3D Printing At Brentwood

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 - By: Mr. David McCarthy

This Saturday, Simon Fraser University professor, Dr. Paul Tinari provided us with a fascinating and thought-provoking vision of a future revolutionized by the new technology of 3D printing. Dr Tinari is an author, radio talk-show host, lecturer and consultant. He has advised governments, the US military, NASA and large corporations about future trends and how to develop strategies to cope with global changes.  

Applications for 3D printing that he mentioned included manufacture of vehicles, houses, prosthetic limbs, and even new body parts. Though to many, these possibilities seem like science fiction, they are, in fact, already happening and Dr. Tinari pulled no punches in outlining how the next few decades would see our lives change in many respects as old industries were phased out and new job opportunities became apparent. In particular, the prospects for environmental improvements were emphasized with the potential to “print” objects locally rather than mass produce them in distant countries. 

Author of the book “JOOM” which stands for “Just on Order Manufacture”, Dr. Tinari hopes to democratize 3D printing by providing an i-Tunes type of service to allow files for objects to be bought and sold cheaply.

Between lectures, he showed students how a 3D scanner works by taking an object, bombarding it with laser points which are then mapped and built up into an image on the computer. The file is then downloaded to the 3D printer which recreates the object. Alternatively, objects can be designed using software drawing programs and then printed directly. The demonstrations and talks left students intrigued and excited by the possibilities. 

The school’s plan is have a 3D printer available for students to use next term and to integrate the technology into some class projects in the following term. Perhaps Regatta booths will spring up offering replicas of shells, memorabilia and personalized souvenirs! 

Mr. David McCarthy

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