iCandy: You 3-D Printed What?

Cars, clothes, guns—and even body parts—at the press of a button

1 min read
iCandy: You 3-D Printed What?
Photo: Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Universal Architecture
Building a typical house takes dozens of people handling many different but interdependent tasks. But the Landscape House, an 1100-square-meter structure that will be completed sometime next year in Ireland, will have just a single contractor handling the construction—the D-Shape printer, which is even larger than a predecessor known as the KamerMaker (“room builder”) that is capable of spitting out objects as big as 6 by 9 meters.

The Conversation (0)

From WinZips to Cat GIFs, Jacob Ziv’s Algorithms Have Powered Decades of Compression

The lossless-compression pioneer received the 2021 IEEE Medal of Honor

11 min read
Vertical
Photo of Jacob Ziv
Photo: Rami Shlush
Yellow

Lossless data compression seems a bit like a magic trick. Its cousin, lossy compression, is easier to comprehend. Lossy algorithms are used to get music into the popular MP3 format and turn a digital image into a standard JPEG file. They do this by selectively removing bits, taking what scientists know about the way we see and hear to determine which bits we'd least miss. But no one can make the case that the resulting file is a perfect replica of the original.

Not so with lossless data compression. Bits do disappear, making the data file dramatically smaller and thus easier to store and transmit. The important difference is that the bits reappear on command. It's as if the bits are rabbits in a magician's act, disappearing and then reappearing from inside a hat at the wave of a wand.

Keep Reading ↓Show less