The entire manufacturing industry was turned on its head by the advent of 3D printing. This new additive form of manufacturing has revolutionised things in ways we could have never previously imagined. Whilst it was initially used for relatively niche products or in the prototype stage of manufacturing it has advanced a great deal in recent years. Firstly the costs of 3D printers reduced so much and the size of the machines decreased to the point of being suitable for desktop use that they found their way into people’s homes. But now we have reached a stage where people are designing quite unusual and innovative products as they test the limits and in some cases simply have fun with it – such as recreating Van Gogh’s ear. So let’s look at some of the most unusual things which have been able to be 3D printed.
A company named WinSun claim to have been the first to 3D print houses. They then went from this to completing a 5 storey building. It was argued that this doesn’t fully qualify as being totally 3D printed however as it was printed in segments and then assembled on site. The first completely 3D printed building was completed in Dubai in early 2016. It is an office block on the site of The Emirates Towers and it took just 17 days to construct.
2014 saw the first 3D printed car. Named the Strati it was printed at a technology show in America and took only 44 hours to produce. Whilst it was not 100% printed because in reality it was just the body which was, it is still a remarkable achievement. The automobile company are now looking to expand and produce automobiles in larger quantities.
These are undefined cells which can develop into any of the different types of cells which make up the human body. You could think of them as the building blocks of life, so to speak. Now consider that scientists have been able to 3D print them. These can be then used to create tissue and it is hoped that over time they will be able to create entire bodily organs from 3D printing methods.
No we’re not talking Star Trek replicators this is for real. Numerous people have started 3D printing genuine food. This is possibly the most remarkable development in the world of 3D printing. The future implications of this as the technology advances are mind blowing and could solve a lot of food shortage problems. As it stands today there is a company making a meat alternative called bioprinted meat and they can also make leather. Others have developed 3D printers which can create cake toppers and are attempting to now print candies and cakes.
This is probably the most controversial item ever produced through 3D printing. An American by the name of Cody Wilson developed the model and then posted it online. However, this was quickly removed by the government but not before many people had downloaded it for themselves.