SCIENCE fiction is becoming science fact at @Bristol on 17 July as 3D chocolate printing is demonstrated as part of the UK’s leading broadband technology road show – NextGen.
The ability to create objects in three dimensions has been likened by many to the futuristic fictional replication devices which were a figment of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s imagination. Now, developed by the University of Exeter as the world’s first commercially available 3D chocolate printing machine, it is being demoed in Bristol in cooperation with Bristol City Council.
“Twenty-five years ago the public would have looked at mobile phones with the same awe and excitement as we are seeing with 3D printing today. It is right on the cusp of popular consciousness and is set to transform industries like manufacturing and consumers lives,” said Andrew Macdonald, Director of NextGen.
Building future-proof digital access for businesses and homes throughout the UK is being billed as one of the last great utility transformations – but it has been estimated that the infrastructure investment will yield more economic energy than water, gas, motorways and AC electricity put together.
“The sheer quantity of data transfer needed will increase exponentially as applications such as 3D printing and video surge in demand. Our already creaking broadband infrastructure is struggling with today’s requirements in many areas, let alone keeping up with future needs. Next generation broadband is critical to future prosperity and that is at the core of what we are driving home with our NextGen Roadshows,” Mr Macdonald added.
Alongside the 3D printer the NextGen Bristol road show will feature presentations from some of the leading local, national and international figures in the broadband industry. These include representatives from BT, Bristol City Council, Fibre to the Home Council Europe, University of Warwick, Prysmian Group, Avanti Communications, Netadmin Systems and many more. Delegates will hear from organisations that are involved with the development of next generation infrastructure from many different perspectives.
Lead scientist from the University of Exeter project that created the 3D chocolate printing machine, Dr Liang Hao, commented: “Chocolate printing is the same as any other 3D printing technique and starts with a flat cross-section image similar to that produced by regular printers. Layer by layer, a 3D object can then be made. As you can imagine this requires a vast amount of data. If users are to transfer this information via the internet to 3D printers off-site and around the world then next generation broadband will be vital.”
To see the 3D chocolate printer and find out about the implementation of next generation broadband in Bristol and the South West register to attend at http://www.nextgenevents.co.uk/
The NextGen Roadshow aim is to be inclusive, with delegates fees of £50 + VAT to cover the costs associated with hosting the event.