Saturday, March 01, 2014

The next stage in buying things?

For most of recorded history people have bought things in stores.  Then companies like Sears started selling things via catalogs.  Customers could select the items they wanted and have them shipped to their home.  Lately this trend has been accelerated by the internet by companies like Amazon.

Maybe we'll have a third approach now, Popular Mechanics reports on Urbee 2, the 3D-Printed Car That Will Drive Across the Country.  The article starts with:

In early 1903, physician and car enthusiast Horatio Nelson Jackson accepted a $50 bet that he could not cross the United States by car. Just a few weeks later, on May 23, he and mechanic Sewall K. Crocker climbed into a 20-hp Winton in San Francisco and headed east. Accompanied by Bud, a pit bull they picked up along the way, the two men arrived in New York 63 days, 12 hours, and 800 gallons of fuel later, completing the nation's first cross-country drive.

About two years from now, Cody and Tyler Kor, now 20 and 22 years old, respectively, will drive coast-to-coast in the lozenge-shaped Urbee 2, a car made mostly by 3D printing. Like Jackson and Crocker, the young men will take a dog along for the ride—Cupid, their collie and blue heeler mix. Unlike Jackson and Crocker, they will spend just 10 gallons of fuel to complete the trip from New York to San Francisco. Then they will refuel, turn around, and follow the same west-to-east route taken by Jackson, Crocker, and Bud.


It would be really cool to be able to print things we need right in our own home!

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