9 Stunning 3D Printed Objects and 9 Interesting Facts about 3D Printing


Will 3D printing really change the world?

“Just like the Industrial Revolution, the assembly line, the advent of the internet and the Social Media phenomenon, 3D Printing will be a game changer” – Forbes: Will 3D Printing Change The World? (2012 March)

Since the impact is impossible to predict, let me just give you the facts about where the technology stands today.

20 Years

3D Printing technologies have been around for more than 20 year. However, technology is slowly becoming affordable.

 Urbee Hybrid: 3-D Printed Car
 Art exhibits of 3D printed objects

Additive Manufacturing

It is an additive manufacturing processes of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material. This is opposite to traditional machining process where the object is formed by removing material.

Types of Technology

  • Fused deposition modeling which uses spool of plastic or metal wire
  • Inkjet printing using layer of resin and binder
  • Selective laser sintering using powdered  metal, plastic, ceramic, or glass
  • Digital light processing using liquid polymer

For more detail see this

 Bicycle strong enough to replace steel or aluminum
 Prosthetic Limbs

What is it used for?

  • Models of buildings for architects
  • Full Color Models of drug molecules
  • Fashion accessories, exotic ornaments
  • Online service to allow consumers to design their own personalized and customized 3D object
  • Models of mountains and other topographic 3D maps
  • Models of virtual characters
  • Custom and hard-to-find parts
  • Print jawbones, prosthetics, replacement hips and high quality artificial limb

Can you get objects printed online?

Yes, you can get a design and get it 3D printed: PrintTo3D, Tech Inc. Or, you can choose objects from the available and order it: 3D Creation Lab, Shapeways, i.materialise. Here is a much larger list.

 Designer Furniture

What does the future hold?

One thing is very clear – at this stage we have no clue what the impact of this technology will be. So, your opinion is as good as mine or the experts:

Want more reviews – see this

Full color dollhouse

Design of object and IP

3D printing requires a 3D computer model. These models are not easy to create.

  • The question is who will create them?
  • More important, how will you protect the IP?

Here is a detailed discussion on this topic.

Scissor
Designer skull!

View using Consumerization of IT (CoIT) lens

Suppose that 3D printers become cheap enough so that people start buying them like they buy any other gadget – what happens then? Does it not become an opportunity to advertise your products? Just allow customers to download design which has your branding on it. It would become another mad rush like creating iPhone application or being present in Facebook! That is Consumerization of IT.

Who Makes These Printers?

There are many more – see this list.

Full-size house?
Udayan Banerjee on Google+

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