Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ceasing Weekly Publication

After much thought and reflection, I have decided to cease weekly publication of The Creativity Paradox.

Publishing the blog has been a great learning experience and an opportunity to understand the discipline of an unyielding schedule. I hope the readers have enjoyed the posts and found the content useful.

I will leave the existing content in place for anyone who wishes to reference it later. There may be additional posts in the future, but that is a decision for another day.

Best wishes,

Dave

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Construction Paper

Selective Depositon Lamination diagram from Mcor Technologies
If you are the type who believes that printers should stick to putting ink on paper, here is a 3D printer for you! The Iris printer from Mcor Technologies uses an Epson inkjet printer and a stack of 20 lb sheets of paper to build full color 3D parts that look and feel like wood.

Iris 3D printer by Mcor Technologies
In the selective deposition lamination (SDL) process developed by Conor and Fintan MacCormack, each sheet of paper is printed in the area that will become the edge of the final part. The paper is thin enough to allow the ink to be absorbed through the entire thickness of sheet.

Next, the first sheet is placed on the build platform and a layer of glue is applied in the area that represents the solid part of the first layer of the model. The paper is sliced along the printed outline and the next sheet is dropped into position. The process continues, layer after layer, until the entire part is constructed.

When the model is finished, the excess paper is pulled away to reveal the finished part. The finished items are light, strong and brilliantly colored.



You might also like:
Additive Manufacturing Pioneers
It Started with Stereolithography
Changing the World with a Glue Gun


The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.






Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Capturing More with Less

Positive Lens by DrBob via Wikimedia Commons
Image by DrBob via Wikimedia Commons
Soon we will all be able to capture beautiful high definition images with the camera on the edge of our iWatch.  That's my vision of the future of imaging after listening to a paper on High Quality Computational Imaging Through Simple Lenses presented by researchers from the University of British Columbia.  The paper was part of a session on Computational Light Capture at the SIGGRAPH conference this week.

The paper, prepared by Felix Heide, Mushfiqur Rouf, Matthias Hullen, Bjorn Labitzke, Wolfgang Heidrich and Andreas Kolb, observes that modern camera optics are complex, heavy and expensive to compensate for the geometric and chromatic aberrations of a single lens. The paper proposes a method to remove the artifacts through a set of computational techniques.

Considering how much the iPhone and Instagram have influenced photography over the last few years, it is fascinating to imagine the impact of capturing perfect images with a single element lens.

Will you be selling your lenses soon?

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Cellphone Array Camera
It's About Time
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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.









Thursday, July 18, 2013

Roads Scholar

The Great Ideas of Psychology
I have written before about using time in transit for learning. A few days ago I discovered some news that makes this even easier. Audible.com is now offering access to The Great Courses from The Teaching Company.

In the past, I have been disappointed in the quality of some of the free audio courses that I have found online. And I have been discouraged from The Great Courses because they seemed expensive.

On the other hand, my Audible subscription has been wonderful for listening to books and the ability to exchange one Audible credit for an entire course from The Teaching Company is an incredible value. The course I am currently taking on the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon is amazing.

What do you want to learn this week?

You might also like:
University on Four Wheels
Books in the Internet Age
Collision of Ideas


The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Write to Remember

African Elephant
African Elephant by Terri Williams
There are many reasons to write a blog: the desire to share, to contribute to a community, to attract visitors to a site and to optimize search rankings. I have an additional reason: writing helps me to remember.

In any week, I see thousands of emails, tweets and status updates. I take the time to read dozens of reports and articles in their entirety. When I am in the car, I am listening to an audio book. The result can be a muddy mixture of disjointed facts that appear to be unrelated.

Writing this blog helps distill those facts into recognizable patterns. Before I can write a coherent sentence, I have to form a coherent thesis. Incomplete or questionable parts of the thesis need to be researched and confirmed. This process of organizing my thoughts both clarifies and reinforces the memories.

What techniques do you use to remember?

You might also like:
The IDE3A Process
Ideas are Like Chili
More Ideas


The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Making Paper

On Independence Day, it is fun to remember that paper played a role in the American Revolution. Boston's Liberty Paper Mill, founded in 1770 by Stephen Crane, provided the paper to Paul Revere to print the colonies first paper money.

Later, Crane's son moved west to Dalton Massachussets to open his own paper company. So a visit to the Crane Museum was on my list of things to see while we were in the Berkshires. The museum features scale models to show each of the steps that were involved in making paper in the 19th century.



Cotton rags collected for paper makingIn 1801, when Zenas Crane launched Crane and Company, almost all of the fiber used for paper came from discarded cotton and linen rags. So the first step in paper making is collecting and sorting the rags.


Scale model of a Hollander BeaterThis is a scale model of a Hollander Beater. The beater would tear apart the rags and break them down into individual cotton or linen fibers.
Mixing chest for mixing paper slurryThe fibers are mixed with water and additives to form a slurry of rag pulp. The tanks where the mixing takes place are called chests.
Vatman dipping a mould into a slurry of cotton fibersThe Vatman dips his mould, a framed wire screen, into a vat of pulp. He lifts the mould out of the pulp and shakes it to drain off excess water. The pulp that remains in the screen forms a moist sheet of paper.

Coucher dumping paper form wire to feltThe Coucher turns the mould over so the damp sheet of paper adheres to a piece of wool felt. He returns the mould to the Vatman.
Layboy separating sheets from feltThe Layboy separates the sheets from the felt and stacks the paper into sets of 144, a quantity referred to as a "post."

Press for making sheets of paperEach post of 144 sheets is pressed to squeeze out any remaining moisture



















Today, paper is made in rolls on machines that do these same steps in a continuous process. The paper is cut into sheets afterward.

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17+17>34
Print Can Be Art
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The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Manufacturing Matters

Rail service between Lowell and Boston
Rail service between Lowell and Boston began in 1835.
My wife and I have just returned from a road trip in the Eastern United States. The trip gave us a great opportunity to visit some of historical and industrial landmarks from the 19th century. My reading over the last few months has also focused on that time period.

These experiences have brought home how important manufacturing has been to our country.  In the Civil War, the Union had a greater population and greater manufacturing capacity than the Confederacy. While the link between manufacturing capacity and the ability to make more and better weapons is obvious, the population superiority is also linked to industrialization.

The mill towns like Lowell and Fall River, Massachusetts and the railroad centers of New York and Chicago provided employment and opportunity for a much greater group of people than the agrarian economy of the South. Once the Union was able to mobilize its resources and focus on the war effort, the outcome was inevitable.

Cotton looms in a water driven mill
Cotton looms in a water driven mill in Lowell, Massachusetts

In both of the World Wars, the United States was able to play a pivotal role in preserving democracy. Roosevelt's "Arsenal of Democracy" was possible because of the investments made in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century in rail infrastructure, steel mills and vehicle manufacturing.


In times of peace, manufacturing has been the engine that powered the growth of the middle class. Making things provides employment and opportunity for people with wide sets of skills.  Those people fuel the consumer spending that creates more opportunities to make things.

I feel that our country has outsourced too much manufacturing and I am pleased to see the trend reversing. Apple's announcements that the new models of their desktop computers will be built in Texas is both real and symbolic good news.

Trends away from mass production and toward personalized and personally configurable production also bode well for a manufacturing renaissance in the United States. The future of manufacturing will feature small work cells, equipped with 3D printers, close to the final consumers.
Terri Williams at the first Crane Paper site.
Terri at the first Crane Paper site.

What role do you feel manufacturing should have in the 21st Century United States?


You might also like:

Opportunity in Personalized Manufacturing
3D Printing Crosses an Inflection Point
Additive Manufacturing Pioneers


The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.