Cars, guitars, and tracheal implants: Is there anything that 3-D printers can't make?
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How do you capture the expressive eyes of animated characters in an interactive toy or robot? Animatronic, mechanical eyes are complex and expensive to build, particularly in small toys and stuffed animals. Besides, they can appear creepy and lifeless. Video projection is an alternative, but it's often hard to implement in small characters and on complex faces with eyes that either bulge out or are deeply sunken.
The solution: Disney Research's Papillon technology uses bundles of 3-D-printed optical fibers, which guide images projected onto the surface of the character's eyes. Using transparent photopolymers, the technique prints eyes "slice-by-slice" and enables curved display surfaces with few visual artifacts, such as light distortions on the edges of the eye.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.