John Markoff of NYT looks at a crazy new wave of microchip/circuit processing:
The emerging printing technology poses a heretical idea: Rather than squeezing more transistors into the same small space, why not smear the transistors across a much larger surface?
Eugene Chow is an electrical engineer who leads the PARC team that has designed the new technology that they have dubbed “Xerographic micro-assembly.” The technology breaks silicon wafers into tens of thousands of chiplets, bottles them as “ink” and then “prints” them, much as a Xerox laser printer puts toner on paper, he said.
Pair this with 3D printing and the possibilities seem insane.
Ellis Hamburger of The Verge reporting on MakerBot founder Bre Pettis presenting at SXSW:
“The MakerBot Digitizer is an innovative new way to take a physical object, scan it, and create a digital file — without any design, CAD software or 3D modeling experience at all — and then print the item again and again on a MakerBot Replicator 2 or 2X Desktop 3D Printer,” Pettis said. The Digitizer is capable of scanning objects up to 8 inches by 8 inches in less than three minutes. As the Digitizer scans your object, it spins in a circle on top of a platform. “This is kind of like what happened when Flynn (in Tron) gets digitized into the game grid,” Pettis said. “This takes us from being a 3D printer company into being a company that’s building out a 3D ecosystem.”
I am extremely bullish on MakerBot and the 3D printing space in general. It just seems so obvious that this is the way we’re going to create a lot of things in the not-too-distant future.