Regulars here will have noted I've been following the story of 3d printing and how it's being "spun" or hyped in various media outlets, and certainly academia would qualify as one such "authoritative" source for the 3d printing meme. Regulars will also note that I have suggested a connection to the scenario of an elite-oligarchical retrenchment into North America, and much more importantly, of the connection between 3d printing and space.
Well, according to these articles forwarded to me by Ms. P.H.(to whom a big thank you for sharing them here), others are noting the vast changes within society that the developing technology heralds, this time, for construction both on, and off, Earth:
You'll note one common feature of both articles, and that is the coming ability of 3d printing to handle complex construction tasks, and thereby to reduce (in the case of space radiation shielding) the mass required for adequate shielding. And you'll noticed something else, very subtle but definitely in play in the first article: the ability of 3d printing - so we are reassured - to house many now homeless people much more quickly and cheaply, and the ability to dispense with large and costly construction crews. Labor costs down = housing costs down. But that also equals more obsolescence in the work force.
It's this latter point that makes me strongly suspect that the 3d-printing meme is an elite-driven meme, deliberately introduced at this time, in the wake of the exposure of vast corruption in the financial markets, and growing cynicism to governments and "free trade" policies and their disastrous influence on labor in the past few decades, for accompanying this drive to bring the new technology to people's attention is an equal, though subtler drive, to promote it as a "career choice" for college-bound students. This is the clearest indicator that the financial oligarchy is both driving, and preparing for, the massive cultural change that will result from the new technology. After all, the idea has been public for a while, but now it is being promoted.
But as always, it is the space aspect of the technology that intrigues me, for it is this capability that, I strongly suspect, may lie at the secret heart of the agenda being promoted; here's the relevant passages from the first article:
“The objective of NASA is to build settlements, outposts,” he said. “Nothing’s been said about human operated missions. Those can come later.”
One problem with constructing landing pads, roads, or blast walls to protect living quarters on other planets is that water cannot be used. Because of the thin atmosphere on Mars, and lack thereof on the moon, water would evaporate from cement or concrete, leaving it to return to its origin of dust and rocks.
The USC researchers solved that problem by melting sulfur for use as a binder, binding the sand like cement.
“We have already shown the ability to build using Martian materials,” he said.
The USC team also came up with a plan to combat the high temperatures on the sunny areas of the Moon – creating interlocking ceramic tiles that can resist temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Celsius. The tiles can be locked together to create structures. The machines could not only extrude the ceramic material, but a separate component could them assemble them into structure.
Another method of building structures is to use lithium disilicate, a glass-ceramic material that can be heated and poured out like molten lava to form structures on off-planet worlds.'
In other words, one is looking at a technology with the potential to make human outposts on nearby celestial neighbors a much more cost effective proposition, and that, my friends, spells space collateralization...
...See you on the flip side.