Back in 2011, we wrote about a fascinating new way to heat-treat regular, cheap steel to endow it with an almost miraculous blend of characteristics. Radically cheaper, quicker and less energy-intensive to produce, Flash Bainite is stronger than titanium by weight, and ductile enough to be pressed into shape while cold without thinning or cracking. It's now being tested by three of the world's five largest car manufacturers, who are finding they can produce thinner structural car components that are between 30-50 percent lighter and cheaper than the steel they've been using, while maintaining the same performance is crash tests. Those are revolutionary numbers in the auto space.
Carl Bass has been making stuff for forty years, from wooden furniture and granite benches to makeshift rafts built from discarded navy pontoons. These days, outside of his day job running design software company Autodesk, he keeps right on making stuff. Like an autonomous electric go-kart powered by transplanted drone hardware (currently under repair). Last week, Gizmag checked into Autodesk's pop-up gallery in Tokyo, where Bass offered his thoughts on the mildly unsettling notion that sometimes a computer's ideas might be better than ours, an emerging concept known as generative design.
The maker community is turning into a quickly-growing movement, as shown
by the ever-expanding Maker Faires popping up worldwide. This last
weekend was World Maker Faire in New York, where Tormach, a company known for making small, affordable CNC machine tools announced an even smaller, more personal mill, the PCNC 440.