3D printers have developed so much since they were invented. Let’s see some rather interesting things you can do with one – especially if you are a 3D artist.
The fastest-growing industry hit by technology development is 3D art. 3D art is developing continuously, and every innovation simply blows our minds. Programs for 3D modeling are getting better every year, the possibilities for making hyper-realistic renders and visualizations are continually growing, the appearance of VR equipment for 3D programs changed 3D modeling altogether, but that's not all. Just as we were getting used to all these improvements, a 3D printer arrived.
No matter what kind of 3D art we're dealing with, we can now create substantial, compact models using a 3D printer. The latest technology has enabled us to create actual 3D models, which was unthinkable until recently.
The wide range of materials for 3D printers facilitates work for all 3D artists. 3D printed models are usually made of various types of plastic, including polypropylene, polycarbonate, nylon, ABS, PVA, ASA, PETG, HIPS, and PLA. Moreover, there are available materials composed of a plastic base material and various filaments such as metal, wood, or carbon fiber. These materials can be flexible or solid, and it depends on your requirements. Besides, some 3D printers can use various organic materials and even foods.
The development of 3D printers affected almost all industries, including architecture, industrial design, graphic design, textile design, medicine, dentistry, music, food industry, and many more.
We found 15 various, attractive, and amazing things you can create using a 3D printer. Let’s explore!
1. 3D printing of architectural models
After 3D printers arrived, architects and civil engineers found an excellent use of 3D printers - stamping architectural 3D models. Clients and investors like to see hyper-realistic renders, but tangible 3D models are an excellent way of presentation.
Until recently, architects used to create physical models manually, step by step. The main issue related to manual modeling of architectural models was precision. Nowadays, 3D printers can create exact models with previously entered dimensions.
Each 3D printed model of a building can be used to create urban planning maquettes. Furthermore, such maquettes can be used in the film industry. That way, using 3D printers in combination with hyper-realistic visualizations, the film industry will be able to improve the quality of special effects.
2. 3D printing of large structures such as apartments
Architects didn't stop at 3D printing of architectural models. They have managed to 3D print entire buildings. Such buildings that have up to 6 floors indeed don't appear to be 3D printed. The buildings were printed in sections before shipping to the build sites. These sections were fitted into traditional construction systems.
Using 3D printers for houses completely changed engineering and architecture. Besides, there are about 1,000 conventional houses entirely made of 3D printed sections, including construction. 3D printed houses are cheaper and more affordable since works on the building site can be finished faster. Traditional materials are expensive, and each 3D printed house requires about $7,000. Plus, it can be finished in only two weeks.
3. 3D printing of medical models
Visualization of 3D medical models already affected this industry, but nowadays, when various materials for 3D stamping are available, 3D printers found even better use in medicine. Doctors and surgeons can learn anatomy using 3D printed organs. Realistic human anatomy can help students learn all about the human body at more affordable prices. Besides, realistic medical models can help doctors and surgeons learn about diseases and other medical conditions.
Additionally, surgeons can perform a surgery on hyper-realistic 3D printed models, excluding possible risks which exist when a patient goes under the knife.
Another innovation is organic matter, which can be systematically layered to build tissue and organs. This technology is still developing, but who knows what will happen in a few years? Such technology can provide us with real, functional 3D printed organs and reduce the mortality rate.
4. 3D printing of a fetus
Tech development affected medical equipment too. Today, you can see a 3D model of your unborn child, but that's not all. After the ultrasound, doctors can print a 3D model of an unborn baby.
We were used to the fact that the ultrasound finishes after the doctor gives us a picture of our unborn child, but nowadays, moms are leaving medical examinations with a 3D model of an unborn child in their hands.
5. 3D printing of prosthetics
3D printers can produce customizable, low-cost prosthetics that anyone can afford for only $100. These prosthetics are cheaper than conventional ones, and their primary use is found in war-torn parts of the world. Casualties of war who can't afford a replacement can use 3D printed prosthetics and transform their lives.
Today, you can buy 3D printed bionic arms. 3D printed bionic prosthetics are entirely functional, and sci-fi heroes inspired their development. Further technology development will enable even more operative prosthetics, so we now have to wait.
6. 3D printing of hyper-plastic bones
Believe it or not, there is a solution that can speed up the natural process of bone healing. The healing process can be prolonged and painful, but a 3D printed scaffold, using hydroxyapatite, a mineral naturally found in the bone, is an excellent solution.
The patient's immune system won't react to the hyperplastic bone like it's a foreign body, and the healing process can be incredibly fast. A 3D printed bone is stable and flexible at the same time, which is also worth our attention.
7. 3D printing of braces
After a 3D scanning of teeth, orthodontic software can visualize a 3D model of the teeth. Based on that, attends the creation of a 3D model of a brace. A 3D printer can print a brace with high accuracy using corresponding materials.
The process of 3D printing lasts a lot shorter than the traditional braces creation process, and it's a financially efficient solution.
8. 3D printing in industrial design
With mass production, industrial design has become cheaper, which affected the quality of the products. After many years of mass production, people are searching for a unique design, which is usually too expensive.
The development of 3D printers changed the approach to industrial design too. Today, designers can create almost everything using programs for 3D modeling and 3D printers. There are many examples of industrial design made using 3D printers from ornaments and decorations to usable furniture.
Industrial designers and architects can plan interior designs using unique, 3D printed furniture. Besides, 3D models can be reused and printed over and over again.
9. 3D printing of musical instruments
Using a 3D printer, you can create almost everything. Creating a 3D replica of your favorite guitars is possible, but that's not all. Using a 3D printer, you can create a functional acoustic guitar. The use of various materials provides high-quality sound, including plastic and metal for heel joints and sound hole covers.
Thanks to such advanced technology, musicians and music lovers can create unique instruments like guitars, drums, bass guitars, and many more.
10. 3D printing of jewelry
The development of 3D printers had a visible impact on jewelry designers. Instead of creating jewelry manually, they can create various 3D models and use a 3D printer to create their products. Various materials including a combination of plastic and metal powder are suitable for jewelry production, but if the artist wants to create a piece of jewelry using more expensive materials, a 3D printer can be used to produce numerous molds.
In the world of mass production, people are seeking unique designs. 3D printers enabled the production of customized jewelry design.
11. 3D printing of the fabrics and footwear
This sounds impossible, but actually, 3D printing of fabrics is also possible. Using software for collecting a person's body data, the production of perfect-fitting clothing has become a reality. Clothes produced using 3D printers are recyclable, the production time is shorter, and it requires less labor. To produce fabrics, people mostly use nylon - a flexible, thin and strong waterproof material.
Another fantastic use of 3D printers is the production of footwear using laser-sintered nylon. Since synthetic materials aren't comfortable like organic materials, but designers are rather creating sandals and high heels instead of sneakers or boots.
12. 3D printing of food
Some 3D printers can be used for printing food. For example, they can print chocolate or candies in various, complex shapes and forms. Besides, there is a 3D printer able to print foods like pizza or ravioli. Such technology can entirely change cookery and help chefs and pastry cooks create stunning and beautiful food.
13. 3D printing of various prototypes
If you wondered if you would ever be able to create a functional prototype of some home appliance, the answer is yes! 3D printers can be used for creating functional electronic devices like dishwashers or other appliances. With a combination of well-known engineering principles and the latest 3D printing techniques, the production of elegant and practical devices is now entirely achievable.
Such use of 3D printers can change our approach to the production of electrical appliances. 3D artists can design unique forms and shapes, and engineers can use age-old principles. Moreover, designers can create unique and customized devices based on specific demands.
14. 3D printing of spare parts
Spare parts for your favorite device aren't available anymore? That's not a problem. A combination of the latest 3D printers and various materials provides us with the opportunity to create any spare part. A 3D artist must create a 3D model of a desired spare part, and after that, you can print it using various materials.
15. 3D printing of weapons
Although this topic is sensitive since now everyone can print a gun at home using a 3D printer, it is our reality. A 3D printed gun can fire up to 30 rounds before breaking down, but these plastic guns are sufficiently functional.
Technology development sometimes can have a negative impact, but we hope that governments around the world will be able to reduce weapon production using 3D printers.
All of the mentioned products are amazing and easy to create. Today, you don't need to have skills or to be crafty in order to create something, because a 3D printer can finish that without your help. Of course, you must know how to use a 3D program, but there are so many talented 3D artists who can draw a 3D model based on your idea.
3D printers, primary intended for fun, developed more than anyone expected. Tools for fun have become a useful source of smart devices and solutions in all verticals. The application of various materials enabled wide use of 3D printers, but no one could believe that people will be able to create bionic arms, homes, weapons, food, fabrics and medical models using only one machine.
In a short period, 3D printers have become useful tools for the improvement of peoples' lives, providing a replacement for many essentials. Besides, the materials used for 3D printing are recyclable, so we can protect the environment by using renewable materials. Factories have a terrible influence on the environment, but 3D printers, which also can become involved in mass production, are safe and powerful at the same time.
Nowadays, most of us think that technology development reached its peak, but that's nonsense. Technology will continue with development, and we just have to wait and see what's next. 3D printers may become an omnipresent device responsible for creating all tangible things, who knows?
What do you think, where will the development of 3D printers lead society?