We live in a world where we are becoming more and more intrinsically invested in digitalisation and technological advancement than ever. In fact, it is more than fair to say that the modern era we are currently navigating our way through is becoming more and more heavily paved with technological empowerment all the time. Existing and new technologies are emerging and evolving every day. As a result, the modern world is becoming more digitally inclined. The ongoing advancements in 3D technology, for instance, have been more and more impressive in recent months. That is saying something profound, especially considering the fact that 3D technology is a technology that was revolutionary, even life changing, when it first became a reality a few years ago. There are many ways that 3D printing technology has changed and impacted the modern world. In fact, 3D wooden puzzles for adults can even work their magic to demonstrate the laws of physics.
Physics is “the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiations, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms”. Obviously, this is quite an impactful scientific model, and inevitably that means that it can be quite complex. So, naturally, it would be understandable that wrapping one’s head around the utilisation of 3D wooden puzzles (and 3D printing technology in general) to demonstrate the laws of physics, might be a challenge. However, it is actually quite simple – and that is the good news. In fact, students today are in the process of learning how to understand the theoretical concepts taught in physics classes by tangibly touching them and physically handling them. It might sound strange at first, but this is the way that 3D printing technology is taking us. It is a pivotal direction that is set to revolutionise the way we understand and handle physics.
Back in 2013, a study published in the EPL Journal showcased how researchers had successfully demonstrated how theoretical physics complexities could be turned into physical objects for observation and handling. This remarkable accomplishment was achieved using a 3D printer. Further, it was a cost-effective way of teaching and demonstrating the laws of physics. Costing just fifteen euros, and taking just eight hours, researchers could finally create a tangible object based off a mathematical model with an infrastructure centred around physics. This approach was called “Sculplexity” (meaning “standing for sculptures of complexity”). 3D puzzles were suddenly able to be utilised to produce art pieces based on science, to transform the way that students and people the world over approached and understood the laws and subsequent impact of physics, and more.
The idea is quite simple at its core. The 3D printer creates an object in layers. So, the height of the object can be understood as ‘time’. If you have a mathematical model that “defines a flat, two-dimensional picture that evolves in time”, this generally becomes a grid with some squares that are empty and some squares that are full. At each point in ‘time’, the mathematical model defines what the 3D printer should print at any given height. Then, the model defines what to print on top of the first layer, and so on and so forth. The result is a physical 3D object that highlights how the mathematical model evolves over ‘time’. This is a revolutionary utilisation of 3D puzzles to literally demonstrate the laws of physics, and it is changing the way that physics students learn and individuals the world over approach physics at all. More than anything else, this is a testament to the incredible advancements that are assisting us to better understand the depths of even the most complex branches of science.
We live in a modern era where digitalisation and technological advancement are becoming more and more smart. Practically every type of technology today is capable of showcasing and enhancing an aspect of life as we know it, and each of them are powerful in their own way. Take 3D printing technology, for example. This is a technology that quite literally creates physical objects out of thin air using chosen materials with a structured and highly composed printer model. Now, 3D puzzles and the like are being utilised to physically demonstrate the laws of physics. This has obviously revolutionised the way that physics students learn the capabilities and probabilities of physics, as well as certainties, but it has also changed the way that the public approach physics. This is a testament to the sheer power of a technology like 3D printing technology, and a promising glimpse into what is not only possible, but highly probable going into the future. This is the future of learning physics. Welcome – and buckle up. The best is yet to come.