The Tyranny of Flatland

We live in a two dimensional universe.

Ok, that’s not entirely true, we live in an 11 dimensional universe, but we’re kindof trapped in 3.5, and and to various extents, trapped in 2. Take a look around, how much of what you can see is made out of flat components curved into a 3d space? We see surfaces.

I’m interested in memospheres, particularly in the physical plane… those buzzing paradises of replication as described by Richard Dawkins, and sure enough, the’re starting to turn up online now.

www.ponoko.com and www.thingiverse.com being very good examples – and the output ranges from dodgy 70s jewellery to things that are actually pretty clever

and it’s almost as though the building blocks of technology trapped in this 2D realm needs to be designed and shared… a sort of fast-forwarded technological history as explored by Dave Gingery – attempting to bootstrap… well, all technology.

There are 3d fab plants opening… like this one : www.shapeways.com

which can make the amazing 3d sculptures made from the plans created by this guy, but they’re still kindof 2D. The glue-based Reprap engines that I keep going on about are still basically printing 2d layers on top of each other to create 3D objects, or cut from sheets of… flat stuff, which are then slotted together.

There are some remarkable things going on in this space… whole subcultures based around making 2D paper models. I’m not sure if this is a subculture exactly because I can’t read Japanese, but the dropdown under the big picture has some pretty cool examples.

and then there are these nano-grabber things.Which are cool as well, though the one-shot thing’s possibly a bit of a wind-up. Still… micro-machines. Marvellous.

But anyway, here we are, trying to fight our way out of the wet-paper-bag of Flatland.


No Comments » for The Tyranny of Flatland
1 Pings/Trackbacks for "The Tyranny of Flatland"
  1. [...] cubes, they’ll be clever enough to make a robot that can build its own motors” and The Tyranny of Flatland… and I’m betting that this model will actually be used for something else. A solar [...]