Engineering

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Photo of Greenwich foot tunnel, by Dave Gorman

Thanks to UK comedian Dave Gorman and the BBC Magazine’s Alternative tourist map of Britain, I’ve fallen in love with the Greenwich foot tunnel (pictured).

Look further! It has a dome at each end, almost infinite length and endless fascinating perspectives.

Opened in 1902, the tunnel runs 370m under the River Thames and is lined with white tiles — though the section in the photo has a thick steel and concrete inner lining to repair World War II bomb damage. You can see that more clearly in the Dave Gorman’s larger photo.

Perhaps it’s unpatriotic to lust after a very English tunnel on the 75th birthday of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but somehow this tunnel intrigues me. I suspect that once I see it “in the flesh” I’ll love it as much as ’Pong loves the Newtown railway underpass.

Photo of Fab@Home Model 1

Remember the “replicators” of science fiction? You know, the gadget like a microwave oven where you dialled up “replacement gear wheel” or “9mm pistol” or “vegetarian lasagne” and out it’d pop? That’s what you’re looking at in the photo at right.

OK, not quite.

This is the Fab@Home Model 1 freeform fabrication system, sort of like an inkjet printer for making 3D objects.

These rapid prototyping (RP) systems have been around for a while, but the Model 1 has two key differences. You can build it yourself for US$2300 of parts you can buy off the shelf. And the plans and software are free.

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It’s harder than you think. A shame, that. It’s Tuesday and I’m in the mood…

This guy in cosmopolitan Flint, Michigan, thinks he’s cracked the technique for building Stonehenge — without requiring alien intervention.

Thanks to _Signal vs Noise_ for the pointer.

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