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  1. #1
    Student
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    Introduction (new member)

    My name is Peter Small. I live in Bracknell, Berkshire, UK.
For the past 20 years I have been working on information systems based on the information transference methods found in biological systems ( see my profile). 
I'm now working on a project to create a crowd-sourced and curated information resource for 3D Printing - based on the method used by ants (technically known as "Stigmergy").At the moment I'm looking to find exceptional sources of information relating to 3D Printing design, modelling and scanning. I have made some initial choices, but, I hope that with this group's help these choices can be greatly improved. Anyone care to contribute suggestions? In return, I will keep the group up-to-date with all my findings as I continue to search for exceptional information sources about 3D printing on the web.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    I'm the only exceptional information source I know of :-)

    So where are these ants that collect informatio about 3d printing then ?

    On a more serious note - what's the actual purpose of your project ?

  3. #3
    Student
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    The purpose is to create an information source that is complementary to information found by using search engines.
    With search engines you can only find out stuff that you know you don't know (and can ask the search engine to find it). Sometimes, a limited knowledge can prevent you finding answers because there is stuff you don't know you don't know or are not aware of.
    The idea then is to create a source of not simply information, but a source of information providers who together can present a wide range of knowledge pertaining to a subject area. Search engine algorithms cannot do this because their Ai abilities are not very good at discriminating between accurate and inaccurate, biased and unbiased, or how up-to-date information is.
    By creating a continuously updated source of knowledge provided and curated by experts (perhaps using search engines as well as their own experience and expertise) a comprehensive overview of a subject area can be created. Does that make sense?
    You ask where are the ants? I would greatly appreciate you becoming one of them ardvark Ants in a stigmergic system react to an environment by making changes to it - to improve it.

  4. #4
    Student
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    Do you want to see an example as to how it works, aardvark?

  5. #5
    Student
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    A short explanation as to how this crowd-sourcing works:


    It begins by dividing the total subject area into categories. For example, one of them is '3D Printing Materials'. Then, using 10 different search engines and multiple search terms, we find out what anyone interested in this category would be likely to learn by using search engines. From this list we choose what we consider to be the best 20 choices.


    We then throw this list open to various experts and practitioners (and discussion forums) to use their knowledge and experience to improve upon these selections. The many suggestions for improvement are then voted for - to choose any that are judged to be preferable to those selected by the various search engine algorithms.


    To see how this works, here is the current selection for the category of '3D Printing Materials': www.3dprintingtown.info/best20_materials/. Can anyone in this group suggest any improvements?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    These days i have to be a paid ant.
    Can't afford to give any more time away for free.

    You are aware you have duplicates on that list ?
    So not 20 websites.

    What you have look pretty good.

  7. #7
    Student
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    Thank you curious aardvark, for checking out the "3D Printing Materials" section of my crowd-sourced Info Towns Project.

    I understand your time is limited and, as this applies to most people, the crowd-sourcing is deliberately designed for casual involvement.
    The way the "ants" work is exactly how you kindly reacted when you visited the site. You spotted a possible improvement (a duplication) and you let me know. This is stigmergy in action.


    These info towns do not come into perfection immediately, they may take months. Imagine over the course of the next year that many people visit the site and some of them suggest an improvement - it slowly improves. Also, it is important to realise that this is not a site that provides information as such: it provides links to exceptional information providers. This means that any information provider who thinks they have an information site better than one that is displayed, they can submit their site up to be voted for as a preferred replacement. In this way, visitors are constantly improving and updating the content.

  8. #8
    Hi all!
    My name is Giacomo Notaro, Civil Engineer of Milan, attending a Master Degree in Structural Engineering.
    Passion for everything: writing, electronics, guitar, arts and 3d modelling.
    I still don't have a 3d printer but I will buy one in the near future.

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