It was just eleven years ago that Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. A groundswell of public support for gay marriage followed, as did a strong conservative backlash that led 31 states to pass some form of constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. Most had been struck down by the time the Supreme Court announced its decision today. Thirteen remained in place as of this morning.
The United States joins 20 countries around the world where same-sex marriage is now simply known as “marriage.”
Countries where same-sex marriage is legal, as of June 26, 2015.
The countries include: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England/Wales, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United States, Uruguay.
The automobile industry has been relatively stagnant for the past several decades. While new car designs are released annually, and computer technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, the manufacturing processes and the effects that these processes have on our environment have remain relatively unchanged. Over the past decade or so, 3D printing has shown some promise in the manufacturing of automobiles, yet it has not quite lived up to its potential, at least according to Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of a company called Divergent Microfactories (DM).
Today, at the O’Reilly Solid Conference in San Francisco, Kevin Czinger is about to shock the world with a keynote presentation he will give titled, “Dematerializing Auto Manufacturing.”
“Divergent Microfactories is going to unveil a supercar that is built based on 3D printed parts,” Manny Vara of LMG PR tells 3DPrint.com. “It is very light and super fast — can you say faster acceleration than a McLaren P1, and 2x the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron? But the car itself is only part of the story. The company is actually trying to completely change how cars are made in order to hugely reduce the amount of materials, power, pollution and cost associated with making traditional cars.”
The vehicle, called the Blade, has 1/3 the emissions of an electric car and 1/50 the factory capital costs of other manufactured cars. Unlike previous 3D printed vehicles that we have seen, such as Local Motors’ car that they have printed several times, DM’s manufacturing process differs quite a bit. Instead of 3D printing an entire vehicle, they 3D print aluminum ‘nodes’ which act in a similar fashion to Lego blocks. 3D printing allows DM to create elaborate and complex shaped nodes which are then joined together by off-the-shelf carbon fiber tubing. Once the nodes are printed, the chassis of a car can be completely assembled in a matter of minutes by semiskilled workers. The process of constructing the chassis is one which requires much less capital and other resources, and doesn’t require the extremely skilled and trained workers that other car manufacturing techniques rely on. The important goal that DM is striving for, and it appears they have accomplished, is the reduction of pollution and environmental impact.
Today, Czinger and the rest of the team at Divergent Microfactories will be unveiling their first prototype car, the Blade.
“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars,” explains CEO Kevin Czinger. “The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly. At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators. And as Blade proves, we’ve done it without sacrificing style or substance. We’ve developed a sustainable path forward for the car industry that we believe will result in a renaissance in car manufacturing, with innovative, eco-friendly cars like Blade being designed and built in microfactories around the world.”
The Blade is one heck of a supercar, capable of going from 0-60 MPH in a mere 2.2 seconds. It weighs just 1,400 pounds, and is powered by a 4-cylinder 700-horsepower bi-fuel internal combustion engine that is capable of using either gasoline or compressed natural gas as fuel. The car chassis is made up of approximately 70 3D printed aluminum nodes, and it took only 30 minutes to build the chassis by hand. The chassis itself weighs just 61 pounds.
“The body of the car is composite,” Vara tells us. “One cool thing is that the body itself is not structural, so you could build it out of just about any material, even something like spandex. The important piece, structurally, is the chassis.”
The initial plan is for DM to scale up to an annual production of 10,000 of these limited supercars, making them available to potential customers. This isn’t all though, as DM doesn’t merely plan on just being satisfied by manufacturing cars via this method. They plan on making the technology available to others as well. On top of selling these supercars, they will also sell the tools and technologies so that small teams of innovators and entrepreneurs can open microfactories and build their own cars, based on their own unique designs. Whether it is a sedan, pickup truck or another type of supercar, it is all possible with this proprietary 3D printed node technology.
The node-enabled chassis of cars built using this unique 3D printing method, are up to 90% lighter, much stronger, and more durable than cars built with more traditional techniques. Could we be looking at a great ideology change within the automobile manufacturing industry? Lighter, stronger, more durable, more affordable, environmentally satisfying vehicles are definitely something that just about anyone should consider a step in the right direction.
3D printing has been touted as a technology of the future, for the future, enabling individual customization of many products. Now, the ability for entrepreneurs to enter an industry previously overrun by huge corporations could mean a future with individualized, custom vehicles which perform and appear just the way we want them. If Divergent Microfactories has a say, this will be our future, and that future isn’t too far off.
Tippi Degre had a unique childhood growing up with wild animals such as elephants, snakes, cheetahs, and zebras.
Imagine being woken up by the feral noises of the Serengeti every morning, being best friends with some of the most majestic creatures on the planet, and knowing no other world than one in which animals and humans peacefully co-exist.
It sounds like a fairy tale (or a great story to relay to grandkids), but it is exactly the type of life Tippi Degre, a young girl raised in the bush while her parents worked as wildlife photographers and filmmakers, experienced.
It is fair to say that Tippi was gifted one extraordinary childhood. Before she was born, her French parents relocated to Namibia, Africa. There they raised their young daughter to thrive in nature and peacefully co-exist with wild animals such as zebras, elephants, cheetahs, and lions.
Instead of playing with Barbies and makeup, the young girl spent her time foraging in the brush with Bushmen, kissing toads, and riding on the backs and trunks of elephants.
And the wonderful photos below capture only some of the magic from Tippi’s exteriordinary childhood:
Her parents may be French, but Tippi is – in heart and spirit – African.
Living in Paris, France, the life she now lives no doubt significantly differs from the one she once knew living raw and uninhibited in the wild. But her ten years in Africa gifted her insights she desires to share with the world, and that is exactly what she will do.
If you’re interested in seeing more from Tippi’s one of a kind childhood, she has published a book available for purchase here.
What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section below.
(Note: The legitimacy of these animals being ‘truly wild’ or somewhat/heavily domesticated is unknown. This is not being shared as inspiration for parents to travel to a foreign location and attempt to capture exotic pictures with their young children.)