il bricolage civico è una modalità di aiuto, per mezzo di vendita a prezzi ridotti, per cittadini o gruppi di cittadinanza attiva che si occupano della valorizzazione dei beni comuni (scuole, giardini, luoghi di condivisione). In un’ottica di “social business”, il profitto seppur ridotto, è reinvestito dal Negozio in attività sociali quali il Bricolage del Cuore, gli Empori o i Cantieri Fai da Noi.

    Chi può partecipare? Le associazioni, i singoli cittadini, i collettivi, i gruppi di genitori, docenti, non docenti accomunati dalla “voglia di fare” e dalla voglia di partecipare in maniera attiva e propositiva alla vita della Comunità e della propria Scuola.
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  8. The goal is to modify and adapt one of the Magic Candy Factory’s existing 3D printers so it can produce personalized medicines, mainly geared toward children, but with the ability to print precise doses, a combination of multiple drugs, and different formulations, like capsules and chewables.

    “A major limitation of medicines today is that they are only manufactured in a limited number of strengths,” the campaign page reads. “But, what if we need a dose that is not available on the market? This is of special importance to children and the elderly. The tablets and capsules we take every day are not designed with children in mind, often making administration difficult.”

    Incorrect doses, terrible taste, and being difficult to swallow are only a few of the issues doctors, and parents, face when trying to give children safe and effective medicine. The campaign quotes UNICEF when it says that 10 million kids under the age of five will die this year, and that 67% of that massive number could be saved by specific pediatric products, like better medicine.
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  9. Another fear they may have is that of an unfinished model. Sometimes vendors decide to display publicly a demonstrator, prototype or beta version of some equipment. The idea is that they may somehow change the appearance or features of the actual production version later, and don’t want to mislead anyone. However, responsible publications - and readers - would publish and recognize that unofficial equipment is just that: subject to change.

    I don’t feel these reasons are legitimate. If a company decides to publicly exhibit a device, it should be fair game for photography. If people viewing in person can see it, then it is known by the public. If a device is exhibited, isn’t the point that it is to be seen? And publications such as this one can vastly amplify the number of people “seeing” a device.

    If there are legitimate concerns about a key portion of a device, perhaps it should not be shown, or even covered up or obscured in some way. But often this is not the case in such situations.
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  10. As is so often the case, nature does things better than humans, so startup AquaRoot Technologies took a look at the natural networks of tree roots in order to come up with a new way of laying pipes. The Irish company was founded by Vincent Farrelly, who has worked in life sciences and biotechnology for two decades. The idea is that by using a form of 3D printing, pipes can be produced directly on site and customized in any way the farmer chooses.

    The pipes are 3D printed from a polymer foam that expands to 50 times its size when exposed to air and forms a honeycomb structure through which water flows like a sponge.

    “You can also create a bore in the pipe into which you can flow fluid or water through,” Farrelly said. “This forms near instantaneously, and within seconds you’ve got a structure.”

    Vincent Farrelly

    The spongelike structure of the pipes pulls water out of the soil and transports it to plants. According to Farrelly, the pipes can be 3D printed on concrete, asphalt or soil, or injected directly into the soil to form an underground network. Water can be transported using capillary pressure or a suction pump. Farmers can even plant seeds directly in the pipes.

    Farrelly worked with Athlone Institute of Technology to develop the polymer material, and there are now two different formulations – biodegradable, which can be absorbed into the soil, and non-biodegradable, for more permanent structures. Not only are the pipes easier to install, they’re more eco-friendly and efficient, a benefit especially for drought-prone areas.
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