Sep 202012

It’s Big and Buckminsterfullerian-ish.
Last weekend Anthrobotic paid a visit to the the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome, obviously located in the southwestern city of Fukuoka, Japan, from whence the technosnark©® is broadcast. A dead link to the Buckminster Fuller Institute declares it the world’s largest geodesic-domed structure (not sphere, mind you). Suspicious.
Nonetheless, there were two missions to accomplish that day:
Japanorama, and Phone-Based 3D Modeling.

See, on the heels of last week’s American Dream iPhone funeral dirge redux, the intent here was to collect some interactive panoramic and 3D images of the above and below building using only said iDevice. Redemption, yo. And you can get some amazing stuff from that little camera. Sometimes, sometimes, the iPhone fanboy gee-whiz nerd drool is totally justified.
Come along:

The Dome: Geodesic? Negative.
The Fukuoka Dome is a cylindrical building with a dome on top, but it only kinda appears geodesic. See, the thing is retractable – 60% of it slides/rotates underneath itself to let in fresh air & sunshine. Given the lack of necessary structural continuity, the dome’s not really geodesic in the Fulleristic or mathematical sense. Hey, math/structural engineering dork reader(s?), that’s correct, yeah? Here’s what it looks like open:
So it seems what really does the heavy lifting is the static 40% chunk. Hence the dead link, Anthrobotic can’t be the first to call B.S. on the geodesicness. To be fair, a retractable dome roof that looks geodesic is still some pretty sexy engineering, so due props on that.

Anyway, Mission #1 was to snatch a Japanorama of the exterior:

Not great, but: Check.
(see a few other Japanoramas here)

Holy Crap My iPhone can do 3D Modeling
Mission #2 was to build a 3D model of the above building using the newly iPhone compatible Autodesk 123D Catch software. “What is that,” you might ask? To which an overly caffeinated technology dork might scream in reply: “Oh, just some free 3D modeling software that works on your iPhone. And did you catch the FREE part of that? And then you can 3D print that stuff if you want.”  To which you should reply, “Damn, son!”
Mission #2 Aborted, so Robot!
As it turned out, Mission #2 fell to insurmountable environmental barriers, and building a 3D model of a 32,000-seat baseball stadium with an iPhone didn’t work out – but it wasn’t the phone’s fault, the surrounding neighborhood was all Japan-style screwy! Anyway, as a more relatable and realistic consolation prize, have a look at what this user managed to model with 123D CatchYellow Robot 3D.

Love the Smell of Re-Domesticated Manufacturing in the Morning.
This is some serious technology. Think about it: I can do this with my iPhone 4S for FREE in 2012. What will individuals and, more massively, manufacturers be doing in 5 years? 10? Combine the ability to perform high-res scans with mobile high-speed data, the growing usefulness and affordability of 3D printing (Brad, guest piece?), precision robotic manufacturing and assembly (welcome to robotic manufacturing, China, yesterday’s Baxter announcement), cost/performance that exceeds contemporary shipping and handling across the Pacific, and you begin to sense a global economic upheaval. What happens next is that when the world needs useless (though fun and profitable) plastic crap, we just kinda forget China’s phone number and head out to the garage or over to the community replicator. 3D modeling and printing is the future of fab, yo – and it’s not just for plastic junk: 3D-printed titanium prosthetic jawbone, anyone?

Free, Amazing Stuff
So, don’t sleep – get yourself some Photosynth (iOS App Link) and some 123D Catch (iOS App Link), and get in on the ground floor. Quick! DO IT! And be impressed by this technology already before there’s any more usage of all-caps in this piece. Because that’s totally bad journalist form and Anthrobotic is madly in love with good form and junk and stuff.

This has (not) been an Ad for Microsoft or Autodesk 123D
But guys, get in touch – there’s nothing wrong with it being an Ad.
Payola is the backbone of the internets, namsayen?



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iPhone 5 Hyper-Anticipation: It Didn’t Mean What You Think it Meant (AGAIN)
Japanoramas – Just for Fun
Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! Wait… It’s Saturday Already?
Hello, China! Welcome to Capitalism. Ummm, You Might Not Like the Next Part…


  1. bl says:

    Your English is unintelligible. Perhaps you should consider trading in your iPhone for a dictionary?

  2. Reno Tibke says:

    Dude, I totally use spell check. The rest I make up – contextually. Not my fault if you can’t keep up. Well, probably is my fault, but since I’m in charge I can do what I want.

    That snark aside, if you have anything constructive to say or points to make or grammar to fix or odd spelling to note, please do.

    Otherwise, hit the bricks.