Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a term used to refer to any form of technology that operates on the smallest of scales, from the level of atoms, molecules, or groups of molecules. The earliest use of the term nanotechnology came from science fiction, and was used specifically to refer to technological devices that allowed human beings to manipulate matter on the atomic and molecular level in order to create anything. A good example of this form of nanotechnology is the fictional devices called Fabricators on the Star Trek television show, which allowed users to simply request an item be created for them. Today, the term nanotechnology refers to a wide field of study, and has for this reason been broken down into many different subcategories. More importantly however, nanotechnology is no longer solely relegated to science fiction, but has become an accepted part of scientific fact. The field of nanotechnology was first theorized in the late 1950s by Richard Feynmen, when he described the possible development of technology that could manipulate atoms directly in order to create large scale objects. The term ‘nanotechnology’ itself was not actually coined for another couple of decades, by the Japanese scientist Norio Taniguchi. In the 1980s, nanotechnology became something scientists across the world began to actively start to attempt to develop, but progress was slow until the dawn of the twenty first century. Governments across the globe began to allocate funds and attention toward the development of nanotechnology because it had become a goal that appeared to …

3D printing

3D printing

Three-dimensional printing is the process by which a variety of materials are combined and shaped with the use of a computer in order to manufacture a finished product. Similar in concept to the fictional invention from Star Trek, the replicator, 3D printers can theoretically be used in order to create anything it has the ingredients and blueprints to make. Yesterday’s science fiction is becoming today’s reality right before our eyes. The process of three dimensional printing is fairly simple when broken down step by step. The first step in 3D printing is the creation of a three dimensional model using your computer. This can be done by using a complex 3D modelling software, designed to allow the users to manually construct 3D objects. Or, you can just use a 3D scanner, which will create a digital copy of the object for you. Once you have a model of whatever it is you want to create with your printer, the design needs to be broken down. Specifically, in order to be able to print a three dimensional object, the model of the object must be broken down into hundreds or thousands of layers using a slicing program. This allows the 3D printer to produce your design layer by layer, creating a three dimensional object by stacking the layers back together. The sheer variety of ways that 3D printing can be used is almost hard to grasp. Today, it is being used in a number of different industries as a more effective …