"The age of 3D printing, when every object so created can be personalized, will increase the need for tags to keep track of everything. Happily, the same 3D printing process used to produce an object can simultaneously generate an internal, invisible tag," say scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft Research.
These internal tags, called InfraStructs, can be read with an imaging system using terahertz (THz) radiation, which can safely penetrate many common materials. The idea is simple, 3D printed objects could have embedded coded tags that are placed within these objects.
InfraStructs can be made with the same layer-by-layer process used for producing the object. The code could be anything from serial numbers to images, or even simple programs. A terahertz scanning device can read and decode the information on those tags.
THz radiation falls between microwaves and infrared light on the electromagnetic spectrum. It can penetrate many common plastics, papers and textiles but, unlike X-rays, does not harm biological tissues.
The tags themselves come at no extra cost, said Karl Willis, a recent Ph.D. graduate in computational design at Carnegie Mellon. But THz imaging, still in its infancy, can be pricey.
As this imaging technology matures and becomes more affordable, however, InfraStructs could be used for a number of applications beyond keeping track of inventory or making point-of-sale transactions.
For instance, they could help mobile robots recognize or differentiate between things. They might encode information into custom accessories used in game systems. Or, they might enable new tabletop computing scenarios in which objects can be sensed regardless of whether they are stacked, buried or inserted inside other objects.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
Maybe you also like:
- 3D printing will take off soon as key patents expire in 2014
- NMC Report: 3D printing to be widely adopted in K-12 education in 4~5 years
- Chris Anderson: Terry Gou's definition of 3D printing is too narrow
- 3D printing of liquid metals at room temperature
- Infographic: The Impact of 3D Printing on Supply Chains
- Superman invented 3D printing 50 years ago
- '3D printing is just a gimmick,' says Foxconn President Terry Gou
- Hyrel 3D now lets you 3D print with Sugru
- Your Future, 3D Printed [Infographic]
- US researchers develop 3D printed tiny lithium batteries
- 3D printing could be miners' new tool
- 3D printing helps Ford, GE & Mattel find efficiencies
- 3D Systems to buy Sintering 3D Printer Provider Phenix Systems
- UK government announces £14.7m investment for 3D printing projects
- University of Eastern Finland and LUXeXceL Partner to Develop Photonics 3D Printing
- SmarTech estimates 3D printing market to reach $5.1 billion by 2018
- 3D printing market in China to reach $1.6 billion within three years
- Mary Meeker's 2013 Internet Trends: Re-imagination of manufacturing - 3D printing
Thomas Jefferson wrote at 8/4/2013 3:49:37 PM:
What this does is pretty much demand you move to open source if you do not want tracked. If you give a crap about your privacy ---even of the things you make in your own home - you will need to use only open source software.
N/A wrote at 7/24/2013 9:39:55 PM:
typical Microsoft, trying to control and regulate everything...
artho wrote at 7/24/2013 3:26:51 AM:
THz radiation can be produced with fs lasers which are many thousands of dollars. RFID tags are pennies. It would take a major breakthrough or just the right kind of application to make this economical.
MichaelAtOz wrote at 7/23/2013 3:16:34 PM:
Sorry to be blatant & blunt, but, Fuck Off! YOUR NOT EMBEDDING TRACKING IN MY POSSESSIONS!!!!