Canada must sharpen its 3-D vision


web-co-burtynsky-1023By Edward Burtynsky | The Globe and Mail

Edward Burtynsky is an internationally renowned photographer and a co-founder of Think2Thing, a Toronto-based 3-D prototyping, modelling and design atelier.

The quest for the fabled Northwest Passage inspired nautical explorers of the 19th century, such as John Franklin, to look globally for innovative new paths for trade and economic growth. Similarly, a new wave of innovators are seeking to break ground in the areas of design and production and have found previously unimaginable opportunities through 3-D printing, allowing them to create anywhere and any time. How fitting that these new technologies have allowed us to link innovators across the centuries through perfectly replicating the bell of the recently recovered HMS Erebus, one of the Franklin Expedition’s two ships.

Three-dimensional technology itself is a wonder, producing digital scans of objects one layer at a time through “additive manufacturing.” It has the potential to transform virtually every economic sector – including automotive, aerospace, biomedical, information and communications technology, architecture, culture and design – and can ultimately change what we make, how we make it and where it is made. Industry leaders are looking into how it can and should be harnessed by Canadian businesses seeking to compete in the ever-changing global marketplace.

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