Makers are an active bunch. Give them a new technology and they’ll come up with innovative projects and creative uses for it before you can blink. 3D printing is no different. Check out five of the craziest things makers have 3D printed so far.
Home Is Where the 3D Printer Is
It’s time to rethink how we build houses, says one Chinese construction company. Namely, we don’t need to build them at all. We can 3D print them instead. WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. followed its own advice. The firm constructed an entire apartment building mostly through 3D printing. The 3D printer used in the project was 105 feet long and 21 feet tall. It printed roughly a floor per day out of a paste made from recycled waste materials.
This isn’t the firm’s first attempt at 3D printing living spaces. Previously, it 3D printed 10 houses out of recycled materials.
The coolest part is that you would never be able to tell from the outside. These look just like any other building. In other words, they feel like home.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for...3D Printed Ice Cream?
The 3D printed future looks delicious. MIT students Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker and David Donghyun Kim created a 3D printer that prints your favorite soft-serve ice cream—ready to eat, says TechCrunch. The students built a working proof-of-concept for a class project, so there aren’t any plans to commercialize the technology, but it shows some of the possibilities 3D printing might hold for creating food.
The students used a Solidoodle 3D printer combined with a compressor, soft serve machine, freezer, extrusion tube and liquid nitrogen tank with shield gas line to create the machine.
One Printer to Rule Them All
We love the crazy 3D projects our fellow geeks undertake to show their appreciation for their favorite science fiction and fantasy masterpieces. 3D printing lets them take their fandom to a whole new level, as proven by this insane StarCraft armor that took over 500 hours to make.
Fan Natasha Spokish created the armor to dress as a character from the game. And she didn’t just go wild with a 3D printer. The original model of the character she used lacked enough detail for her tastes, so she used Blender to add the fine details. While it appears Spokish sits atop the throne when it comes to 3D printing geekdom, others are competing to topple her. Armin Hesampour, for instance, 3D printed a mechanized battle suit model that had 129 individual parts.
The City So Nice He Made It Twice
Doctor Octoroc is the moniker of an individual who has, of all things, an obsessive love of the city of Philadelphia. The good Doctor started out by building a massive LEGO model of the City of Brotherly Love that clocked in at more than 20,000 pieces. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy him.
Now, he’s 3D printing the city block-by-block to create a more accurate, to-scale representation of the city, which primarily includes the buildings and landscape features on each city block. The project is called 3D Printedelphia and the designs that the Doc has gotten through so far are on Shapeways, in case you want to print your own!
Print Me a New Femur
Break a bone? Instead of fixing it, maybe you should just get a new one. This isn’t the start to a science fiction story. It’s a real possibility thanks to breakthroughs from Chinese firm Xi’an Particle Cloud Advanced Materials Technology Co.
The firm was able to 3D print an artificial bone constructed the same way and just as strong as a real bone. Then, the company implanted the bone in a rabbit. Shortly thereafter, the rabbit began to grow new bone around the implant. If successfully tested in humans, the technology could make it easier, safer and cheaper to replace bones lost from certain cancers and skeletal conditions.
What kind of 3D printing advancements excite you right now? Share your favorites in the comments!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons