Elon Musk: 'Iron Man' Rocket Design Technology Unveiled

Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013 02:04 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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In an example of how real life technology intersects with science fiction, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has created an "Iron Man" 3D-like printing system that Musk calls the "future of design."

Moviegoers became familiar with the yet-to-be-developed 3D animation design technology character Tony Stark used for the Iron Man suit in his laboratory with images he was able to manipulate with hand gestures and movements.

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Musk shows off a similar technology that he hopes scientists can use to develop, create and assemble future products. Musk, who shows off several versions of the technology in his SpaceX video presentation, said the technology will allow future designers to interact with 3D models, allowing them to create faster and with greater ease.

The excitement behind Musk's efforts seems to be mixed in the tech community.

"Yes, it's a cool as it sounds,"  wrote Drew Guarini of the Huffington Post.

Greg Kumparak, of Tech Crunch, said that while the technology looks cool, he questions why it's unique compared to other technology.

"It’s a bit unclear, though, whether or not they’re currently able to actually design models within the gestural setup, or just inspect models they’ve made with more traditional tools," Kumparak said. "While the video shows Elon and his engineers doing things like scaling, rotating, and even cutting away at meshes, it never demonstrates anyone building something anew. . . . Squeezing anything but the most basic modeling concept into a set of motion gestures seems … difficult."

Musk, the chairman and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, has been in the news lately for his innovations. Called a "serial entrepreneur" by Fortune magazine, Musk's SpaceX is being used by NASA to resupply the International Space Station, and shares of Tesla have risen 10 percent in the past year, according to Forbes.

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Related stories:

Musk's 'Hyperloop' Transport Idea Has Sci-fi Feel

Musk vs. Palin: Tesla Co-Founder 'Wounded' by Ex-Governor's 'Loser' Tag

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