Will 3D printing work on fitness gear?

http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/workout-clothes-gear/will-3d-printing-work-fitness-gear

Will 3D Printing Work on Fitness Gear?

Will 3D Printing Work on Fitness Gear?

The perfect sneakers, custom leggings—we asked an expert if the 3D printing technology trend could really change the fitness world.

Of all the crazy new advances in tech—new wearable technology that helps you break bad habits, computers you wear on your wrist (hello,Apple watch), even sportsbras that combine wearable tech and fitness gear—hearing about 3D-printed wellness gadgets are one of those things that makes us feel like we’re living in the future. You’re telling me that you can use a printer to make actual, physical objects? It sounds like something straight out of sci-fi.

And while hearing about 3Dprinted houses and makeup is cool, what we’re most interested in is how the new technology will change fitness. Imagine a world where you could 3D print the perfect pair of running shoes, custom molded to your foot, for example.

In fact, Nike, Brooks, and New Balance have all already dabbled in 3D-printed athletic shoes. And custom-printed shoe insoles will soon be on the market: SOLS ($125, sols.com) has you take measurements of your feet using their app, then prints you insoles in any one of a number of fabrics (leather for work shoes, something sweat-wicking for sneakers). Plus, they’re, a fraction of the cost of many orthotics. (Whether you wear insoles or not, you should definitely be stretching your feet post-workout.)

But footwear isn’t the only thing that can benefit from 3D printing. EXO-L is a company that’s creating custom-made ankle braces, designed to keep athletes safer on the field or court. Other companies are offering molded-to-you mouth guards. You can even buy specially fitted, never-slip-out-again headphones ($200, nrml.com). All these products use 3D printing technology for ultra-customized end products. The benefits go way beyond personal comfort, though: 3D printing enables doctors to create comfortable, affordable prosthetics for people missing limbs too. (Check out Team Unlimbited’s e-NABLE blog for more information.)

“3D-printed fitness gear has some serious pros, the most obvious of which is customization,” says Pieter Strikwerda, the co-CEO and founder of 3DPrinting.com. “But also it requires less production time from the idea to the finished product.”

Still, can 3D printed products really stand up to traditionally-made gear, especially higher-end products? Strikwerda says yes. “Printing techniques are getting better every day, and so are the materials being used,” he says. “Look at NASA—they’re using printing techniques to print metal parts for their engines, not only because it’s lighter and more efficient but also because those parts are stronger.” (This fitness equipment just looks like science fiction.)

That said, cautions Strikwerda, “the whole process of 3D modeling and scanning, choosing the right material, and so on is still really complex. It’s not a plug-and-play machine yet.” So we’re not quite at the point where we’ll be able to print out a spare pair of running shoes or fit-like-a-glove leggings from the comfort of our own homes. But until we get there, at least we can finally get our hands on ear buds that won’t slip out during our workout, and insoles that make our run feel better without breaking the bank. That feels pretty futuristic to us.

shape.com

by  | Aug 31, 2015

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The future of food!

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/3d-food-printers-how-they-could-change-what-you-eat/

3D Printed color flavored sugar

WHY 3D FOOD PRINTING IS MORE THAN JUST A NOVELTY; IT’S THE FUTURE OF FOOD

It was Marcel Boulestin, the first cook-turned-television star from the BBC’s 1937 show Cook’s Night Out, who insisted that cooking was not chemistry but an art. “It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements,” he said.

If only he could see the world now.

It’s 2015, and 3D printing, a technology long priced beyond many people’s reach, is quickly undergoing democratization. So much democratization that companies are trying to 3D print all kinds of new things, including food.

Think about the replicators on Star Trek and the many other machines that litter science fiction movies, which prep, cook, and serve meals on command. This could actually be our future. 3D food printing has the potential to revolutionize food production by boosting culinary creativity, food sustainability, and nutritional customizability, but technical and market barriers still face it in the years to come.

3D printing food ain’t easy

Most 3D printers work by slowly depositing layers of material, one on top of the other, until an object is constructed. The process is called “additive manufacturing,” and it uses deposition printers. Others bind layers together with adhesive — they’re called binding printers.

3D food printers are more difficult to explain. Hod Lipson, director of Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab, laid out the three dominant methods of printing food at the 2015 Inside 3D Printing conference in New York City, which are nozzles, powdery material, and lasers. “You can think of it as the ‘RGB of food,’” he told Digital Trends.

Many systems mix and match those approaches. The 3D Systems ChefJet crystalizes thin layers of fine-grain sugar into virtually any geometric configuration, while Natural Foods’ Choc Edge dispenses chocolate from syringes in beautiful, melty patterns. The Foodini uses fresh ingredients loaded into stainless steel capsules to prepare a surprisingly wide array of dishes. Its latest model isn’t a soup-to-nuts solution — it only prints raw doughs, which then must be cooked as normal — but the printer can partially make pizza, filled pasta, quiche, and even brownies.

None of these machines will be next in line for the Bocuse d’Or chef championship, though. Emilio Sepulveda, co-founder of Foodini maker Natural Machines, has said publically that food synthesizers like those seen in Star Trekand The Fifth Element will take “many more years” of development.

Choc Edge Choc Creator V1

But that’s not stopping early adopters. Some German nursing homes serve a 3D-printed food product called Smoothfoods to elderly residents who have difficulty chewing. Purees, the conventional alternative, typically aren’t very appetizing, which sometimes leads to under eating. Residents “get malnourished in certain cases,” said Kjeld van Bommel, a research scientist at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, in an interview with the Washington Post.

The tastier Smoothfoods — made of mashed carrots, peas, and broccoli, which 3D printers congealed with an edible glue — are already a hit; 1,000 of the country’s facilities now serve them daily.

3D food printers invade the gourmet world

On the opposite end of the gastronomic spectrum, 3D food printers are beginning to breach gourmet spaces. Earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) unveiled a partnership with 3D Systems, maker of the ChefJet. The CIA plans to begin beta testing with the ChefJef, and 3D Systems will provide CIA students with fellowship and internship programs at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

Tom Vacarro, dean of Baking and Pastry Arts at CIA,spoke to WAMC Northeast Public Radio about the arrangement. “We just took that ran with it and said, okay, we could do many different things with these printers and here’s our ideas” he said. “[You can] design your mold on the screen, and hit print, and out it comes. It just shaves off all of that back-and-forth time.”

3D Systems Creative Director Liz von Hasseln, speaking at CES, said she sees food printing “as something that … will become a part of the culinary fabric.”

“I think the way that happens really powerfully is when it impacts the cultural ritual of eating, which is actually a really powerful part of being a person in the world,” she clarified. Hasseln predicts most of her team’s culinary experiments, which include shaping chocolate and sugar into wedding cake toppers and cocktail garnishes, are just the beginning. Cornell’s Lipson agrees.

3D printed sugar cake topper - blue china

“These are things that no pastry chef, no confectionary chef could ever make,” he said. “They represent a new design space in food. We’re getting to that point of artistry.”

Food printing moves beyond the kitchen

Other chefs are looking beyond the kitchen. Dutch food designer Chloé Rutzerveld documented the creation of cracker-like yeast structures containing seeds and spores that sprout over time, and thinks the snack he synthesized and those like it — natural, transportable products printed efficiently — could someday transform the food industry. And he’s not alone.

Some experts believe food printers could minimize waste by using cartridges of hydrocolloids, substances that form gels with water. Those same machines, they theorize, could also use unpalatable but plentiful ingredients — ingredients such as algae, duckweed, and grass — to form the basis of familiar dishes. In a study headed by Van Bommel, scientists added milled mealworm to a shortbread cookie recipe. “The look [of the worms] put me off, but in the shape of a cookie I’ll eat it,” he said in an interview with Popular Mechanics.

To that point, people are very conservative when it comes to food, Lipson said. “Most people will only enjoy foods that are very similar to what they’ve had before. We have a very deep, visceral reaction to foods we don’t recognize,” he said. 3D food printers could be used to make the unappetizing, appetizing.

“Consider a food source that’s not something you’d want to eat in its raw form but a good source of protein, like insects,” Lipson said. “There’s an interesting advantage there — being able to make something that looks and tastes good from something that doesn’t.”

Anajan Contract, an engineer who’s currently developing a pizza-making printer with a $125,000 grant from NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program, envisions a machine that can produce food from capsules of powders and oils with shelf lives up to 30 years. He believes such a printer would not only reduce the environmental impact of cooking, but also offer a renewable form of sustenance to a growing world population.

Chloé Rutzerveld Edible Growth

“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” he told Quartz. “So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.”

Beyond sustainability, 3D food printing holds great promise for nutrition. Lynette Kucsma, CMO and co-founder of Natural Machines, says printers like the Foodini can help people cut down on the amount of chemical additives in their food and reduce overconsumption. The food printers of tomorrow could even allow customization at the macronutritional level, allowing users individualize the amounts of calcium, protein, omega-3, and carbohydrates in their meals.

“You’ll be able to say when I wake up in the morning I want the printer to print my breakfast and I want to have the right amount of trans fats, whatever we need,” said Lipson.

The many obstacles ahead

But 3D food printing has many challenges to overcome, chief among them speed. Devices like the recently announced Carbon3D can fabricate a mind-boggling number of objects in minutes, but that level of advancement hasn’t trickled down to food printers yet. The most common designs require successive layers of ingredient to cool, leading to exceedingly long wait times for some foods.

Many food printers have chocolate, dough, and sugar nailed, but more complicated products like meat are tougher to master. “Printing in food materials is a lot more difficult from an engineering point of view than plastic of metals,” said Lipson. “They interact with each other in very complex ways.”

That’s not to say producing them isn’t feasible. Modern Meadow, a company in New York, raised $10 million in funding to research the production of printable biomaterials — but achieving the right texture and flavor is a lot harder. And even if scientists are able to closely replicate natural beef, consumers might not bite; in a survey by GlobalMeatNews.com, only 34 percent of respondents said they’d even try 3D-printed meat.

There’s also the issue of expectations. The Star Trek replicator comes to mind when many people think about food synthesizers, but such a device would hardly be practical — a simple vegetable, like a tomato, would likely require tens of millions of different ingredient cartridges alone. “It sounds simple to say ‘we’ll have a fat cartridge,’ but there are hundreds of kinds of fats,” van Brommel explained.

And how does the culinary world at large feel about 3D food printers? I’ll let Tony Tantillo, food expert and contributor to CBS in New York, expresses a sentiment felt by many: “Those two things shouldn’t be together. ‘Printed food’ for a magazine, yes. But to eat? Nah, nah.” Vacarro thinks they might have a place… in cheap in-and-out joints. “If I think about what’s happening in fast food, there might be something there where some fast foods are printed instead of handmade,” he said.

Natural Machines Foodini

But perhaps like any new technology, 3D food printers just take some getting used to. “When people first heard about microwaves they didn’t understand the technology,” Lynette Kucsama, Chief Marketing Officer at Natural Machines told Fortune. “Now 90 percent of households have microwaves.”

3D food printers may not produce great-tasting food right now, or be able to cook meals from scratch. Or have the wholehearted endorsement of the epicurean elite. But they’re getting better every year, and what they promise — sustainable, nutritional perfection — is worth the pursuit.

“I don’t see 3D food printing as a novelty. I see it as something that really will become a part of the culinary fabric for years to come,” von Hasseln said recently.

A lot changes in 70 years. Boulestin, like any great chef on the bleeding edge of gastronomy, would understand that.

digitaltrends.com

by | April 26, 2015

Help to wounded soldiers

Welcome to the Future of Emergency Medical Care!

http://goo.gl/X86HWd

US Marines of the 1st Division line up for a joined prayer at their base outside Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 6 , 2004. Four years into the Iraq war, President Bush is staring down a Congress in revolt. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

The U.S. military is reportedly looking into an idea that’s always seemed a little more like something straight out of a science-fiction novel.

The military is reportedly in talks with the University of Nevada to develop 3-D printed “twins” of American soldiers. The concept would require troops’ bodies to be scanned and images stored. Those images, in turn, would assist doctors and surgeons in developing 3-D printed prosthetic body parts should the soldiers ever become wounded in battle, according to 3DPrint.com.

“The idea is to image someone when they are in a healthy state so that the data is available if it’s needed at a later point,” James Mah, a clinical professor at the University of Nevada said.

“We have soldiers who get injured. They lose limbs and other tissues and it’s a challenge to reconstruct them in the field. but if they are imaged beforehand, you can send that over the internet and have a 3D printer in the field to produce the bone,” Mah said.

A similar method is already used among some in the medical field. Medical students, for example, use virtual operating tables that allow them to dissect and operate without ever needed an actual human body in front of them.

Image source: 3Dprint.com

The tables are created in much the same way as what the military is reportedly looking to do for wounded veterans. With an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound, an exact replica of a human body can be engraved into the table, thus creating a virtual cadaver.

But this isn’t an entirely new innovation as doctors have been developing 3-D printed body parts for a few years now. In 2013, doctors were able to create a virtual windpipe for a baby born with a rare, life-threatening condition. Another example happened in 2012 when doctors used the technology to give a 2-year-old girl motion back in her arms.

TheBlaze reached out to a Pentagon spokesman asking for more information on existing plans, but no immediate response was received.

THEBLAZE.COM
by  | February 19, 2015 11:59pm

3D printed steampunk items

A Top-Notch List of 7 Excellently Designed, 3D Printed Steampunk Items, Including a Grenade and Guitar 🙂

http://goo.gl/UO7q9z

streampunkfeatured

Steampunk is a genre that many are familiar with but don’t actually know much about. They are familiar with books, movies, and designs that are based on this steampunk genre, but are not all that familiar with its origins. The term ‘steampunk’ actually didn’t come into existence until around 1987, but the genre existed well before then.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is a genre consisting of designs, stories, novels and movies that has taken on a history of its own. Steampunk works are usually set in a fictional time period in the 1800s, and the machines that take on the ‘steampunk’ appearance are what those living in the steam powered 19th century could have thought future inventions may have looked like. The 1950s and 1960s are when this steampunk genre really came into existence, although back then there wasn’t a specific name for it.

Steampunk machines, devices, etc., usually consist of a lot of gears and analogue mechanisms. Today you see all sorts of unique designs, such as steampunk jewelry, clocks, clothing, and just about anything else that you can think of. 3D printing is a technology which has taken things to the next level, as designers can now fabricate their own unique, extremely complicated, steampunk creations. We thought we would share with you some of our favorite 3D printed steampunk designs.

We’ve begun to see a lot of unique 3D printed guitars hit the market, mostly designed by Olaf Diegel and 3D printed with 3D Systems’ printers. This is our favorite design of them all. This steampunk guitar features real moving gears within the body of the instrument. Priced at $4,000, this isn’t a guitar for everyone, but might be just the perfect instrument for that musician who happens to be in love with steampunk.

28-Geared Cube

This 3D printed desktop toy is obviously steampunk themed. If you turn one of the 28 gears in this cube, the other 27 will follow suit. In fact, the designer, Alexander Maund has created a motor system to do the work for you. Available on Shapeways for $110, this is hard to pass up, especially if you take a liking to steampunk.

Steampunk 3D Printer

steampunk3

We’ve heard about using 3D printers to print out new 3D printers. It’s quite the interesting idea. However, one designer on Thingiverse came up with the idea to 3D print a Steampunk 3D Printer. OK, maybe it doesn’t actually work, but it still looks cool.  The futuristic 3D printer of the 19th century?  Perhaps not.

Steampunk Grenade

steampunk4

Ever imagine what a futuristic hand grenade might look like to a designer in the 19th century? Well, Reg Taylor certainly did. He designed and 3D printed this incredible steampunk grenade in his free time. Of course it’s not actually a working grenade, but it certainly looks like it could be. It uses a 12v car bulb in the base, but Taylor suggest that perhaps it could be improved upon by adding in LEDs.

Steampunk Gear Dice Set

steampunk5

Shapeways is full of 3D printed dice, but perhaps none as unique and interesting as this creation by designer Seth Alexander. Alexander makes this dice set available in a variety of metals and plastics, ranging in price from $21.98 for a plastic version up to $107.42 for the gold steel dice set.

Time Keeper Pendant

steampunk7

This is a non-working time keeper pendant, created by 40 West Designs. “It commemorates a birth date, an anniversary, or any other significant moment in your life, in history, or the future. It will keep that time with perfect accuracy, forever,” explains the designer. “You set the date and time. You can also include a short message below the date.” Available, starting at $74 on Shapeways, this is quite the gift for the steampunk lover in your family.

Steampunk Octopod

steampunk9

This is probalby our favorite of them all. It is a 3D printed mechanical octopus vehicle, that includes working features and LED lights. The panels on the sides are held on with magnets and can be removed at will. The door latch is fully functional and the LED switch is hidden inside. It has an operational hoist that moves back and forth and can turn.

Well there you have it, our top 7 3D printed steampunk designs. Which are your favorites? Discuss in the 3D printed steampunk forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | FEBRUARY 12, 2015

Industrial revolution!

Educate Yourself About the Upcoming Revolution in the World of Manufacturing!

http://goo.gl/97BSt2

makerbot_660

THE WORLD AROUND us has advanced so much that science fiction is no more a fiction. Moving from prototyping to tooling, additive manufacturing commonly known as 3D printing has expanded to full-scale end-part production and replacement part production. Be it a 3D printed bionic ear enabling you to hear beyond human hearing frequencies, 3D printed cake toppings taking the culinary innovation to another level, 3D printing your dream house in just a few hours — 3D printing is revolutionizing every walk of life. According to Wohlers Report 2014, the worldwide revenues from 3D printing are expected to grow from $3.07 billion in 2013 to $12.8 billion by 2018, and exceed $21 billion by 2020.

No wonder one of the biggest players in printing, HP (Hewlett-Packard), entered the field with a faster, cheaper version of 3D Printer focused on Enterprise Market. So is this the first step from a “revolutionary” Maker Movement to an Industrialized Scale that technology eventually needs to survive for the long term? To a world of taking a 3D physical product or an idea to the Digital World, which happens to be 2D and then back out to 3D physical form anywhere across the globe, where an IP address and enough bandwidth is available to be able to transmit the Digital Model. This does have significant disruption potential. How much and when this will happen will of course depend on several factors across economics, technological feasibility, policies and of course politics. So are we finally ready to go beyond the growth that the DIY enthusiasts have driven from 200% to 400% in personal 3D printers between 2007 and 2011 according to a McKinsey Study.

Before we pose those questions, let’s look at what has been already achieved or near achievement across markets beyond printing prototypes, toys and models.

In the field of medicine, 3D printing of complex living tissues, commonly known as bioprinting, is opening up new avenues for regenerative medicine. With an improved understanding of this technology, researchers are even trying to catalyze the natural healing mechanism of the body by creating porous structures that aid in bone stabilization in the field of orthopedics. This cutting edge technology in conjunction with stem cell research is likely to revolutionize the made-to-order organs, cutting across the transplant waiting lists. Even intricate human body parts like the brain can be replicated using the 3D technology to aid in complex medical surgeries through simulation.

The Aerospace industry, an early adopter of this technology, is already designing small to large 3D printed parts saving time, material and costs. 3D printing also offers the biggest advantage critical to the aerospace manufacturers – weight reduction. It also accelerates the supply chain by manufacturing non-critical parts on demand to maintain JIT (Just-in-time) inventory. The power of additive manufacturing can do away with several manufacturing steps and the tooling that goes with it.

The Automobile world is already witnessing crowd-sourced, open-source 3D printed vehicles driving off of the showroom floors. Local motors caught the audience by surprise by 3D printing its car ‘Strati’ live at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. So how can an auto part be a challenge by any means? Are we headed towards making that exhilarating smell of burnt rubber a thing of the past? Something future generation will ask, what the big deal about that was? How about robots with muscle tissue powered parts?

The 3D printed “bio-bot,” developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is likely to be really flexible in its movements and navigation. (So, forget about the much jibed about robotic movements.) With this breakthrough, researchers are contemplating on the possibility of designing machines enabled with sensory responding abilities to complex environmental signals.

So where does all this lead us?

The excitement growing around the 3D technology is palpable and rightly so not without a reason. 3D technology surely shifts the ownership of production to the individuals and brings to light most of the inefficiencies of mass-production. Of course, not everything can be 3D printed, but a wider use of 3D printers might reduce need for logistics as designs could be transferred digitally leading to a decentralization and customization of manufacturing. 3D scanning as an enabling technology will also help in creating an ecosystem to support users. The layer by layer manufacturing by 3D printing has the dexterity to fabricate intricate geometries efficiently and hence reduces the wastage caused by traditional manufacturing methods.

By reducing the cost and complexity of production, 3D printing will force companies to pursue alternate ways to differentiate their products. It will also help companies enhance their aftermarket services by facilitating easy on-demand manufacturing of replacement parts. As manufacturing is moving closer to the consumers, the consumer is fast transforming into a prosumer.

There are, of course, hurdles to overcome, not the least entrenched incumbency and policies, which will be governed by more short term economic and social impacts as the positive outcomes of such revolutions are often difficult to envision.

McKinsey has estimated a potential of generating an economic impact of $230 billion to $550 billion per year by 2025 with various 3D applications, the largest impact being expected from consumer uses, followed by direct manufacturing. As the breadth of application of 3D printing continues to grow, it will be interesting to observe how the industries will mix with and influence the future of additive manufacturing.

Almost every sector of the industry is riding on the 3D opportunity bringing innovations to reality and the world is ready to hop on to a decentralized industrial revolution. Are you?

References:

First bionic man

Science-Fiction Turned Into Reality: 3D Printing Bionic Body Parts

http://goo.gl/cDH4AO

shutterstock_146597273

3D printing has captured a lot of attention thanks to its science fiction connotations. In reality, 3D printing is anything but fiction since it’s available in many households – even as a sophisticated toy for kids.

Clearly, 3D printing is more than a passing curiosity, and with researchers from Princeton now able to create “bionic” body parts using 3D printing techniques, the world’s first bionic man may be here sooner than you think.

As part of a project demonstrating new 3D printing techniques, Princeton researchers embedded tiny light-emitting diodes into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light. The researchers have not developed this lens for human use in the eye, but it is part of an ongoing effort to use 3D printing to assemble diverse, and often hard-to-combine, materials into functioning devices. Princeton professors also created a bionic ear made from living cells with an embedded antenna that could receive radio signals. Thus, restoring a person’s hearing for the first time.

This sends me back to my childhood to Steve Austin and the TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man” where a former test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear powered limbs and implants that make him faster, stronger and better than normal.

Bionic strength of 3D printing

Traditional manufacturing methods depend on cutting and molding technologies to create a limited number of structures and shapes, with more intricate hollow ones formed from a number of parts and assembled together. However, 3D printing technology transforms this process—the nozzle of the 3D printer can create many complex figures, being confined only by a person’s imagination. The use of 3D printing technology takes virtual designs from animation modeling software or computer-aided design (CAD), converts them into thin, virtual, flat cross-sections and then produces successive layers until the complete model is produced.

For the Princeton researchers, one of 3D printing’s greatest strengths is its ability to create electronics in complex forms. Unlike traditional electronics manufacturing, which builds circuits in flat assemblies and then stacks them into three dimensions, 3D printers can create vertical structures as easily as horizontal ones.

Will 3D printing replace traditional manufacturing?

Manufacturing experts do not envision 3D printing replacing traditional manufacturing in electronics any time soon. Instead, 3D is seen as a complementary technology. Traditional manufacturing is a fast and efficient way to make multiple copies with high reliability. Manufacturers use 3D printing, which is slower when it comes to higher numbers of copies, but easy to change and customize, to create molds and patterns for rapid prototyping.

Blinking contact lenses and bionic ears are two perfect examples that may sound weird in the beginning, but show that the work of interdisciplinary R&D teams using latest technology can result in true innovation – and generate new use cases that one has not even dreamt of before.

With all the talk in the press about enhanced robotics, the internet of things and systems engineering, I think we can soon rebuild Steve Austin.

FORBES.COM
by Nadine Huelsen, Director, Product Lifecycle Management, SAP and also SAP guest | JAN 23, 2015 @ 3:29 PM

Things 3D printing in progress

8 Astonishing Things 3D Printing is Producing

http://goo.gl/UJxosn

3D printers don’t already fall somewhere on your list of the top ten coolest things ever, then you really need to take some time to rethink your priorities. The following list of eight unbelievably awesome things that 3D printing is already being used for should help to convince you (if you need convincing) that 3D printers are science fiction come true.

1) Prosthetic Legs for Dogs

With a prosthetic leg created by designers at 3D printing company 3D systems,Derby the disabled rescue dog (warning: if you’re pregnant, menstruating, or a passionate animal lover the aforementioned link will probably make you cry) recently got to run for the first time. Derby’s leg was designed by an artificial limbs specialist, who worked along with Derby’s adoptive parents to model and print Derby’s new legs.

2) Self-Adjustable Glasses

Researchers advocating the far-reaching potential of 3D printing recently used aRepRap printer to create self-adjustable glasses. The glasses cost just $1 to produce, and the lenses can be self-adjusted, helping low-income families to avoid the costs normally associate with vision correction. The project demonstrates the humanitarian implications of 3D-printing. With 90% of visually impaired people living in countries where corrective eye-care is either impractical or impossible, the Adspec glasses could have a huge global impact.

3) Futuristic Furniture

How cool would it be to print your own furniture? With 3D printing, it could be a real possibility. Already, designers have begun experimenting with 3D furnituremodels, producing some pretty neat results. Imagine how much easier moving into your college dorm room would have been if all you had to bring was your 3D printer!

4) Human Organs

Already, 3D printing has had a huge impact in the medical field, but its most exciting application is still in the works. Scientists all over the globe are in the race to create the first fully-functional human organ using 3D bio-printing. Bio-printing combines traditional 3D printing methods with stem cell “ink,” creating delicate structures such as human capillaries with an ease that conventional manufacturing methods could never hope to achieve. Already, prominent scientists such as Anthony Atala have begun creating organ prototypes that could feasibly solve the growing organ-donor problem within the next decade.

3D printed house

5) Eco-Friendly Houses

WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, a company in China, has used a giant 3D printer to create ten single-story homes. An environmentally-friendly project, the houses were constructed out of construction waste and glass fiber. Although the buildings only measure 10 x 6.6 meters, the project has laid the groundwork for 3D building, a development that is well on its way to revolutionizing the construction industry.

6) Modernist Jewelry

3D printed jewelry is already on the market, and it’s surprisingly affordable. By using 3D printers, jewelry makers can produce intricate designs in half the time, using precious metals as well as plastic and brass. This 3D printed jewelry is an art form in its own right, creating geometrically modern custom designs that are already growing popular amongst consumers around the globe.

7) Perfect-Fit Clothing

3D printed clothing has hit the catwalk in recent years, and may soon revolutionize the fashion industry. Although 3D-printed clothing is somewhat materially restricted, it makes ordering perfect-fit clothing easy and affordable. With companies like Australia’s XYZ Workshop already offering downloadable dress designs, soon anyone with a 3D printer will be able to manufacture their own clothing at home.

8) Fully-Functional Firearms

Non-profit 3D printing firm Defense Distributed has created a series of fully-functional gun components using 3D printing methods. All of the blueprints are available for free through the Defense Distributed website, so if you have a 3D printer at home (or if you plan on buying one now that you’ve discovered how awesome they are), you can make your own 3D weapons.

TECH.CO
by Hilary Smith | December 28, 2014 12:00 pm