Designers use 3D printers to quickly create models and prototypes of products, but they are also increasingly used to manufacture final products. Items made with 3D printers include shoe designs, furniture, wax pieces for making jewelry, tools, tripods, gift items and novelties and toys. The automotive and aviation industries use 3D printers to make parts. Artists can create sculptures and architects can make models of their projects.
Archaeologists are using 3D printers to reconstruct models of fragile artifacts, including some of the antiquities that have been destroyed by ISIS in recent years. Similarly, paleontologists and their students can duplicate dinosaur skeletons and other fossils. Take a look at our gallery of simple and practical 3D printer objects. Special among Formlabs' SLA 3D printing materials, this medical-grade material is validated for brief contact with tissue, bone and dentin.
While you won't be moving to a 3D printed house on the near horizon, you can experience 3D printed construction projects today. Universities offer courses on things adjacent to 3D printing, such as CAD and 3D design, that can be applied to 3D printing at a certain stage. These are quite self-explanatory and what they do is build a base under such objects to essentially support the object being printed. A 2 kg titanium part would generally require a 30 kg titanium block to machine it, generating 28 kg of waste, but 3D printing the same part requires only 6 kg of titanium wire.
Many 3D printing services, such as Shapeways (Opens in new window) and Sculpteo (Opens in new window), print gifts and other small items on request on their own 3D printers and then ship them to the customer. You have several technologies within 3D printing that are not held back by the same limitations as other technologies, so if you have a specific project, you can find out what works best for you. And because Apis Cor printing devices are mobile, houses can be printed on site rather than in a factory. A person 3D printed a wall cavity by scanning it in 3D, then inserting it into place and painting over it.
As an industry that is already based on geometric design, prototyping and modeling, architecture benefits greatly from advances in 3D printing technology. You can also create a print that requires screws to assemble or 3D print the screws and threads yourself. The 3D printing apparatus is generally connected to a multi-axis robotic arm and consists of a nozzle that deposits powder or metal wire on a surface and an energy source (laser, electron beam or plasma arc) that melts it, forming a solid object. Another 3D printed healthcare component that does a good job of being undetectable is the hearing aid.
Currently, molds are printed in 3D with 3D printing processes based on resin and powder, but also by injection of material. The programs grew out of the open source RepRap (Opens in new window) movement, from which 3D printing for hobbyists was developed. To bring new, highly detailed and industry-defining cosmetics to life, Lush needed to turn to 3D printing for much more than prototyping in new ways.