From Manuel Alejandro Iglesias Abbatemarco on Hackster.io:
About two years ago I purchase a home dehydrator, I was always willing to make my own dehydrated fruits, herbs and why not jerky too. After using it for a while I perceived that the device was very dumb, it took more effort than I was willing to do on a regular basics to dehydrate food, specially the thing cannot be leave working for long time without human intervention as t easily over dry or even burn the food. Sometimes I found that high content water food such as bananas or pine apple dry best with a high temperature for a couple of hours, then temperature should be settle lower for a long period of time. Many people on the internet have found better to dehydrate overnight, which makes the above situation not possible. Anyway last but not least because I am sort of nerd about taking things apart, I was anxious to modify my dehydrator to improve the whole process.
Arduino Fits Here Very Well
I start working with a little Arduino module, the Mini, it happen that there is an official Arduino Mini 05 which is ideally the one I should be using but the little thing is somehow difficult to find so I did my tests using Arduino Pro which is pin compatible module. This little Arduino is well suited for the project since it goes well in price compared to my $70 dehydrator, a more capable Arduino can speed up things but it was not going to be the right choice, basically because I was also hoping to make this solution available for public. I end up taking the difficult road, solving some problems the best way in favor of budget but with consideration to make the solution attractive to hobbyists as well as engineers out there.
The first question that is often asked when a new technology is introduced is: what of the old way of doing things? Sometimes the answer is that it fades into oblivion — think: fortran and floppy disks — other times it falls out of use in mainstream society but becomes the domain of a small, especially devoted community, like calligraphy or pedal loom weaving. And in other cases, it simply shifts its focus and allows itself to flower as it removes extra ‘noise’ from the workflow. John Phillip Sousa wondered if the invention of the phonograph might cause human beings to lose their vocal chords as they would no longer have to sing any song they wished to hear, and an equally pessimistic (although slightly more realistic) group worried that the Kindle would eradicate books altogether.
What has happened is that humanity has access to more music than ever and book production may see a fall in the print of throwaway paperbacks, but there appears to be no reason to fear that beautiful books will be eliminated from publication. One new technology that is causing both concern and overinflated speculation is the introduction of metal 3D printing. The question is: what impact will this technology have on traditional foundries? Foundry work is not inherently antithetical to 3D printing as many have, in fact, been using 3D printing to create molds for years now and have found the technology to be quite helpful in their production.
Beyond the printing of 3D molds, metal 3D printing is demonstrating a capacity for directly creating metal objects that is improving with each passing project. Voxeljet, which recently produced a new design for aircraft doors using 3D metal printing, doesn’t think that this signals the end of the classic foundry, however. Instead, they see it as something akin to a separate track of printing. What made the doors they produced such a good candidate for 3D printing was the need for a precise internal geometry, something impossible to be produced in a foundry. So rather than stealing work from a foundry, they were doing work that otherwise would not have been performed at all. And there are other reasons not to see metal 3D printing as a threat to foundry work, as voxeljet explained in a statement:
“3D metal printing, such as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), currently only competes with foundries in a relatively small segment. The build spaces of DMLS systems are ideally suited to smaller components. And 3D-printed components for aerospace require time-consuming certification, which metal casting has had for decades already. Direct 3D metal printing is also relatively expensive. This is not only due to the high cost of metal powder, but also the high cost of 3D printers and the comparatively slow building speeds.”
In addition to these factors, the products of 3D printing in metal require hand finishing which is labor intensive. All of these factors lead up to an average cost for 3D printed metal pieces that hovers around $160 per pound for aluminum, and $215 per pound for stainless steel, whereas pure cast steel has a price point of about $15 per pound. However, with the introduction of less expensive machinery, greater build bed sizes, and a more experienced workforce, the input prices for 3D printed metal are bound to come down. And so the question arises: will there be a change as the costs associated with metal 3D printing fall?
This uncertainty necessarily creates a degree of concern among those whose businesses and livelihoods depend upon a demand for foundry work. Rather than viewing the technology as an enemy to be shut out, perhaps the best solution is for foundries to get ahead of the game and embrace the tech, integrate it into their workflows and determine for themselves what makes sense to leave to a 3D printer and what can still only be produced at the hands of skilled foundry workers. As Ingo Edere, CEO at voxeljet, stated:
“3D sand and plastic printing are a perfect alternative for foundries, both in terms of cost, as well as the printable complexity. Foundries can manufacture equally complex components without having to change the process chain. Foundries do not have to purchase their own 3D printing systems as there are service providers worldwide supplying 3D sand or plastic printing.”
Clearly, a company such as voxeljet believes in the efficacy of this technology and its firm place as part of the landscape of future production. However, just because something can be 3D printed, doesn’t always mean that it should be, and discerning artisans and clients alike are the ones who will ultimately have to determine where that line lies.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.
P.D. Gwaltney Jr. may have been a bit eccentric, but he was certainly a creative and resourceful thinker. Gwaltney, whose family was a major producer of salted pork in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, discovered a cured ham that had been misplaced for two decades. Rather than tossing it out or, thankfully, trying to eat it, Gwaltney did what anyone would do, obviously: he put a collar and leash on it and began traveling around with it, calling it his pet ham and using it as an example of the company’s skill in curing meats. Skilled they were indeed, because the ham still exists today, proudly bearing the distinction of world’s oldest ham.
This weekend, the ham will turn 116 years old, and will celebrate as anyone would – with a rockin’ party. The ham’s hometown of Smithfield, Virginia will host the annual party, complete with cake, party activities, a visit from the local library’s bookmobile, and a special present for the ham – a 3D printed portrait of itself.
It’s not the first time the ham has been 3D scanned and 3D printed. Less than three years ago, Bernard Means, PhD, an anthropology professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of World Studies, visited the ham at its current home in the Isle of Wight County Museum and 3D scanned it along with the world’s oldest peanut, also courtesy of Gwaltney. The ham and peanut were later 3D printed. Now, in honor of its birthday, the ham is being 3D scanned and printed again.
The reasoning behind the 3D scanning and printing goes beyond just wishing the ham a happy birthday: having 3D prints of such a popular museum item means that the prints can be handled and passed around, so that museumgoers can examine the ham up close. It also allows Dr. Means, who is leading the second 3D scanning and 3D printing effort as well, to keep track of how well the ham is holding up. Think of it like a regular checkup – if Dr. Means 3D scans and 3D prints the ham again in a few years, he’ll be able to see if it has shrunk or deteriorated at all. It’s held up for this long, though, so I imagine that it will still be going strong for years to come.
Dr. Means leads the university’s Virtual Curation Lab, which specializes in 3D scanning and 3D printing historical and archaeological objects. Dr. Means and his students have scanned close to 4,000 objects thus far.
If you’re wondering what a piece of cured meat smells like after 116 years, Dr. Means can’t give you an exact answer, because, as you can imagine, a 116-year-old ham probably doesn’t smell like anything else.
“It’s a smell you couldn’t quite describe,” he said. “It’s not a hammy smell.”
The 3D scan of the world’s oldest ham is also available to the public online, in case you’d like to 3D print your own. You can also follow the ham’s activities (or lack thereof) on the Ham Cam on the Isle of Wight County Museum’s website, or follow it on Twitter. Yes, the world’s oldest ham has its own Twitter account, because why wouldn’t it? It may be an old ham, but it’s hip to new technology.
Discuss old foods and new technologies at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.
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