3D printing is officially here and people are already using the technology to change the world. 3D printing has been used in the aerospace and automotive industries for more than 25 years already, but has recently made the move to people’s offices and living rooms as they’ve gotten smaller and cheaper.
In short, the way 3D objects are printed is in one layer at a time where the computer directs 3D printers to add each new layer as a precise cross-section of the final object. It’s a pretty unbelievable tool and just may change just about every industry you can think of.
We’ve searched around for some of the most bizarre, interesting and inventive 3D objects printed so far:
A drum set, electric guitar, bass and keyboard have been 3D printed. And they’re not just for looks, either. A New Zealand design engineer and professor helped build the instruments’ bodies using 3D technology before attaching things like tuning pegs, bridges, controls and other necessary features. Finally, the 3D printed instruments were played in a live band in Germany. There’s no sign of music stores being put out of business yet, but could it be in the future?
Honestly, “synthetic food” doesn’t sound super appetizing (though we may be eating it today through various fast food joints). But believe it or not, 3D printers have started delving into printing actual meals. NASA has funded an initiative to print food that astronauts can consume in space, and food scientists have been working with the U.S. military to prepare ready-to-eat meals. Also, 3D chocolate, veggie patties and meats have been fashioned. The verdict on the quality of the food’s taste is still out, but if 3D printed pizza and pasta can cut it for military and astronauts, you have to wonder how long it will be until we’ll start printing food at home.
Yes, you’re reading this right. A 3D-printed firearm was created by a “high tech” gun company called Defense Distributed. The “Liberator,” as the gun is called, is made up of 16 different parts, all plastic. The gun’s body and barrel only take a few hours to print, and the only non-printed portion of the gun is a nail, “used as a firing pin.” The US government has already expressed concerns about the idea of homemade firearms, but no laws have been passed thus far.
When we say “organs,”We’re not talking about the pipe instrument you see at church. We’re talking actual human body organs—and that includes ears, bones and even skin. 3D printing has been used to produce these organs before, and the medical field has already experimented with printing liver tissue and embryonic stem cells using “bioprinters” and what is called a “cell gel.”
Healthcare professionals may find convenient the ability to 3D print synthetic legs, arms, hands and even jaw bones. These artificial limbs have reportedly been made and used cheaply often for victims of the Syrian civil war. The girl in the picture above had a prosthetic 3D printed arm made for her for only $200.
Last year, celebrity Dita Von Teese wore a black ball gown that hugged her in all the right places and was produced by a 3D printer. Now, we’re not saying it was pretty—or that it looks comfortable in the least, but the model for 3D fashion printing could be improved with time and practice. Bikinis, shoes, purses and eyeglass frames have also gone through this digitized form of printing.
Pretty soon, you might be able to skip the bike store and put a 3D printer in your garage. Introducing the Empire 3D-printed titanium trail bike. Built in the UK, the nine-component bike may be the future of bicycle manufacturing.
So it hasn’t been done quite yet, but according to Best Computer Science Schools, the University of Southern California “has a large 3D printer that has the capability to build a 2500 square foot home in 24 hours.” No more months-long construction projects in new housing developments—just 24 hours for an average-sized home. Sounds efficient, but may not leave much room for creative design.
It’s not clear yet whether 3D printing will change the world as we know it, but the possibilities are endless. Given the speed at which other technologies, like mobile connectivity and artificial intelligence have taken off, it’s not out of the question to expect 3D printing to become increasingly part of our daily lives.
Artist Ardan Özmenoğlu creates extraordinary 3D printing on glass by painting on panels and layering them into one consistent 3D picture, in this case a tree that floats on air. Amazing concept and splendid delivery that requires serious amount of creativity!
This is one of the most amazing examples of what an artist can do using 3D printers. Technology and art is mixed in such a fast pace that soon 3D printing on glass can be the norm in many facilities. The sky is the limit when it comes to 3D printers and it’s up to the artists to come up with crazy ideas that challenge the existing status quo.
Every process has its challenges. Of course nothing is easy in the beginning. The same goes with 3d printing on glass, it was surely not an easy task. But science and art can never move forward unless they have daring artists that are bold enough to try something completely new and break the rules. In the case of Ardan Özmenoğlu, the talent young man from Turkey, the 3d printing on glass had all the elements of being unique and innovative while creating a serious wow factor to the spectator. The results of 3d printing on glass are just out of this world as you can see on the picture above.
How is 3d printing on glass possible? The artist uses clear or semi-clear materials like paper and glass as an art board. She basically separates the objects which she is interested in drawing into layered pictures. Each piece of glass, each layer, looks abstract. Only when she combines them in rows one can see the whole of the artwork. A noteworthy quality of her artworks is the they change shape in accordance with the viewing angle of the spectator.
Who is the person behind 3d printing on glass innovation? Ardan Özmenoğlu is a Turkish artist that uses her art in order to investigate how the permanence or ephemerality of images throughout history have affected human culture. Born in 1979 in Ankara, her visual mantras include images of history and consumptions. We hope to see more from her in the future as she continious to experiment with 3d printers.
Some 3D printers are trying really hard to make an affordable but quality 3D Printer available for the mass market, but others are already focusing on expanding the features of other 3D printers in order to make them unique. 3D4C is a prime example of this trend.
3D printing might still be expensive for top quality additive manufacturing, so it’s not very likely that these machines will get traction in the wide public. Prices need to go down before a mass market adoption. However, by constantly pushing the features of these 3D printers to the limits, they will certainly assist the growth of interest in this niche market.
A completely different approach is set out by 3D4C which aims to be the first true CMYK 4-colour blending 3D printer. This amazing gadget will let you 3D print objects that are not mono or two-tone anymore. 3D4C has the unique ability to blend quad-colours creating amazing multicoloured plastic print-outs that will impress your (geek) friends.
3D4C printer is the first of its kind! A truly 4 colors blending 3D printer (CMYK) to bring your ideas to reality, and make 3D printing more interesting than ever.
Over the past few years, the 3D printing industry is booming drastically, but still at the infant stage, like the copier industry when only Black & White copier available. I wondered why nobody make a full color printer 2 years ago, so I started to develop one. After almost 2 years research and development, finally, we are proud to present our 3D4C printer to the world.
The 3D4C printer has many innovations in the field of filament-based 3D printing:
1. The first truly 4 colors blending 3D printer.
2. Unique color blending hot-end extruder: provide accurate color blending.
3. Unique compact design, laser-cut cold-end extruders (4 units): ensure powerful and accurate filament delivery for 3D printing.
4. Original design Dual Building Platform with heat-bed: Platform 1 – MK3 Aluminium heat-bed. Platform 2 – 2mm laser-cut aluminium platform for large PLA printing (250 x 250 mm).
5. Special design electronics board: with 7 drivers to control 7 stepper motors.
6. Full metal parts: to provide accurate and fast printing, all parts are made of metals, probably the first of its kind. (except PTFE tube, couplings and belt)
7. Laser-cut Aluminium casing: to accommodate 7 stepper motors with a compact design, we use 2mm laser-cut brushed aluminium to ensure a stable framework for printing.
8. 0.4mm & 0.8mm dia. nozzles: the first 3D printer provide 0.8mm nozzles to enable extreme speed printing. The 3D4C printer can do that because it has a solid framework and accurate filament delivery system. All 3D4C printers come with 2 nozzles for different applications.
9. Seamless original design: to make a good product, you not just need a bright idea, but also a well thought original design. We think out of the box by using materials and manufacturing technique which no current manufacturers are using, and thus be able to make a high performance cool design.
10. Thanks to the original design, the 3D4C is the cheapest color 3D printer ( even compare to 2 color printers ) available in the market.
Here’s a breakdown of how 3D4C is comparing with another popular 3D printer, Replicator 2x
The machine is just a prototype for now, with its London based makers running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to pull in enough funding to get the device to market. On the cost front, they’ve priced the 3D4C at $1,400 plus shipping to early Kickstarter backers, rising to $1,500 thereafter or even more if you want rolls of filament plus a filament rack included so affordable this is not.
If they can pull in enough interest to hit their £50,000 crowdfunding target by mid September the aim is to ship to backers this December. Which does sound a rather ambitious timeline, especially given the need to tweak open source 3D printer software to support their four-colour printing function by adding a “user friendly color palette generator”. But even if this multicoloured 3D printer doesn’t make it to market, others will surely follow.
Are you interested in multi-color 3D printers? Check out the first multi-material 3D printer by ORD Solutions called Rova3D. Little did ORD Solutions know when they launched a 35 day Kickstarter campaign for their latest 3D printer, the RoVa3D, that it would take them only 2 days to reach their funding goal of $25,000. As of today, they have passed the $100,000 milestone, with still many days to go.
Based on their ground breaking MH3000R1, the RoVa3D includes up to 5 print heads for multi-material/multi-color printing. This makes it the first of its kind among the first generation of multi-color 3D printers due to launch in the highly competitive market of 3d printing. You can check the main features of RoVa 3D below:
Check out some samples of what multi-color 3D printers can achieve. Don’t you just love the fact that this cute ghost / octapus comes in so many different color variations? We certainly do!
As if these were multi-color 3D printers features were not enough, RoVa3D includes more additional features that are currently only available through Kickstarter. So don’t wait, hurry-up to grab yours before the time runs out!
How about that? Multi-color 3D printers have now a key player that can truly change the game. Founder and Chief Architect, Chris Gibson, said of the new printer: “Now that the MH3000R1 is in the hands of our original Kickstarter backers, we’ve had some time to work on this new version. We’ve also received lots of great feedback from these initial users that have helped us improve our printer and make it even better. And the best part is, so far, all of these upgrades are fully backwards compatible. We can supply owners of the MH3000R1 with the parts to upgrade their printer and make it equivalent to our new model. So we added a Kickstarter reward for them to do just that.”
When you are reviewing multi-color 3D printers like Rova3D, you have to put it against competition and compare their features. So where does it stand against other multi-color 3D printers? We did a side-by-side test with Cube X by Alibre and Replicator 2X by MakerBot. Check out the following table and see the result for yourself!
Are you wondering why Rova3D is so much cheaper than other multi-color 3D printers on the market? The simple answer is that ORD Solutions doesn’t have any kind of middle-men involved so they are able to sell at a very competitive price. If you think that $2,599 is still expensive, you can check our special coverage on cheap 3D printers.
ORD Solutions also found that MH3000R1 didn’t quite roll off the tongue the way they had hoped. They wanted to be the first among the companies who are able to produce multi-color 3D printers. And launching a new printer called the MH3000R2 didn’t seem to express the excitement they felt about the new features of this printer. So they launched a “Name Our Printer” contest.
Over the two weeks of the contest, they invited anyone in Canada or the US to submit names. After the first week, under pressure from some of their existing customers, ORD Solutions opened the contest to the rest of the world. And it’s a good thing they did. The eventual winner of the contest is Joe Williams from Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. He suggested the name Rova in homage to the Mars Rover. Do you see the resemblance in the picture? You can see clearly how multi-color 3D printers work once you identify the multi-material wires shown below.
Many submissions pointed out that the printer reminded them of the Mars Rover. And that the red accents on the printer reminded them of Mars. Some even went so far as to suggest that the printer looked like something that belonged in space. So the name Rover was a frequent submission. Joe went in a slightly different direction, and suggested the name Rova, also in homage to the Mars Rover.
This name was the hands down favourite of the entire team. It suggested that with the printer you could go and explore new territory otherwise unexplored. So Rova became the winning name. The “V” is capitalized to suggest the number 5 in Roman numerals, which is the number of print heads you can have in a fully loaded configuration. And, it’s still the only 3D printer to have 5 heads, so that is appropriate.
Located in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, ORD Solutions manufactures and sells 3D Printers, supplies and accessories, and provides 3D Printing Consulting Services. Founded in 2010, their objective is to provide truly useful, high quality products and services focused on automating small scale manufacturing. ORD stands for Object Replication and Design. You can check their YouTube channel or Facebook page.
Doodle Dream, the first real aesthetic-designed, affordable and easy to use 3D printer. Make Anyone can run 3D printer immediately. We are always on the pursuit of dream of “a 3D printer in every home”. That’s one of key reasons to make Doodle Dream affordable for all.
The Doodle Dream 3D Printer is an easy to use consuming 3D printer engineered for the everyday user. It helps beginners to get up quickly. You don’t have to learn how to built 3D digit-model by professional 3D modeling software. Download the featured existed 3D digit-modeling from sd3d.cn. Use SD card to store the data, plug in Doodle Dream 3D printer then print it. You can do whatever you what and no worries to keep the USB cable connected with 3D printer. Check out some samples from one of the best affordable 3D printers out there:
Doodle Dream is the first real aesthetic-designed, affordable and easy to use 3D printer. It also gives you the amazing function of hand-painted WiFi 3D printing. Make Anyone can run 3D printer immediately. There is no limit. Doodle Dream will make a difference for the future of consuming 3D printing.
So, why would you buy one of these affordable 3D printers? Let me break it down for you.
You want more reasons to invest in affordable 3D printers like Doodle Dream? Check out these technical specifications and get to know better this amazing gadget!
Doodle Dream comes with one year warranty by its manufacturer and delivers higher value and competitiveness. It uses safe and colorful material (ABS & PLA). Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to own one of the most remarkable affordable 3D printers introduced in this busy market!
3D printing is pre-claimed as the important symbol of the third industrial revolution. One of key project is to educating the young generation to know 3D printing knowledge and use it.
Doodle Dream is aiming to make every child have their first 3D printer and increase more imagination and innovation with 3D printing technology. In addition, the amazing function of hand-painted WiFi 3D printing enable children can run 3D printer quickly. Just use Smartphone or tablet to draw any flat pictures by finger then transformed 3D digit-modeling automatically, even you can customize it as you want. Click ‘Print’ everything is done. After several minutes you can have your own designed 3D product. We supposed this is absolutely the best gift to give children.
3DMax, Solidwork or PROE… For the experts have professional background, you must familiar with any of this 3D modeling software. You can build any 3D digit-modeling as you like. Use the supporting Doodle Dream slicer software to analyze it. The size, weight and relative specifications can be clearly read before real 3D product print out. Also available for the professional, such as designer, architect, mold manufacture etc.
You can order one of the most amazing affordable 3D printers from their official KickStarter campaign page. This project will only be funded if at least $100,000 is pledged by Sat, Aug 30 2014.
Are you interested in cheap 3D printers that provide great value? Don’t miss out on Micro M3D, the amazing compact 3D printer available for $349 for a limited period. We are going to show you why this is a great bargain for your pocket and why 11,855 backers financed the project on KickStarter in May 2014.
Micro is among the cheap 3D printers that can be used by both beginners and experts in 3D printing. The set-up is super easy, all you have to do is plug-in Micro 3D printer and hit print! This out of the box approach makes it ideal for people who wish to give 3D printing a try without spending thousands of dollars. Your can customize models you download from the web and see them 3D printed in minutes!
Micro has a deep focus on the consumer, that’s why it was built as a low-cost 3D printer. When it first went public on KickStarter, the original price was as low as $199. This fueled demand and made the cheap 3D printer viral among the internet. As backers multiplied, the price soon rose to $299, which was still considered a steal for this industry! Micro became insanely popular on KickStarter and managed to secure the initial $50,000 goal in hours. It has passed the $1 million milestone in 25 hours, bringing this project in the elite of crowd funding.
Cheap 3D printers like Micro are usually small in size. It’s a 7.3 in³ cube that has a layer resolution of 50-350 microns. According to its manufacturer M3D, it has a print area of 4.6 x 4.2 x 4.4″.
Cheap 3D printers doesn’t have to be a copy cat. Instead, they can provide fantastic innovations that help consumers get the most out of their budget. Here’s a summary of innovations introduced by Micro in the field of 3D printing.
First of all this printer is the smallest 3D printer on the market. Micro took space efficiency into the extreme and came up with a really compact design that makes 3D printers portability a reality. Due it’s small size, Micro is also light and can fit practically anywhere without any hassle. Forget about these huge 3D printers that demanded an entire room just to store them.
Cheap 3D printers are also known for being loud. Not this one. Micro beats any other 3D printer in terms of noise levels. You will have a peace of mind knowing that this gadget will not wake up your neighbours every time you hit the print button! Believe me, you are not going to believe how silent Micro is!
It’s small, portable, light and silent. What else? It’s also power efficient. You will not see your electricity bill going through the roof after you start 3D printing with Micro. The ceramic heater allows rapid heating so it can be safely turned on and perform awesome 3D printing in the most reliable way.
It also comes in amazing vibrant colors. Forget the rest of the boring 3D printers. Micro introduces Blue, Red-Orange and Green in a bold proposition that resembles the first iPod mini that was available in multi colors. Cheap 3D printers know how to capture the attention of the consumer with their affordable price, but Micro goes the extra mile and really turns heads with its playful colors.
If you are a die hard fan of American goods, you wont have to turn into China to find cheap 3D printers anymore. Micro is the first 3D printer that is assembled in the US. M3D decided that this is the best way to ensure top quality control in each machine shipped.
You can also replace nozzles if you are up for an experiment. Replacing print beds will also give you the ability to use various materials in your very own 3D printing technique. That’s going to be huge for artists and experimenters who love to push the limits when it comes to exploring new stuff.
The software of cheap 3D printers is often full of bugs and never quite reach the sophistication of more expensive 3D printers. This is another myth that Micro busts with its modern touch enabled software. It will change the way you think about ease of use. Every single trial we did, Micro showed how user friendly cheap 3D printers can be. All you have to do is spend a couple of minutes and you will be familiar with it. True magic!
As for materials, you will find new filament like Chameleon PLA, not to mention the inspirational spools by Micro. A true piece of art if you ask me! It works with Mac or Windows, and even Linux operating system, giving you the flexibility you need as a professional or hobbyist to play around using your existing setup.
You can check more details about cheap 3D printer Micro and pre-order your copy, visit M3D official’s website now! The first Micro cheap 3D printers will be delivered in February 2015. If you reside in Europe, you will get an EU-friendly shipping. What does that mean? You will avoid extra cost on the local customs office by paying VAT along with shipping.
As this case clearly suggests, the market for cheap 3D printers is now wide open with new players that offer a complete and affordable solution without any quality sacrifice. We are eager to see more innovation and new entrants in this highly promising market segment. Let the game begin!
BigRep One is a new 3D printer specially designed to print small furniture. Due to the size of this unique 3D printer, BigRep One has no issue bringing into life whole furniture in just a few hours of processing their designs. Founded in 2014 the company is set to transform the 3D printing market by bringing a complete solution ready for production, design and engineering!
As 3D printers for furniture become more popular, we will continue to see more ground breaking technology and innovation from companies specializing in 3D printing. BigRep One is built from aluminum and has 100 microns resolution. It can print different kinds of material, for example the usual plastic and naylon that other 3D printers for furniture are using. On top of that, BigRep One is also able to print using Laywood which is a mixture of wood and polymer for a more wood-like result.
Each side of BigRep One measurs a bit more than a meter as you can see from the illustration below. Size is a key feature in 3D printers for furniture and BigRep One has no issue to scream: size does matter!
Check out this video on YouTube that shows how 3D printers for furniture like BigRep One operate.
The price of this amazing product of 3D printers for furniture is set to $39,000 (shipping not included) which might be more than the usual price tag, but its features are trully amazing! The price for European customers is 29,000 euros. Shipping has already started and you can order your very own 3D printer for furniture by visiting BigRep One official website.
A 3D designer managed create this table shown above using adaptive growth patterns of trees and bones.
Another 3D designer used BigRep One to create another form of table using the same kind of process.
As you can see, 3D printers can create any form of furniture or even art, like this wooden trash bin.
A close up of the table produced by 3D printers show the level of detail that BigRep One can achieve.
3D printers become more and more popular, but until now they are gadgets that the simple, every day user could not easily manage. But that’s about to change. AIO Robotics combine 3D scanning and printing in one device. Zeus, the king of the ancient Greek Gods, promises to rule the 3D printers space by making their use simpler as the all-in-one printers did about 10 years ago when they combined for the first time printing, scanning and fax capabilities.
Zeus is an all-in-one 3D printer that had the luxury to secure a great startup budget from Kickstarter. This is really important as crowdsourcing can help manufacturers overcome the basic needs in funding in order to bring their innovative solution to the market. Zeus was an instant hit among the backers mainly because it’s a standalone 3D printer/scanner that doesn’t need to connect to a computer in order to work. The final amount pledged was $111,111 by 170 backers, so the project was successfuly funded in October 2013.
Currently, most 3D printers need a CAD file that comes from a laptop or a PC before they can print in 3D. Zeus runs without a computer linked to it because it has its own operating system. It also comes with an integrated CPU and a 7 inches touch screen. This allows users to perform the so called one touch auto-copy, which is a very impressive promise. The intuitive combination is simple enough for any user as it lowers the learning curve needed to operate any 3D printer today. Zeus is the first all-in-one 3D printer that does all the work for you! The shelf-ready product that most users wish they could have is now ready at your disposal.
With the use of this simple interface, any object up to 9 inches wide and 5 inches high can be placed on its base and Zeus will scan it. AIO Robotics call this technology “swiping laser triangulation” which means 3D scanning in simple English.
After 3D scanning is complete, the user can perform two actions. You can either print in 3D the scanned object or you can send it anywhere you want by e-mail so that the receipient can print it in a different location. And that’s the definition of 3D fax right there! Using the internet instead of landlines to send a file that was scanned in New York so that it can be printed in 3D miles away in Los Angeles. It follows the same concept of fax that brought a revolution in communication years ago. AIO Robotics claim that they can disrupt the industry once again with this simple twist of the same tried and tested concept.
However, there are some drawbacks on this first attempt for an all-in-one 3D printer. And that’s totally understandable us breakthrough technology is not perfect on its early days. First of all, Zeus is a bit slow when it comes to scanning. The process can take up to have an hour according to the manufacturer. That’s far more than any typical 2D scanner, which can scan an A4 page in less than 10 seconds. The extra dimension in scanning makes it much more time consuming as this all-in-one printer needs to take into considerations all kinds of details that come from the multi-dimensional world.
Moreover, surfaces that are not very well defined might be read incorrectly. The result will be that the 3D printer that will finally print the scanned design will produce an object that might not be 100% accurate. Think about it like a OCR software used by early scanners and printers to decypher scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition technology. Remember these strange characters that would fill Word documents, for example having a $ sign instead of an S? That’s the same principle here, only harder to “guess” what’s right and wrong. The problem gets so complex that the accuracy at this stage will almost never hit 100%. Apologies, but if you expect a full copy-paste of objects with this all-in-one printer, you might get dissapointed.
Having said that, the quality of 3D printing achieved by Zeus is superior to other 3D printers on the market. It beats most of the competition while offering additional feautures like 3D scanning and faxing. Plus you get a simple interface that even a child could operate. Zeus costs 2,499$ and it’s only available in US at the moment. Adding an extra $350 you will get the AIO Care Package for 1 year. It includes free service, shipping and parts. So, for its price tag, you get a cool all-in-one 3D printer package that right now is the most competitive offer on the US market (and quite possibly worldwide).
Do you consider buying an all-in-one 3d printer like Zeus in the future? Do you think they will gain a great market share or is it a niche market that will only appeal to a very few segment of people? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts about your experience and expectations from an all-in-one 3d printer!