tech 3_d_printing amsterdam architecture design sustainable housing disaster_response

Dutch Architects 3-D Printing Canal House

A team in Amsterdam is working to 3-D print the classic Dutch canal house, a project that marries the city’s traditional architecture with state-of-the-art additive manufacturing.

Their effort is more than a study in futuristic design and building—they’ve got their sights on very real global issues that are set to mount in coming years.

"For the first time in history, over half the world’s population is living in cities," says Hans Vermeulen, a cofounder of the 3-D Print Canal House project. “We need a rapid building technique to keep up the pace with the growth of megacities and we thing 3-D printing can actually be the technique to provide good housing for the billions of people on this planet.”

See the video and read more below.

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Smart Solution To Stop Needle Reuse Wins Design Impact Award

Healthcare providers reusing unsterilized syringes and needles cause more than 1.3 million infections around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization. Ignorance of the dangers and a lack of supplies means that the average syringe is reused four times in the developing world, says advocacy and education charity Safepoint

The problem, which spreads bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis and AIDS HIV (h/t and good catch to sexeducationforprudes), led healthcare designer David Swann and his team at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom to come up with a simple and cheap visual aid. 

They created a syringe coated with a color-changing dye that turns red when exposed to carbon dioxide. The so-called A Behavior-Changing (ABC) syringe is stored in a nitrogen-filled pack and starts changing color only when the pack is punctured or the syringe is removed. Read more below and see the video.

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At first glance, this might look like a crew constructing your standard high-tech wind turbine. But the machine is actually perching atop a new “space-frame” tower instead of the traditional metal tube. The new design involves a metal latticework jacketed in fiberglass that can be transported in pieces in shipping containers and regular trucks.

This innovation, made by GE’s wind power unit, opens up new areas to erect taller wind generators that were previously inaccessible because of transportation issues. The prototype above is being installed at a California wind farm. 

The tower isn’t the only thing that’s new, though. The rotor on top that spans 400 feet in diameter is spinning a 1.7-megawatt turbine.

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Trance Of Wind

These mesmerizing, swirling patterns—reminiscent of those seen in Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night—are visualizations of wind across several regions of Earth.

They come from a project called “earth” by Cameron Beccario, which depicts near-real-time global weather conditions processed by supercomputers and updated every three hours. The wind patterns above happened early last week and are created from U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. 

The top three gifs visualize wind conditions near the surface of the Earth. The bottom gif, with its brighter colors and more energetic wind movements, are visualizations of the jet stream about 6.5 miles above the planet’s surface.

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