Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Science fiction has gotten more accurate as we've gotten closer to the present, because science fiction stories have not only attracted, but also generated current scientists."
- Larry Niven

Plastic Constructor (3D Printer)  
  A 3D printer - for spaceships.  

This is the earliest description of what we now call a 3D printer that I've ever seen.

It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes. This thing will start at one end of a ship or a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.
From Things Pass By, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1945
Additional resources -

Here's a description of the machine in action:

“The arm made clumsy but precise gestures, following the drawings off to one side. It had begun by putting a blob of magnetronic plastic on a stout upright… Then, for a while, it made gradually enlarging circles about that spot.”

This video shows a prototype device that is an earth-bound version of a plastic constructor. Contour Crafting (CC) is basically a "house printer;" when supplied with the proper instructions, it will "print out" a complete shell of a house. Technovelgy readers should be familiar with the work of Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis from a previous article (see Contour Crafting: 3D House Printer for additional details on how the technique actually works).


(Robotic Contour Crafting Video )

Compare to the idea behind the cosmic express from The Cosmic Express (1930) by Jack Williamson, however, for an early version of 3D printing as part of a teleportation idea. Compare also to Deposition (3D Printing) from Assassin (1978) by James P. Hogan.

Thanks to Eric for submitting this item, with quotes!

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Things Pass By
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to Things Pass By
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

Plastic Constructor (3D Printer)-related news articles:
  - Contour Crafting: 3D House Printer
  - Sketch Furniture Ultra Rapid Prototyping
  - Contour Crafting House Printer Nears Test
  - 3D Printing Your Winter Reality
  - World's First 3D Printed Villa
  - CreoPop 3D Pen Draws In Midair
  - Protopiper Lets You Sketch Full-Size Objects In Real Space
  - XYZprinting 3D Pen Used, Reviewed By Terrible Artist
  - 3D Cocooner From Festo Spins Web In Mid-Air

Articles related to Manufacturing
Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
3D Print Moon Dust Bricks
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'

NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'

ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'

Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'

Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'

Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'

Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.

NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.