Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Ebola Virus - Warning Issued To Pakistan By WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) has issued warning to Pakistan that Ebola virus could reach the country sooner or later.
The WHO warning stated that it will be major challenge for the country to stop the virus spread.
In the fear of Ebola virus provincial governments have started preparations and isolation wards will be established for the virus.
Minister for health Saira Afzal Tarar has said that screening counters will be established in all the international airports in the country.
Meanwhile, the UN’s Ebola mission chief says the world is falling behind in the race to contain the virus, which has killed more than 4,000 in West Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 4,447 people have died from the outbreak, mainly in West Africa.
Some key facts about Ebola Virus are;

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
  • The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
  • Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
  • There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

New Technology : New Top Level Domains and Surfing Internet

Someone told me the name of some website and I opened that URL but what is this? I got an error. Why so? I checked the spellings of the website and they were ok. So what's wrong? I checked the domain and it was with .com, so I gave a try with another domain that is .net. Oops ,again I got an error. Reluctantly I opened the search engine and put a detailed description and name of the website and I found that the website  URL is with .org domain. So after almost 10 minutes I at last  succeeded in opening that URL. And such things happen again and again in surfing the internet. But this will not be the practice anymore as the latest technology of new top level domains (TLDs) may change the surfing style.

Donuts Inc, the largest registry for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) has opened first new internet domains to the public. It will kick off the general availability period for seven new Internet domain names, marking the beginning of a new era for the Internet in which users will have unprecedented choice in how they identify and brand themselves online.

The gTLDs,the first of hundreds Donuts will launch this year are; .BIKE, .CLOTHING, .GURU, .HOLDINGS, .PLUMBING, .SINGLES, and .VENTURES. Anyone can register names in these gTLDS on a first-come, first-served basis from accredited registrars worldwide. Donuts will roll out additional gTLDs, .CAMERA, .EQUIPMENT, .ESTATE, .GALLERY, .GRAPHICS, .LIGHTING and .PHOTOGRAPHY as well.
So they will be much easy and user friendly domains. And that old domains seems a bit dull now. These new gTLDs can be easily memorized. So It's still to be seen that how much success these gTLDs can achieve. But for me it’s a great start of new surfing era.

For more details you can visit

Monday, 3 February 2014

Operation Against Polio: A Historic Initiative In Pakistan By PTI KPK Government

 In the recent fuss of operation or dialogue in Pakistan, meanwhile the government of the most affected province KPK has taken a historic initiative for the eradication of Polio by mobilizing more than thousands of its own party workers who vaccinated almost half a million children on the very first day of this historic drive. Volunteer services  for more than twelve thousands party workers were acquired by the ruling party in KPK ,Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, to achieve the target. It was a very daring step by the party and its own workers because of the recent series of attacks on Polio workers which killed many. So after these attacks no official workers were ready to carry on vaccination drive. In such a disastrous situation regarding Polio campaigns, PTI chairman Imran Khan took it as a challenge and vowed to eliminate the disease through his innovative programme ‘Sehat Ka Insaf’.

The main points of “Sehat Ka Insaf” programme include free vaccination against nine vaccine preventable diseases, including tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus, hepatitis ‘B’, haemophilus influenza, pneumonia and measles besides distribution of public health messages at the doorsteps of people.

Pakistan began the anti-polio campaign in 1994 when the World Health Organisation declared global emergency against the vaccine-preventable childhood ailment. Due to aggressive vaccination, the disease was eradicated from the entire world, but the virus still exists in three countries, including Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

The UN agencies, especially the Unicef and WHO which provided technical assistance to Pakistan, failed to put brakes on the disease because of the unrealistic strategies they pursued. Now, many health experts are saying that this decision of Imran Khan will be very effective.

Under the programme, the health department will also hold free medical camps where vouchers for free checkups and free medicines will be provided to people. Each child will receive vitamin A drops. Each family will receive hygiene kit, including soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, towel, water container, etc. According to PTI General Secretary, Mr.Jahangir Tareen, approximately 3000 families visited Peshawar Sehat Ka Insaf special medical camps and received free medical treatment and medicines.2500 hygiene kits have also been distributed.               

I hope that this initiative of PTI government will achieve its 100% results.Hats off to PTI.      

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Statistical Analysis Of Web Browsers Usage

At one time, Internet Explorer was the only go-to web browser for most people. Microsoft designed, a lot of people hailed Internet Explorer as the superior web browser. The times have changed and now IE is not the mostly used web browser rather its even behind Chrome and Firefox.

Chrome is increasing very quickly in popularity with users of the internet. It was designed by Google, is very easy to use and has an interface that is consumer friendly. Similar to Firefox, Chrome has a fast and huge support of HTML5, and as a result allows web pages to load quicker and without design flaws.

Designed by Mozilla, Firefox has for a long time been a well-loved favorite with computer experts. Due to recent design changes, Firefox is starting to become appreciated more by consumers as well. Firefox is constantly enhancing its design.

In this short article I have tried to perform a statistical usage of web browsers based on the traffic of websites. Aim of this analysis is to see which web browsers are mostly used by users. It is also to be noted that users of this sample analysis are mostly from Pakistan and USA. So it may not be that accurate but it just gives a picture of what is going on with web browsers.

Below mentioned is the statistical data of my analysis;

Web Browsers
Percentage Usage
Internet Explorer
Mobile Safari

Below mentioned are the graphical pictures of this statistical data.


This analysis clearly shows that chrome is trending up and so other browsers have to come up with some new innovations to survive the competition.

P.S: This article is not written to discourage any product and is purely for research purposes.For more detailed analysis of web browsers, please visit

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Cloud Data Security And Searchable Encryption Technique

Cloud computing minimizes resource wastage risk by reducing the entrance barrier for cloud service providers.By extensive usage of cloud services unstructured data volume is increasing over it.Therefore security considerations to save data from hackers are also becoming a necessary aspect.Different encryption techniques are used to protect data on cloud.
With the commencement of cloud computing composite data management systems from local site are transformed to viable public cloud.Data owners are encouraged to outsource the data management system to public cloud to achieve flexible and commercial benefits. Cloud computing is all about transferring services,applications and data. Also attaining commercial assistances,location transparency, and centralized facilitation are the significant resources in cloud computing.
Cloud storage has the capability to save a bulk of data for a large number of users. This minimizes the storage capacity problem. To provide different competencies  multiple isolated applications and services are disseminated over the internet in cloud environment. When sensitive data storage is done on the cloud,existence of large number of users can cause cloud security to be affected. Thus for achieving data privacy complex data has to be outsourced on the cloud after encryption. Therefore to hide data from hackers and malicious attackers a protected system is needed.

Searchable encryption is a technique by which the outsourced data placed on cloud can be kept private. Searchable encryption will let this data to be difficult to hack when searched. With searchable encryption techniques encrypted data is placed on the cloud server on which search can be performed. Processing of encrypted data placed on cloud server is done without decrypting it. The encrypted data is placed on the cloud in the form of code words which are difficult to hack by unauthorized users or hackers. The encrypted data will be accessible by authenticated users only. These users will be able to perform search on this data and retrieve desired results.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Software Engineering: A Road Map For Adoption Of Service Oriented Architecture

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is emerging as a main technique for designing and integrating enterprise applications. Here I present a roadmap for adoption of Service-Oriented Architecture. In order to adopt SOA,a proper roadmap should be followed which has three levels i.e.,management level,organization level and process level.Starting from planning a proper strategy and moving through various steps, here I discusse all steps in order to adopt SOA and  ending at proper implementation of SOA by migrating from legacy application to the loosely coupled SOA services.

Features of Service Oriented Architecture

It emphasizes on services to enhance performance for any organization by using services as business functions. These services can be used as a basic unit to make bigger and difficult processes so as to achieve the aim of the organization.Besides services, SOA also provides a platform  that  makes these services compatible with organization functions.
This roadmap  provides solutions which may alter on need.So this approach  provides a jelled collaboration between organization functions and technology.
A service is autonomous to perform a particular task and is loosely coupled.Web service is used to communicate between service provider and consumer by utilizing SOAP, REST.

Nicely designed SOA services have following features:

1-  Module – Services work as separate modules that are combined to make more different  services.
2-   Services are placed at different locations on a network , and works independently. These  services can be accessed from any location with proper authorization.
3-       They can be reused and are designed keeping in view the business logic.
4-       Services are loosely coupled.
5-  Governance layer ensures the proper governance of these services. It deploys various organization policies in a proper way to ensure best utilization of these services.

Steps Required for SOA Adoption

A roadmap for the adoption of service oriented architecture includes the following steps;

·         Set strategy
·         Plan strategy
·         Align strategy according to organizational requirements
·         Planning operations
·         Design
·         Implementation
·         Monitoring and Testing
·         Establishment
·         Feedback
·         Rectification if required

Proposed Solution

Every operation in an organization is first evaluated from managers and stakeholders point of view. Then it is checked at organizational level and in the end  it is checked as how to implement that operation at process or component level. Our proposed roadmap covers all these three levels. First level is management. This level includes business managers, business owners,businessshareholders and other stakeholders. Goals, mission and vision of any enterprise are considered to be organizational strategies.These strategies are set by top management.At organizational level operations are reviewed from organizations point of view. Finally, to implement the new operations, organization business process is coordinated with technology.

SOA adoption management roadmap has ten steps. In early step, main task requires analyzing vision and mission strategy. In the next step, organization strategy is developed and is evaluated on the requirements and available budget. The third step finds the business processes and their respective relationships. In the fourth step, legacy systems documentation is evaluated so as to reuse legacy applications as services. In fifth step a design pattern for a selected service is chosen which is suitable for implementation. Then, building selected service is started using design pattern and migration strategy.Best security and other policies are applied in governance layer. Services are tested for use in internal and external clients. The government stage has repository and directory service to register implemented services. In establishment and feedback step, services are used in the organization. On the basis of feedback, rectification is done if required.  The cycle (first step to tenth step) continues until complete migration.


The primary objective of an organization is to acquire more business age working in real time. So as to achieve these objectives any organizations has to move through various processes which in turn strengthens the relationship between business and IT.SOA adoption strategy should not be sudden replacement of existing legacy systems rather it should be slowly incremental process so that sudden replacement should not affect the existing systems and environment . So SOA adoption is a time consuming process. In the proposed roadmap all the steps have been discussed in detail at each level.Still a lot of work can be done in this area for more smooth transformation from legacy applications to service oriented architecture.

Cloud Computing: The Right Solution

Cloud computing is an emerging technology in the Internet's evolution; it is a growing trend, nowadays, in the IT and business world as it delivers a host of benefits via the Web from one central location. Cloud-based services, in fact, can meet most business demands for scalability, flexibility and productivity.
Cloud Adoption: Why make the move?
The main reason for cloud computing transition is cost savings. Many companies are getting onboard as the cloud architecture allows them to have access to technology-enabled services without having to upgrade their hardware and software, maintaining and updating a complex IT infrastructure and without needing a full IT team onboard. The migration to the Cloud Architecture can be eased by pre-existing IT resources (applications or programs) online that are accessible through the Internet; services can be provided by external companies.
Deployment Models: Which one to choose?
There are choices to make when it comes to adopting a cloud solution. The deployment of different models depends on the needs of each company. Enterprises can opt to have a private cloud and use a virtualized data center inside their firewall and still retain control over sensitive data and its own infrastructure, security and governance. Otherwise, for companies that can outsource their data management, there is a public cloud solution which offers a virtualized data center outside the firewall. This option involves going off-site to an external provider that renders services over the network. If chosen, an enterprise will not have ownership of the equipment as it is hosted in the cloud environment.
Needs that cannot be met by a private or public cloud alone, can be satisfied by the adoption of hybrid cloud architectures, which combine public and private cloud services and can offer the benefits of both deployment models.
Cloud Service Models: What is the right solution?
The three most basic cloud-service models are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Each model defines the type of service the cloud provides to users, by either a monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go basis, where companies pay for what they actually use.
1.     IaaS: A cloud provider of IaaS offers virtual machines and servers, as well as use of other network resources, such as firewalls and load balancers, and even storage. Application software is hosted by the provider on the cloud infrastructure. It's a solution for those in need of computing memory, storage and/or bandwidth. It benefits users that opt for a public cloud and want to share resources.
With IaaS, it is the provider not the user that is responsible for maintaining, executing the delivery of hardware and network resources. The user, instead, manages and controls the cloud service components it needs. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a popular public cloud IaaS provider.
2.     PaaS: In this model, the cloud provider delivers the computer platform, Web server, and database so the user does not have to buy and manage them. This is ideal for those that want to develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform and make it available to platform's users. It is a good solution for App and Web developers.
With PaaS, the user has access to a programming or runtime environment where it is possible to use development tools and run cloud service applications on a cloud platform. An example of this type of service is Windows Azure, a cloud application platform by Microsoft.
3.     SaaS: This provides "on-demand software" by the cloud provider. Apps/programs are controlled and executed on the provider's infrastructure. This offers a solution that eliminates the need to install and run one's own software on-site. It is ideal for those that don't want the burden of being responsible of maintenance and upgrades. SaaS is a suitable choice for those in need of a solution for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or simplify networking and sharing information.
With SaaS, cloud-based application software is provided as a service. The cloud provider maintains the app programs. An example of this type of service is Office 365. Also offers a SaaS cloud-based approach.
Cloud computing can bring many benefits, as mentioned, to businesses who need high end technology but can't invest heavily in their IT infrastructure. Adopting cloud services offers a cost-reduction strategy, enables greater agility and provides value-added components. There are some deterrents (privacy and security issues, for example) that are holding back the widespread adoption of cloud computing and cloud computing-based services, private or public, as well as hybrid.
By understanding cloud computing, the types of services (each of the three levels) and models available, businesses can develop a cloud strategy that suits them best and meets their needs and demands.

Technology: Technologies Impact by 2030

According to the 2012 report, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, published the US National Intelligence Council, four technology arenas will shape global economic, social and military developments by 2030. They are information technologies, automation and manufacturing technologies, resource technologies, and health technologies.
Information technologies
Three technological developments with an IT focus have the power to change the way we will live, do business and protect ourselves before 2030.
1. Solutions for storage and processing large quantities of data, including "big data", will provide increased opportunities for governments and commercial organizations to "know" their customers better. The technology is here but customers may object to collection of so much data. In any event, these solutions will likely herald a coming economic boom in North America.
2. Social networking technologies help individual users to form online social networks with other users. They are becoming part of the fabric of online existence, as leading services integrate social functions into everything else an individual might do online. Social networks enable useful as well as dangerous communications across diverse user groups and geopolitical boundaries.
3. Smart cities are urban environments that leverage information technology-based solutions to maximize citizens' economic productivity and quality of life while minimizing resources consumption and environmental degradation.
Automation and manufacturing technologies
As manufacturing has gone global in the last two decades, a global ecosystem of manufacturers, suppliers, and logistics companies has formed. New manufacturing and automation technologies have the potential to change work patterns in both the developed and developing worlds.
1. Robotics is today in use in a range of civil and military applications. Over 1.2 million industrial robots are already in daily operations round the world and there are increasing applications for non-industrial robots. The US military has thousands of robots in battlefields, home robots vacuum homes and cut lawns, and hospital robots patrol corridors and distribute supplies. Their use will increase in the coming years, and with enhanced cognitive capabilities, robotics could be hugely disruptive to the current global supply chain system and the traditional job allocations along supply chains.
2. 3D printing (additive manufacturing) technologies allow a machine to build an object by adding one layer of material at a time. 3D printing is already in use to make models from plastics in sectors such as consumers products and the automobile and aerospace industries. By 2030, 3D printing could replace some conventional mass production, particularly for short production runs or where mass customization has high value.
3. Autonomous vehicles are mostly in use today in the military and for specific tasks e.g. in the mining industry. By 2030, autonomous vehicles could transform military operations, conflict resolution, transportation and geo-prospecting, while simultaneously presenting novel security risks that could be difficult to address. At the consumer level, Google has been testing for the past few years a driverless car.
Resource technologies
Technological advances will be required to accommodate increasing demand for resources owing to global population growth and economic advances in today's underdeveloped countries. Such advances can affect the food, water and energy nexus by improving agricultural productivity through a broad range of technologies including precision farming and genetically modified crops for food and fuel. New resource technologies can also enhance water management through desalination and irrigation efficiency; and increase the availability of energy through enhanced oil and gas extraction and alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power, and bio-fuels. Widespread communication technologies will make the potential effect of these technologies on the environment, climate and health well known to the increasingly educated populations.
Health technologies
Two sets of health technologies are highlighted below.
1. Disease management will become more effective, more personalized and less costly through such new enabling technologies as diagnostic and pathogen-detection devices. For example, molecular diagnostic devices will provide rapid means of testing for both genetic and pathogenic diseases during surgeries. Readily available genetic testing will hasten disease diagnosis and help physicians decide on the optimal treatment for each patient. Advances in regenerative medicine almost certainly will parallel these developments in diagnostic and treatment protocols. Replacement organs such as kidneys and livers could be developed by 2030. These new disease management technologies will increase the longevity and quality of life of the world's ageing populations.
2. Human augmentation technologies, ranging from implants and prosthetic and powered exoskeleton to brains enhancements, could allow civilian and military people to work more effectively, and in environments that were previously inaccessible. Elderly people may benefit from powered exoskeletons that assist wearers with simple walking and lifting activities, improving the health and quality of life for aging populations. Progress in human augmentation technologies will likely face moral and ethical challenges.
The US National Intelligence Council report asserts that "a shift in the technological center of gravity from West to East, which has already begun, almost certainly will continue as the flows of companies, ideas, entrepreneurs, and capital from the developed world to the developing markets increase". I am not convinced that this shift will "almost certainly" happen. While the East, in particular Asia, will likely see the majority of technological applications, the current innovations are taking place mainly in the West. And I don't think it is a sure bet that the center of gravity for technological innovation will shift to the East.

Technology: Trends For 2014

What can we expect about technology in the coming years? What are the IT technological trends? We should be informed about what companies are doing, what technologies they are investing in and how they are served by technology.
Some trends are not new, as the so-called Internet of Things and cloud computing, but others are very new, such as 3D printing and Software Defined Networking. All these technologies will impact heavily on IT in 2014. There will be about 30 billion connected devices with unique IP addresses in 2020, most of which will be products.
Four major forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, will continue to drive change, creating new opportunities and generating demand for advanced infrastructure.
Among the trends that will define the way of IT in the coming years first we have the WebRTC (Real Time Communication) technology, which enables real-time collaboration through the web. With this technology, any browser may include video, instant messaging, voice calls without the user having to install any additional components.
Moreover, user services based on context are changing the way people interact with devices, allowing you to store information about users, so that we have accurate information in a timely manner.
The Internet of things, and machine to machine (M2M) communications enable connections between people, processes, data and objects, combining video, mobility, cloud, big data and machine-to-machine communications (M2M). With the Internet of Things devices will be part of the material world, like roads, supermarkets, biomedical devices and even animals and people, through sensors, generating terabytes of data.
Another trend will be video technology in ultra-high definition ( 4k - 8k- 2160p and 4320p ), which form an essential part of smart phones, augmented reality glasses, tablets, and other devices equipped with a camera. Furthermore, analysis technology that allow real-time data process in seconds or minutes could be applied in areas such as Business Intelligence, ranging from financial analysis tools to different segments such as advertising or transportation, and building value data in real time.
Also, changes at interconnection technologies are required. Right now the system is not sufficiently robust to support the expected growth in connected devices. New proposals are being developed to replace the infrastructure based on IP protocol, to technology based on a Named Data Networking ( NDN ), which allow conveying information by using host names rather than addresses.
Another approach is the software defined technologies (SD-X, Software Defined Any), which go beyond virtualization network (SDN and NFV), in order to increase its scalability across physical and virtual resources. It should be noted that networks may also self-managed in terms of configuration, security, optimization and troubleshooting using technology or Autonomous Networks SON (Self -Organizing Networks).
About public, private and hybrid clouds, these will move to dynamic environments and multi-provider clouds. New technologies such Intercloud will enable cloud service providers across multiple environments.
Ultimately the key technology trends for 2014 are Mobile Devices Diversity Management and Applications and Mobile Apps, the All Software Defined technology, intelligent machines, 3D printing, the Internet of things, cloud and hybrid IT as a service corridor.
Regarding the Management of Mobile Devices, the unexpected result of programs "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) is that the size of the mobile workforce in enterprises will double or triple. It is expected that, by 2018, the variety of devices, computing styles, contexts and user interaction paradigms strategies will make "everything everywhere" should be checked. Companies will define policies that fit expectations clearly about what to do and what not, balancing flexibility with the requirements of confidentiality and privacy.
Moreover, given the improvement in the performance of JavaScript, the browser will become the main development environment for enterprise applications. The Apps will continue to grow, while applications begin to be reduced. The Apps are smaller and focused on a particular need, while the application is greater and complete. In the coming years, it is expected that mobile applications and cloud services merge to form the so-called Internet Application or App Internet applications. These apps will use the storage and processing power of computers, smart phones and tablets as well as the scalability of the cloud to allow applications to communicate with other applications and devices. Mobile applications and cloud platforms offer a smaller TCO (total cost of ownership).
Software Defined Software incorporates initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, Open Compute Project and The Open Rack, which share a similar vision. SDN network technologies Providers, SDDC data centers, storage and infrastructure SDS SDI are all trying to maintain their leadership in their respective domains.
About Intelligent Machines, in 2020 the age of the smart machine will increase from smart personal assistants, advisors intelligent, advanced global industrial systems and public availability of the first examples of autonomous vehicles. Companies will invest in intelligent machines. These machines will enhance consumer forces against the first wave of early purchases by businesses.
It was expected that global sales of 3D printers increase 75 percent in 2014; sales will double in 2015. 3D printing is an efficient medium that will reduce costs in the prototypes.
Today, it is not only computers and mobile devices connected to networks. There is a variety of other devices such as cars, TVs. We are entering the digitalization time of the most important services and active ingredients. The Internet of Things will have a vital role in this period.
Referring to cloud computing, hybrid cloud and IT as a service provider represents technologies to work on. Personal and external private clouds are coming together, generating an increase in cloud services brokers (CSBs). It would be important the aggregation management, the integration and customization of services.
About Cloud Architecture, cloud computing models are changing. The demands of mobile users are driving an increase in computing server and storage capacity. Personal cloud will change from devices to services. Users can take advantage of various devices, including PCs, but not based on a specific device.
Finally, it should be noted that Business Intelligence has been ranked as one of the technologies where a major change is required. BI technology will create value in large enterprises; data mining and reporting tools will become more sophisticated. In a tough economy, business intelligence allows managers to justify business decisions with specific numbers.
We concluded that the Internet of Things, 3D printing, technologies associated with managing mobile devices and Cloud Service Brokers are some of the technological bets that eventually explode next year. They will have a high impact and spread to most of the organizations in the next three years.
Early adoption of technologies represents a competitive advantage for companies, so know the trends in the coming years, even though we live in a changing world, will help you make the best decisions and provide the best solutions that can highlight about our competitors.

Technology: 3D Printing

3D laser printing has entered the mainstream with everyone from students, to artists, to small businesses jumping on the 3D laser printing bandwagon. Though for many of us the technology is relatively new, 3D laser printing or "additive manufacturing", as it is also known, began in the 70s and 80s, with the efforts of scientists and grad students to find a way to more efficiently and economically manufacture goods on a small scale.
The core manufacturing processes - casting/molding, forming, joining and machining - have not been replaced by 3D printing, as one might speculate, but have simply been scaled down through the adaption of new techniques in manufacturing. New techniques for solid modeling have allowed researchers to translate 3-D geometries into mathematical terms, which in turn enabled them to become the instructions for equipment control systems.
As additive manufacturing has evolved, taking on new processes and advances in solid manufacturing, the technology has expanded to supporting rapid fabrication from digital models or templates and a range of geometries that surpasses the capabilities of other methods.
The lion's share of the additive manufacturing techniques that make up the foundations of the technology were invented and patented in the 80s. To better understand 3D laser printing today, let's review some of the components that led to creating it. To begin with, "additive manufacturing", simply put, is a process of making something three dimensional by literally layering materials upon each other following a digital design or template. What follows is a brief overview of some of the original 3D printing or additive manufacturing techniques and processes:
Stereolithography, sometimes called vat photopolymerization, is an additive manufacturing process that uses resins and lasers to build 3D objects. Selective laser sintering (SLS), also known as powder bed fusion, uses a computer-controlled laser (e.g., a sealed off CO2 laser) to selectively "sinter," or fuse, cross-sections of powder into a solid. Sheet lamination, also known as laminated object manufacturing, is the process of cutting a thin sheet of paper, plastic or metal into a desired shape with a laser, repeating this and bonding each layer upon the previous one. Material extrusion works by pushing liquid plastic or metal out through a nozzle, following a path on a digital map. 3-D printing, also known as binder jetting, involves repeatedly laying down layers of powder and then squirting liquid binder on the areas to be solidified to construct 3-D objects.
There a number of companies providing SLM technology, such as Coherent, because of SLM's ability to enable highly accurate, smooth, and consistent components with a wide range of materials., which has led to their utilization by a variety of industries, such as, automotive design, heavy equipment, aerospace, defense, medical, electronics and consumer products and government research.
In a recent article of, Steve McKnight, director of the NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, was quoted as saying, "To realize the full promise of additive manufacturing, researchers will need to discover new ways to increase speed, lower costs, improve consistency and develop and qualify novel materials for all kinds of applications. It will take the ingenuity of engineers, students and makers."