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3D Printers and 4 ways they may change the world

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3D Printers and 4 ways


Seemed like it was just yesterday when 3D printers were the talk of the town, hyped to the maximum, the next big thing, a technological wonder that was poised to revolutionize our world like never before. However, the fire seems to have burned out pretty quickly as most now think that these 3D printers are only suitable for printing miniature action figures for geeks.

Yes, its is known that these machines can do a lot more than just print action figures, but do their boons far outweigh their bane. Here are some talking points on potential harmful consequences of using 3D printers:

1) Energy-Hogging – They consume about 100 times more energy to melt plastic and mold it than injection molding.

2) Air Emission – The emission of unhealthy toxins from burning of plastics resulting in environmental issues and health risks.

3) Plastic Reliance – When the world is moving towards a plastic free age, ironically, the devices is centered around the usage of plastic for printing purposes.

4) Manufacturing Impact – Introduction of these printers in the car or aviation manufacturing industries to replace the human element will result in loss of jobs for manual labor.
For every bad thing that can be said about anything, there can definitely be a good thing that can be said about it too. Let us see how 3D printers can help change the world for the better.

Changing the way rhinos are being poached:-
A San Francisco-based startup has come up with an interesting concept to curb the poaching of rhino horns. Coupling the usage of 3D printers and the advancements in biotechnology, they are attempting to fabricate rhino horns from not synthetic materials but organic matter, metals, minerals, proteins and in cases even actual rhino DNA. The idea is to sell these artificial rhino horns to the said poachers ( to cover the cost of printing it ) who then go on to sell them in various international markets to make money and feed their families. This way, the rhinos are left unharmed and the market eventually dies out.

Tracking poachers using turtle egg shells:-
Not as big as a rhino but just as endangered, turtles have a huge market for their goods. Turtle eggs are stolen and sold for huge money with one egg going for a whopping $150. Paso Pacifico, an environmental conservation organization has taken the initiative to safeguard these turtle eggs from being poached and sold. They proposed to use 3D printers to print fake eggs, equip them with GSM and mixing them with the real eggs so as to enable the authorities to track their movement and uncover the sellers and their markets.

Medicine and health care:-
While we are on the topic of turtles and their safety, here’s another usage of the 3D printer, that is soon to be adopted by almost all veterinary hospitals around the world.

The image displayed below is of Akut-3 a loggerhead sea turtle that got struck on the jaw by a boat’s propeller. It was rescued by an organization called Dekamer.
A CT Scan of his skull showed what needed to be done, and BTech Innovations a company that specializes in custom implants created this printed beak and jaw made out of titanium for the wounded turtle. Now, Akut-3 is swimming freely deep in the ocean with his almost perfect printed jaw.

Self Service Dentistry:-
From turtles onto humans, we go on to the case of one Mr. Amos Dudley, a digital design student from New Jersey who decided to implement all that he learned about his own treatment. Choosing not to wear braces as a child left Amos with a crooked smile. Being broke but having unlimited access to all the high-end equipment from his lab at college, Amos decided to take things into his own hands.

Some cheap alginate powder that gave him a mold of his teeth along with a 3D laser scan that could translate imagery into existence which finally was fed into a 3D printer, he was able to print a model of his braces. At the cost of $60, he now has a fully functional set of bracers that are doing wonders for him. This is clearly an indication that 3D printing can be widely used in dentistry for treating the untreatable.

3D printers capable of outputting in colour and multiple materials already exist and will continue to improve to a point where functional products will be able to be output. With effects on energy use, waste reduction, customization, product availability, medicine, art, construction and sciences, 3D printing will change the manufacturing world as we know it.

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars

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Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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Artificial Intelligence

The AI Video Revolution: How Sora is Reshaping Marketing

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Sora, an AI-powered video generation tool by OpenAI, has sent ripples of excitement through the marketing world. Its potential to create high-quality videos from simple descriptions is a game-changer, impacting how brands connect with audiences. 

Here’s how Sora is elevating engagement:

  • Hyper-realistic storytelling:  Sora can craft visually stunning videos in seconds. This lets marketers ditch expensive productions and create content that resonates deeply with viewers. Imagine a travel company whisking audiences away to exotic locales through captivating, AI-generated videos.
  • Personalized marketing on steroids:  Imagine video ads that speak directly to you, not a generic audience. Sora can personalize video content based on user data, creating a more impactful connection. A fitness app could use Sora to generate videos featuring exercises you enjoy, making the marketing message relevant and engaging.
  • Experimentation playground:  Sora empowers marketers to experiment freely.  Since creating video content becomes faster and cheaper, brands can test new concepts and narratives without breaking the bank. This fosters a culture of creativity and allows marketers to discover what truly clicks with their audience.

Of course, there are challenges. Integrating Sora seamlessly into existing workflows and maintaining the human touch in storytelling are aspects that require development. But Sora’s potential to revolutionize marketing by creating  engaging, personalized content at scale is undeniable.

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