The standard Digital DIY machine of the future might be...

Here are two projects that help to evaluate how Digital DIY may become in the medium/long term. Interestingly, they are both projects that, just like DiDIY, are run by consortia funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. One is Borealis, which "intends on developing a more effective metal 3D printer". Borealis will incorporate "numerous other efficiency and workflow features to simplify the job of producing complex metal parts in a single machine". 

The other is Symbionica, "a venture attempting to develop a 3D printing system specifically designed to produce “personalized bionics and prosthetics". Symbionica will provide the "ability to freely incorporate multiple materials within the same print".

From the point of view of our own H2020 research, these two projects are interesting because they give hints on what Digital DIY may become in the medium/long term, and the corresponding impacts on society as a whole. Because both Symbionica and Borealis, as explained in more detail in this Fabbaloo post:

  • simplify the work process by integrating several making technologies within a single machine (Editor's note: and by doing so, of course, they also reduce the environmental impact of Digital DIY)
  • introduce the notion that of 3D Printing as a standalone Digital DIY activity may be ending. The post looks mainly at commercial/industrial scenarios, but general concepts like the following ones equally apply to the Digital Do-It-Yourself phenomenon, and are therefore relevant for our own research (text slightly edited to highlight our point of view):
    • "manufacturing has always been a sequence of processes that result in the desired component. By recognizing this fundamental notion, [Digital DIY-ers] can build machines that directly address their workflows"
    • "the standard [Digital DIY] machine of the future might not be simply a 3D printer, but rather a more complex device that includes several technologies in a coordinated manner"