3D Printing Your Winter Reality

How would you like a job creating a winter wonderland? This guy is in control of almost 1,000 individual snow-production machines.


(Snow wizard at work)

This included a huge machine known as The Snowmaker. Apparently originating in Israel, it was formerly used to cool South African diamond mines but since repurposed for spraying artificial snow onto ski slopes in the Alps.

The carefully choreographed operation requires a fan-like array of buried water pipes, pipes that spread throughout the resort like capillaries.

Snow—or what passes for it—then sprays out of thin, reed-like valves called "lances"—

In any case, there are nearly 1,000 individual snow-production machines in Zermatt, only one of which is The Snowmaker. The whole system is controlled from a central computer, apparently operated by one wizard-like figure who is really just a stoned twentysomething in a wool hat, turning different parameters on and off and spraying whole new European landscapes into existence outside.

The earliest sf reference (not to mention the earliest reference period) that I know of for 3D printing is from Things Pass By, a 1945 story by Murray Leinster:

It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes. This thing will start at one end of a ship or a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.
(Read more about Leinster's Plastic Constructor)

Via the always fascinating BLDG BLOG.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/9/2014)

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