3D printing is a hot topic for quite a while now. 3D printers have become cheap enough so that many ordinary people can have 3D printers for their personal use. In this article, I would like to point out some very nice applications of 3D printing.
3D printing has basically two application in medicine: Very customized non-organic parts or organic printing.
Printing a human Kidney
"Magic Arms" prosthetic
3D printing gives man new face
- Hearing aids
- Print on wounds
I am always struggling with finding good shoes. Most shoes I try feel unconfortable, although I have size 42 (which seems to be a very standard size in Germany for males). What if we could go to a store, let them 3D scan our feet and they automatically adjust a 3D model of a shoe to fit to our feet. Then some parts are 3D printed, assembled and a few days later we get a shoe that is customized to our feet and cheap.
continuumfashion.com seems to 3D print shoes with Nylon. kobilevidesign.com is another designer who 3D prints shoes.
- Board game figures (e.g. custom chess sets, Monopoly cars, ...)
- Model building (e.g. Ship model where people pay A LOT of money for it)
Did you have chemistry in school and learn about atom models / crystaline structures? With 3D printing, it becomes easy to get those models for every student!
Or think about architecture and history. You could show models of ancient cities or buildings in 3D.
Imagine something small breaks. Sometimes very expensive devices that are otherwise fine, become useless or at least ugly. Now think you could go online, download a 3D model of that part and just print it.
Sadly, 3D printing can also be used to produce weapons (source).
However, a 3D printed pistol has a high chance of not working at all, of hurting the person that created it and of working. So currently, it's quite a lot of gambling. But that might change when the quality of 3D printing improves.
- Printers and Stuff
- CraftBot 3D printer: An indiegogo project for an 3D printer that costs for about 315 Euro
- Rapide Lite: about 730 Euro, 50 micron resolution
- ProtoCycler: Free, Sustainable 3D Printer Filament: Another indigogo project, which aims to recycle plastics and create filaments yourself.
- Rapide Lite: Another 3D printer
- PancakeBot - The world's first pancake printer!
- NEA 3D
- Ember: A 3D printer (DLP Stereolithography) for about 6000 US-Dollars (Z-Resolution of 10 microns, xy-resolution of 50 microns; 18 mm/hour at 25µm layers).
- The Worlds smallest 3D printer
- Printing a human kidney
- Print your own medicine
- The sore problem of prosthetic limbs
- Ancient wonders captured in 3D
- General 3D printing
- A primer on 3D printing
- Category:3D printing
- MakerBot Thing-i-verse
- Digital Forming: A company that allows you to customize 3D models
- yobi3d.com: A database of 3D models
- Print to Build: 3D-Printed Joints Make it Easy to Construct Furniture