The world of 3D printing is well and truly here with printers in homes, online stores and even supermarkets offering 3D printing services. The result is all manner of weird and wonderful 3D printed objects.
In the home people can download or design files and print off objects in plastic. This can be helpful for cheap and easy replacements of parts about the house, quick toys and even furniture.
Then there are metal 3D printers as well as organic models. These are generally used by companies or universities and have created things like guns and even human organs. Food printers are also here making it possible to print sweets as well as proper meals.
3D printing is helping to make products appear on the market faster as cheaper and easier prototyping can be achieved. Cars have been 3D printed as well as basic houses. While they’re still in the early stages of development it’s possible that the future of large-scale production could be 3D printed.
We’ve rounded up a broad range of 3D printed products here right now.
Bio-printing replacement body parts
3D printing is a fairly exciting field, not just in creating new gadgets and gizmos, but also in the field of medicine. There have been various advancements in the bio-printing space over the last few years. These have included research into 3D printing for tissue repair and reconstruction, limb replacement, kidney transplants and even heart transplant.
Organovo has been pioneering this tech of late and was even involved in 3D printing liver and kidney tissue that could be used to treat failing human organs. An amazing life-saving tech that we can’t wait to see future developments of.
A cast that helps you heal
Medical uses for 3D printing might well be our favourite use of this tech. In 2014, designer Deniz Karasahin created this brilliant concept of a new cast for broken limbs that not only looks awesome but also helps the healing process. The 3D printed cast included a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound system that was designed to help damaged bones to heal faster – as much as 38 per cent faster in fact.
A reconstructed Toucan beak
3D printing certainly has plenty of awesome potential uses. This brilliant snap shows just how much difference this printing tech can make, not only to human lives but also to the animals that inhabit our world as well. Here, a Toucan has had its beak reconstructed with the power of a 3D printer.
3D printed artwork for the blind
3D printed objects are changing lives all over the world in wonderfully different ways.
This brilliant use sees classic paintings and artwork being transformed into 3D printed sculptures. In this form, it is hoped that the visually impaired will have a chance to experience and appreciate the art in new and awesome ways like they couldn’t before.
A 3D printed electric violin
With humble beginnings in 2013, the 3Dvarius soon made a move to Kickstarter with the promise of an awesome looking 3D printed violin that was designed to create a symbiosis between itself and the musician. Precise machining, an innovative design and an eye-for-detail saw the 3Dvarius turn from a concept into a fully functioning musical instrument that really stands out from the crowd.
The Rapid Racer
The Rapid Racer was 3D printed with 3,600 layers and is powered by a standard 18V drill by Hawk University.
Mobility for a puppy
This photo is proof from Reddit that 3D printed prosthetics and mobility aids aren’t just for humans. This poor little dog has unfortunately lost the use of his legs, but now has some 3D printed wheels to help him zip about the place.
A full-sized kayak
This amazing kayak was 3D printed from a home printer section by section over 42 days. It was lovingly crafted by Jim Smith, a 3D Systems engineer, who made the craft from around $500 worth of materials. Those materials included ABS plastic, machine screws, brass inserts and a healthy dose of silicone caulk to keep the canoe watertight. It took around 1,012 hours to print but it works!
When one Redditor’s wheel bound brother was due to start a job at Google they took to the 3D printer to make them something awesome to act as a desk buddy. A lot of thought went into this little printing as well. Not only does the Droid’s head move (and come off) but it also has magnets built into its posterior to keep it in the wheelchair.
In 2015, 3D Systems announced the ChefJet Pro 3D. A 3D printing device that was able to 3D print sweets and candy treats. The result is some fairly awesome edible creations with flavours ranging from chocolate to vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon.
Full-sized 3D printed Iron Man suit
A cosplayer going by the name Jayluvll really takes their hobby seriously. Employing a healthy dose of patience, over six months of effort and a multitude of 3D printed parts, they managed to craft this awesome looking full-sized Iron Man suit. Impressive!
The paper aeroplane gun
Looking to up your paper aeroplane game? Then this 3D printed monster may be the device you need. The 3D printed A6 V10 Paper Airplane gun can fire planes automatically and in large quantities.
It might not be much to look at, but one version of this 3D printed gun, known as the PFM-A5 V2 was capable of holding up to 200 sheets of A5 paper and firing 120 paper planes a minute.
Hodor door stop
Game of Thrones fans will either chortle quietly or shed a single sad tear over this one. A 3D printed door stop crafted to show the word Hodor.
Porsche Cayman S
In 2013, Porsche released a free 3D printable file for its Cayman S. Fans of the car maker could then print their own vehicle and even colour it whichever way they wanted. Sure it’s not as cool as the real thing, but it is considerably cheaper and official too.
A little help for a furball
Instagrammer Kittenxlady posted this image in 2017 showing her favourite little kitten rocking some fairly awesome custom 3D printed wheels. The purrrrrrrrrfect little setup to help the little furball get about despite health problems.
The world’s first 3D printed house
Back in the hazy days of 2014, a private Chinese company known as WinSun crafted the first ever 3D printed house. Four large 3D printers were put to work to spray concrete layer-by-layer to construct the walls.
This 3D printing method was said to be incredibly cheap and the lack of manpower involved meant costs could be kept even lower. At the time it was suggested that a house could be printed for less than $5,000.
Another house and plans for space
Since the first 3D printed house was churned out, other companies have been working on creating new constructions using similar techniques. This house, built by Apis Cor, was constructed in under 24-hours and cost just over $10,000 to print. Interestingly, the 400 square foot domicile is predicted to be durable enough to last up to 175 years. Other endeavours by the company include research into the possibilities of using 3D printing technology to construct habitats on other planets.
An accurate brain
Not an actual brain nor a replacement for a human brain that’s been 3D printed (though that would be fairly awesome), this is instead an accurate printing of a brain created from an MRI scan. Reddit user ST314 created it after their son went through the scanner. Theyexplained how it happened:
“I extracted the data from his MRI using a script written by user miykael on github, prepared the shape in Blender, bisecting the brain on the horizontal plane so there would be two stable flat surfaces, and then ran it through the Qidi software to create a gcode file from the stl. The printer is a Qidi X-pro. I used 3D Solutech PLA filament (because they had decent iZombie brain coloured material). Total print time was about 20 hours for both hemispheres. Data prep of the polygons was about the same amount of time.”
A 3D printed pinhole camera
Pinhole is a camera that can be 3D printed and loads 35mm film for shots. This device originally started life on Kickstarter before becoming a reality. It’s designed to bring old-school photography to the modern age. The end result is pretty cool too as the 3D printed camera is strong, robust and durable – much more than modern digital cameras that could easily break if dropped.
If you love this idea, you can even print your own camera by following these instructions.
Darth Vader pen holder
While many of the 3D printings on this list might be useful, practical or helpful in one way or another, some are just awesome. This little 3D printed version of Darth Vader is a fantastic example. The dark overlord has been turned into a humble pen holder, bowing the knee to his owner.
3D printed pizza
Foodini is a 3D food printer capable of printing an entire pizza in one. This printer, designed by Natural Machines doesn’t just produce pizzas, it can manage other foodstuffs as well – burgers, spaghetti and more. Of course, a device like this is fairly high-end and in 2016 one of these printers would set you back around $2,000. But perhaps this sort of thing is a taste of the future?
A printed belt
If you’re always having trouble with your trousers falling down or just find it impossible to find a belt that actually fits, then perhaps 3D printing your own is the solution. Imagine the possibilities of setting your own fashion trend with 3D printed clothing that’s surely unique if nothing else.
The Down Up Tap
The Down Up Tap makes drinking from a tap easier, should you feel the need to. This 3D printed tap is essentially a dual-nozzled water dispenser for your sink that combines the standard functionally of a normal tap with a drinking fountain. No need to dirty up your glasses, just drink and go.
First ever 3D printed football boots
In 2013, Nike showed off its new design of Vapour Laser Talon football boots. These were the first ever 3D printed football boots that were designed to help athletes perform at their best thanks to a lightweight design and powerful traction grips.
3D printed modular laptop
The Pi-Top is a 3D printed modular laptop that’s designed to teach users how to print circuitry, learn to code and create awesome devices for the future. This quirky (and surprisingly cheap) device was created to encourage users to invent new gadgets, gizmos and interesting creations for the future.
A 3D printed tortoise shell
Say hello to Cleopatra, a tortoise with a 3D-printed prosthesis. She suffers from pyramiding due to poor nutrition, meaning her real shell has holes and broken parts that could get infected, but Roger Henry, a student from Colorado Technical University, designed her a new 3D-printed shell made of biodegradable corn-based plastic. She’s also being properly fed by the Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue HQ in Colorado, and her new 3D-printed shell is expected to protect her until her actual shell heals in a few years.
3D on the rocks
A Japanese advertising agency called TBWA/Hakuhodo created ice pieces called “3D on the rocks” to advertise Suntory Whisky, but it used Autodesk 123D, 3D designs, and a CNC router to carve the designs out of an ice block. The whole process is quite similar to 3D printing. The image above is just one of the many ice pieces the agency made.
The last series of Game of Thrones might well have had fans of the series divided on whether it was any good or not, but there’s no denying the dragons were awesome. Making the most of the love for the winged mythical creatures, one Etsy seller has taken to crafting awesome 3D printed dragon lamps, complete with burning hell fire.
3D printing is still a fair expensive undertaking, so perhaps this design is essential for anyone looking to get into it. A 3D printed piggy bank for storing your spare change for your next printing project.
A tiny Tokyo
iJet took to Kickstarter in 2016 with this brilliant project that saw Tokyo being recreated in tiny three-dimensional 3D printed maps. An awesome highly-detailed and painstaking project with fantastic results. The massive city certainly looks pretty special in this tiny format.
3D printed rocket parts
Even NASA has been at it. In 2013 the space organisation experimented with 3D printing techniques to create new parts for its space rockets. Obviously, these are some heavy-duty bits of kit as they needed to be able to withstand temperatures of up to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Goes to show the potential future uses of this tech though.
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