Aug 22

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Sewing Patterns over iTunes

Back at our first P2P conference in 2001, one of the most thought-provoking talks was entitled Napster Fabbing. Marshall Burns and James Howison posited that with the rise of personal fabrication, we could look forward to a future in which not just songs but stuff would be shared over p2p networks. After all, in a world of digitally-driven fabrication machines, what is stuff but a set of instructions?(Biology works that way already.)

We're not there yet for digital fabrication, but in classic news from the future form, we're seeing headlines that show us moving bit-by-bit in that direction. One such headline came from Phil Torrone on the Make: blog, who reported on the first sewing pattern delivered by iTunes.


Phil waggishly noted: "ok, we got our CRAFT itunes thing going - at 11:19pm PDT the first sewing pattern over itunes was delivered a "Stretch boob tube with drawstring bottom. Hipster shorts with scoop sides." - and i'm ok with this being how i spend my friday nights. so yes, we used a series of tubes, to deliver a tube top"

(And actually, Make: has been delivering hardware designs as RSS enclosures for iTunes for a while. They're not yet for personal fab labs, just for human consumption, but the trend is coming into focus...)

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Comments: 3

  Sarah R. [08.22.06 09:18 AM]

I went with this on my blog and one step further: how long until one can purchase, say, a CAD file to create a model, or object of any sort, really, to then be printed to one's local 3D modeling printer?

Obviously, such a notion is cost-prohibitive for laypeople at this time, but the cost of the modeling/printer units is coming down such that more and more institutions are investing in them. And people are already transfering CAD files in this way in order to use the centralized resource of the 3D printer - just, generally speaking, not on a commercial or mass scale.


  Dave Robinson [08.22.06 02:17 PM]

modelling printer? cool - a 3d Naomi Campbell

  csven [08.24.06 06:56 PM]

Actually, CAD file purchases and fabbing has been a topic on a number of people's minds for some time; mine included. With it comes a number of issues, not the least of which are the same issues with which the entertainment industry is dealing. Beyond that however is the ability move the data anywhere and anyplace. And not just the 3D data, but anything else associated with the object. There's no reason someone couldn't buy 3D geometry, fab it, and then load the object with a program including with the download. That was part of the thinking that led to kirkyans: objects that contain all that data (and more) and which exist both virtually and physically.

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