April 23, 2012

What a fun idea to start this Wilcox vs 3D printer race. A couple of month ago British designer Dominic Wilcox tweeted that he wanted to race a Rapid Prototype Machine - that is a battle between human and 3D printer: to make an object with hands versus to computerise 3D printer and make the same thing.

What he decided to make was the Duomo, the famous large cathedral only ten metres away from the department store in Milan's Piazza del Duomo.

So finally the chances come - on 19th April, 5 pm till 6.30 pm, in the basement floor, La Rinascente, Milan: supported by the curator of Milan design week, he sat at a table making a model of the Duomo in clay; and his rival, a 3D printer named "Deep Pink" after the famous "Kasparov vs Deep Blue" chess match sat opposite. Both must finish making the best model of the nearby Duomo cathedral within 1.5 hours.

The 3D printer is a Thing-o-matic MakerBot controlled by WeFab.it. The clock counted down for 90 minutes - who won the contest? Watch the video below to see the result.

The Editor in chief Joseph Grima of the italian magazine Domus decided to award the prize to Wilcox. The prize was a large ceramic 'subbuteo' of football team AC Milan. Though no specific reason is given but we could imagine in such a case a DIY 3d printer is less competitive in handeling cathedral at a much smaller scale and in incredible detail.

Netherless, this will not be the last battle between human and machine. Even in the past it turned out that in a lot of human vs. machine cases it is the machine that wins the battle. Computers are getting faster and powerful, who knows, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence.

According to Wilcox's blog, There is talk of another match in London very soon with a different 3D Printer. So stay tuned.

- Update: The Man vs.3D printer rematch will be Wilcox vs Maxit 3D printer from A1 Technogies, this Friday Apr.27 the "Friday Late Britain is Making it" at V&A. Thanks Martin Stevens for the tip.


Photo credit: Wilcox


Posted in Fun with 3D printing



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