While the first known 3D-printed gun has been more-or-less dismissed because it can't reliably shoot, a new 3D-printed firearm has now been invented -- and it has no problems firing a round. In fact, it appears this handgun can fire dozens of rounds without a hitch.
What's the difference between the two? Instead of plastic, the new gun is made of metal.
The 3D-printed metal gun is made by the Texas-based 3D-printing services company Solid Concepts. The company used a laser sintering process to create the gun and powdered metals for the firearm's material. The weapon's design is based on a classic 1911 handgun and is made up of 33 different stainless steel and Inconel components, along with a carbon fiber filled nylon handgrip.… Read more
When you Skype future lunar colonists, chances are you'll have a great connection.
NASA has set a new record for data transmission to and from a spacecraft orbiting the moon, beaming info 239,000 miles at a download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). How does that compare to your lousy Internet connection?
The data was sent to the Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) experiment aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) using a pulsed laser instead of traditional radio waves. … Read more
Attacks in which airplanes are targeted with laser pointers are up 1,100 percent nationwide since 2005.
According to Quartz, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that there were more cases of planes being targeted with lasers in January 2013 than in all of 2005. This January, there were 346 cases, while in all of 2005, there were just 283.
The FAA takes the matter so seriously that it has a Web site dedicated to informing the public about the hazard. "No accidents have been attributed to the illumination of crewmembers by lasers, but given the sizable number of reports … Read more
If you've never been up to Mauna Kea, the summit of the 13,803-foot volcano in Hawaii is one of the best spots for peering at the heavens.
It also happens to be a great place to record time-lapse videos, as photographer Sean Goebel shows us.
3D laser scanners have been used to map everything from mine shafts to old homes, but an Australian team has created the first interior map of Italy's famous Leaning Tower of Pisa using a handheld scanner.
The device enabled the group to produce a detailed 3D map of the 14th-century icon, despite the tower's complex architecture and cramped stairs. … Read more
Your carry-on luggage and electronics are already intimately familiar with airport X-ray machines. But just when you thought wait times couldn't get any longer, they may one day be subjected to another check: bomb-detecting lasers.
Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a low-energy laser that can pick up minute amounts of chemical explosives on luggage and clothing.
Doubtless we would all love to see raygun-wielding TSA staff, but the bomb-detecting light would probably be used in a conveyor-belt system. … Read more
There's no sense denying vinyl's imperfections. First there are the noise issues -- pops, clicks, and rumble -- and they all get a little worse every time you play an LP. Then there are problems with speed stability, off-center pressings, warped records, less than accurate vinyl and phono cartridge frequency response curves, poor stereo separation, and limited dynamic range. That was all true back in 1983, and digital has only improved since then. So why are vinyl sales up year after year since the early 2000s?
Most formats wither and die soon after the replacement format takes over … Read more
In the future, we might be able to save our history to a glass storage medium that could potentially outlive humankind. The new type of memory also touts mind-blowing specifications, such as 360TB per disc data capacity and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures up to 1,832 Fahrenheit.
By harnessing the power of a speedy femtosecond laser, researchers successfully wrote and read 300KB of data to an everlasting medium that consists of self-assembled nanostructures within fused quartz. Think of it as a real-life version of the memory crystals seen in the old "Superman" movies. … Read more
Happy Fourth of July! High-tech listening devices are making it harder and harder to get away with celebratory gunfire on Independence Day, but what if you have a laser gun? Or better yet, a laser Gatling gun?
The prototype gun has a rotating barrel of six Class 4 Arctic laser modules from Wicked Lasers. When it spins, it sends out a tube of laser light that can vaporize a balloon almost instantly. Wouldn't that go perfectly with fireworks? … Read more