Hermit crabs protect their soft, curved abdomens from harm by scavenging seashells and turning them into portable homes. That poses a challenge when it comes time to mate, since a rival can steal the shell while its occupant is, shall we say, otherwise occupied. A new paper in the journal Royal Society Interface poses an intriguing new hypothesis: some species of male hermit crabs evolved substantially longer penises so they could mate without having to venture too far outside their shells. Mark Laidre, a biologist at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, dubbed his hypothesis "private parts for private property." He's been studying the behavior of a particular species of hermit crab, Coenobita compressus, for the last decade. Seashells are a valuable, limited resource—a kind of private property for hermit crabs, their most prized possession—and particularly so for Coenobita compressus. This species engages in elaborate remodeling of scavenged shells to tailor it … [Read more...] about Hermit crabs evolved longer penises to keep their shells from being stolen
Hermit crab 3d printed shell
A 3D-printed cement paste could one day be used to make buildings more resilient to natural disasters, claim researchers from Purdue University. Although it sounds paradoxical, the paste actually gets tougher the more it cracks. This makes it a potentially invaluable new building material. “Cement-based materials such as concrete are brittle and crack as they deform,” Reza Moini, a doctoral candidate in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue, told Digital Trends. “Using the findings of this work, we can produce structural elements for buildings and habitats that can resist dynamic loads such as impact, experienced during [an] earthquake, without failure.” Jan Olek, a professor of civil engineering and another researcher on the project, noted that nature has to deal with weaknesses to survive, so the team is using the “built-in” weaknesses of cement-based materials to increase their toughness. They have done this by creating … [Read more...] about 3D-printed paste could hold buildings together amid natural disasters
The left uses words like “untraceable” and “undetectable” in describing 3D-printed guns while avoiding questions of practicality and safety. Some of this avoidance could be unintentional but some is no-doubt due to the fact that the establishment media has represented 3D-printed guns in a way that is misleading but beneficial to those seeking to ban the weapons.In its purest form a 3D-printed gun is a gun printed out of plastic on a special printer. Even though plastic, the gun is not “undetectable” inasmuch as it has a metal firing pin and other metal parts. However, is the gun safe? According to CNN, individuals testing such guns in Europe have concluded they could be more harmful to the shooter than to the intended target. German police tested such a gun and concluded it “could endanger the shooter as much as anyone else.” This is commonsense for those who understand firearms, who understand the pressures associated with a … [Read more...] about Fact vs. Fiction: Are 3D-Printed Guns Safe?
The last time we looked at 3D printing in the automotive world, it was still a technique limited to startups like Divergent 3D or Local Motors. But in the last few months, there's been growing evidence that the big OEMs are waking up to the advantages of additive manufacturing. In recent weeks, we've seen Bugatti reveal that it has been 3D printing brake calipers out of titanium, followed soon after by news that Porsche has been using the technique to recreate out-of-stock parts for its classic cars. Bugatti’s bespoke brakes In Bugatti's case, the brand turned to 3D printing to see if it could cut some weight from the front brake calipers on the Chiron hypercar. For the production Chiron, the eight-piston calipers are made from forged aluminum alloy, resulting in a component that weighs 10.8lbs (4.9kg). By comparison, the printed version weighs just 6.4lbs (2.9kg) but manages to have a higher tensile strength. Bugatti turned to Laser Zentrum Nord in Hamburg, Germany for the … [Read more...] about Porsche and Bugatti turn to 3D printing for complex or rare parts
When a new type of technology is developed, it often receives a lot of publicity as people speculate about its potential to become truly disruptive and have wide-reaching impact. However, the hype often outpaces the rate of technological progress—that is to say, disruptive potential exists, but for a number of reasons it may not be possible for it to be realised as soon as a new technology is invented. What can we learn from hype? The concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has excited and terrified people for many decades, sparking a string of both positive and negative discussions in the news and in popular culture. The fears about a ‘Skynet’ have yet to be realised, and unfortunately we are still awaiting our own personal robot friend that we can laugh and share experiences with on a human level (Siri doesn’t count…yet). When AI was first pioneered, computer memory and processing speeds were the major limiting factors to its commercialisation and … [Read more...] about 3D Printing: A Look at Hype, Success, and Possibility