3D Printing: 7 Real-Life Examples and 10 Amazing Uses

3D printing is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way we create and manufacture products. From medical devices to aircraft parts and shoes, 3D printing can create just about anything you can imagine, it's just a matter of scale. In this article, we will explore 7 real-life examples of 3D printing and 10 amazing uses for this technology. Believe it or not, 3D printing has the ability to produce entire houses in buildings.

This is a remarkable feat for the technology, as it could save lives when areas are going through difficult times due to natural disasters and wars, as emergency shelters can be built quickly and on demand using 3D printing technology. In Moscow, Russia, a team used 3D printing to create a 400-square-foot house in less than a day, just to point to an example of the speed of production. In addition to this, 3D printing also allows the development of new architectural designs and visions that were never possible before. In Holland, there will soon be a small neighborhood made up of only 3D printed houses.

A highly controversial topic has been the ability to 3D print fully functional firearms. Defense Distributed's “Liberator” has been the subject of heated discussion, as it is a working plastic gun, created with 3D printing technology. Many believe that this is an extremely dangerous skill, since there is a possibility that anyone with a 3D printer and design drawings can produce their own weapons. Additive manufacturing technologies even have an impact on music.

We have already seen violins, flutes, banjos and more produced with 3D printing work. At the University of Lund in Sweden, the first live concert with all the instruments printed in 3D took place, and the show was a resounding success. In addition to complete instruments, 3D printing can also be used to create accessories, such as custom nozzles. The University of Maine set a Guinness World Record when it 3D printed the largest ship ever printed: a 25-foot, 5,000-pound boat called 3Dirigo. The large printer used to create the boat is capable of printing objects up to 100 feet long and 22 feet wide.

The medical sector has found uses for 3D printing in the creation of implants and bespoke devices. For example, hearing aids can be quickly created from a digital file that corresponds to a scan of the patient's body. With printers getting faster and faster, they will be able to work on larger scale production projects, while reducing the cost of 3D printing will help extend their use beyond industrial uses and in homes, schools and other environments. Ukrainian architect turned pastry chef Dinara Kasko has made a name for herself on Instagram by posting photos of her striking geometric cakes printed in 3D. A drawback to many existing 3D printing technologies is that they only allow one material to be printed at a time, which limits many potential applications that require the integration of different materials into the same object. Directed energy deposition is common in the metal industry and works by a 3D printing apparatus connected to a multi-axis robotic arm with a nozzle for applying metal powder. Here, a material must be specified for each voxel (or 3D printing pixel element) within the final volume of the object.

With RSM, a technician uses silicone to take an impression of the ear canal, that impression is 3D scanned and, after some minor adjustments, the model is 3D printed with a resin 3D printer. In short, 3D printers use CAD to create 3D objects from a variety of materials, such as molten plastic or powders. In addition, there are other sites such as Pinshape, Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory which were initially created to allow users to publish 3D files for anyone to print thus reducing the transaction cost of sharing 3D files. And because Apis Cor printing devices are mobile houses can be printed on site rather than in a factory. Larry Summers wrote about the devastating consequences of 3D printing and other technologies (robots artificial intelligence etc.). However these processes can be costly and the size of the parts produced is limited by the volume of the 3D printing system used. There are a variety of 3D printing materials including thermoplastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) metals (including powders) resins and ceramics.

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. It may seem clearly low-tech compared to some of the many technological trends I write about but 3D and 4D printing will have very wide applications and could be particularly powerful when combined with other trends such as mass customization.