STEM Talks @ American Corner ITB, Advanced Manufacturing Pt. 1

STEM Talks @ American Corner ITB, Advanced Manufacturing Pt. 1

Okay, apologies for the title being a bit too long (or at least longer than the title of the articles I usually write). Today’s article would be about an event that I attended earlier this morning.

This talk is brought by Mrs. Leanne Gluck (hopefully I got this right because she did wear a wedding ring, and it’s gonna be a bit embarrassing if I turned out to be wrong about this), with the support of ITB’s American Corner. Miss Leanne Gluck was the Deputy Director of 3D Systems, one of the biggest 3D Manufacturing companies.

Apart from that she also had some experience in America Makes, some form of project incubator (or collaborative partner) that is usually supporting 3D printing involved projects.

Right now, though it’s not exactly mentioned, she works in Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center. This information is attained through the joys of Internet. Thanks LinkedIn.

Anyways, enough about the introduction, let’s just head on to the article.

The topic of the talk is Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystems, and it’s gonna be a 2 part article, because, I’m a bit tired today, the second part would be available tomorrow, discussing about the ecosystems, and the ecosystems for advanced manufacturing.

Why was I actually here?

To be honest I had no idea… as a male teenager, we usually do lots of things because our mother made us. And though it isn’t exactly made us do, Bubi did play a part in telling me about this event and made me kinda sign up.

I didn’t really know exactly what this is about, but I’ll have to say, sometimes, stepping into the unknown isn’t exactly a bad idea. I’m certain, at least from the title, which by the way sounds cool “Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem”… It’s gonna be a quite intriguing talk.

I didn’t really come here because my mother made me… But I did come here because I want to learn something new. And honestly, this new thing I might be learning today would be useful. At least after attending this talk here, I just know that it’ll be useful.

Indonesian Culture

Err, now you’re probably thinking why am I using “Indonesian Culture” as the headline. And well, this is quite a funny (satirical funny) story.

I arrived at the library of ITB at about 8.50, from the electronic flyer, the event is supposed to start at 9.00 o clock. Approximately at 8.55 Mrs. Gluck came with somebody from the U.S. Embassy at Indonesia, whose name, I unfortunately cannot remember, considering how terrible my memory with names is.

So, what’s exactly this “Indonesian Culture” I’m trying to say? Well, it’s the culture of being late. At 9.00 o’ clock, no one was here, and Mrs. Gluck was constantly checking her phone after prepping up her laptop, and she seems kind of confused as to why no one was here, even though it’s time.

Deep down I was ashamed, and I really wanted to say a joke, like “I’m sorry, everyone here often get confused between 9.00 and 9.30”, but being me who can’t really start a conversation unless it’s a previously planned one, I didn’t. She did however say How are you today, and to that I responded with an “I’m fine, how are you?” followed by a “I’m good, thank you”.

Well anyways, the people from American Corner ITB did stall them by taking them on a library tour, he must’ve sensed that discomfort, I’ve been feeling ever since she checked her phone at 9.00 .

Before she got back, I met a senior at Taman Bahasa named Mr. Moko, who spent 30 years in the US and is an engineer. Unlike me, Mr. Moko was able to chat with Mrs. Gluck just naturally.

I really should increase my conversation skills though, I have troubles starting a conversation for some reason.

Anyways, on topic… At 9.30, the talk finally starts, and it all began with this term.

Advanced Manufacturing

Well, what’s advanced manufacturing actually?

To put it simply, Miss Gluck split the two words, and took their dictionary definitions.

Advanced = Ahead of development and progress.

Manufacture = Make something on a large scale using machinery

Keywords are those in bold. Advanced Manufacturing basically means a large scale production of things using the newly developed, or technology that’s still developing.

In a nutshell, the term advanced is relative to its time, and there was a time where Henry Ford’s production chain is advanced, but we’ve come to the point of literally realizing 3D designs on photoshop. From Miss Gluck’s background she used 3D Printing as a theme.

It’s quite on point. When most of the advanced manufacturing does revolve on producing the soft copy of a model onto a real model, as well as making stuff more efficient…

Oh by the way, by definition Advanced Manufacturing includes 3D printing, Robotics, there’s also lightweighting heavier stuff, and also the coolest one is organ manufacturing.

On second thought, you may read coolest as creepiest. It’s a bit scary that there’s an actual organ manufacturing research institute that is researching about cells, growing itself equal to the mold, similarly to the way a bacteria would clone itself, but just… you know fitting the mold.

So hey, remembered how scary AI was? If you are familiar with Indonesian, please read this article about AI. Now, you can have an AI transport itself onto an organic body with this! Just, perfect 😀 . (or maybe not, considering how AI’s actually hate organic bodies)

Advancement of Industry?

Remember this article? 

That article is actually written in Bahasa, but it does discuss onto how technology is the reason us humans are interconnected. Then there’s also the theory that we’re basically slowing down on the advancement of industry and also slowing down on the advancement of communications causing us to be a bit more interconnected.

On the contrary, advanced manufacturing actually “reverses” that. It makes us and machines more connected to one another, as well as increasing the rapid development of communications and the development of industry along with the help of communication.

So we’ve never really slowed down on industry, we’ve actually accelerated it with our communications!

What can you 3D Print actually?

Still on the theme of 3D printing, something that I actually learned out of an episode in The Big Bang Theory…

Miss Gluck showed us a video, about a bridge that’s 3D Printed. It took 6 months to print the whole bridge, but its actually cool to see how far we’ve come, and although that’s not quite efficient, it’s indeed a rather cool process when literally nothing becomes something! It’s not just materials, it’s basically “Ink” made out of metal, and also steel cables.

This bridge actually works… and people can now step on it… Course it’s still, a bridge, don’t expect it to do much, but it does function as a bridge.

Apart from really large 3D Prints, you can also print really small things, to those the level of a quantum particle. Nano Science facilities are actually using 3D printers to simulate materialization of particles on a quantum scale.

And, for the materials… Apart from the aforementioned cells inside a 3D printer, you can also 3D print food! This however is still rather theoretical, but should you change the filament of a 3D printer with paste, powder, or heck, liquids, you would be able to 3D print food!

Is a programmer an Advanced Manufacturer?

Intermezzo here…

Late 2016, that game came out on the playstore, me and my friends made it. Since software IS included in the Umbrella Term of Advanced Manufacturing in the 21st Century, I made a software, so technically, I am an advanced manufacturer, since I did mass produce the APK of a game.


So technically a programmer is an advanced manufacturer, should he produce a downloadable software available to the public! Again, hurrah!

Some interesting 3D print projects

A 3D Printed car is currently in the works. James Corden actually starred in its advertising video, the car’s name is Olli. It’s a 3D printed car that’s self driving, and also runs on electricity. It’s in the shape of a bus however. So, it’s basically a 3D printed Bus version of Tesla!

That reminds me a bit of low cost self driving cars…

On top of that, there’s that bridge thing…

Also, Mrs. Gluck brought a 3D printed bracelet that looks, well, cute… It’s made in a similar way a chocolate top ice cream is made. Firstly, it’s printed in steel or iron, you know, vanilla ice cream, and then there’s some bronze powder to lace and layer the metal with bronze. The bronze is the chocolate in this case. So, it’s basically a bronze bracelet from the outside, but it’s actually a steel bracelet.

If I heard it correctly, the Ganesha statue next to the 3D printer is 3D printed… Course, maybe that’s the reason it’s there in the first place.


Before we conclude today’s short article about Advanced Manufacturing, this is going to be an off-topic leap.

Yes, it’s rather off-topic. Because we did skip about ecosystems, and this is a topic explored in the questions sessions. Though Mrs. Gluck wanted questions as soon as possible, we, the entire audience listened through it without much comments.

There’s a new software known as Dreamcatcher, which is an Autodesk Generative Design. It’s basically a software to randomly generate a calculated parameter of an object… 8 hours of this computers process could generate roughly 1000 designs with a not so complex parameter. Each one being unique, and of course, would fit the needs of the parameters we set.

For instance, we wanted to make a table, then we put in the parameters, four legs, able to hold 200 kilograms, weighs less than 2 kilograms, and then bla bla bla… Then we wait. After the wait, it’ll autogenerate the designs we might wanna see based on the parameters. It’s gonna be wacky, cool, and of course, spot on.

This reminds me of a program used to randomly generate strings in quantum physics. It’s basically an autodesk generative design to generate random strings in a multiverse and relate it to quantum physics, for the types of string available in a universe.

Mrs. Gluck seems very astounded with this fact, and she somehow correlated it with the dystopian Netflix Series Black Mirror… That’ll be for tomorrow.

In Conclusion

Sorry, I wrote in English because A. The talk is in english, and B. I want Mrs. Gluck to read this… (it’s just a want actually).

To conclude, let’s just say that, as a human being, we’ve reached the point of “Yeay technology makes stuff easier!”. Well, this is quite a cliffhanger. And, please, duly note that… There are downsides to this, and let’s not forget the Cambridge Analytics Facebook Data Leakage for a reminder of this… dark side.

Until tomorrow!

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