The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference showcases the best in new music, film and emerging technologies each year. This year, 3D printing was a huge topic with many demonstrations of ways it can be applied in different industries. These are four of the biggest 3D printing stories that came out of the conference.
Designer Pauline van Dongen and architect Behnaz Farahi together created the 3D printed accessory they call Ruff. The design was based on the idea that fashion accessories should enhance the body rather than just cover it. As a result, Ruff moves as the wearer moves.
Their first 3D designs were unsuccessful due to the 3D printing material being too fragile and breaking. They experimented and adapted to a spiral design that had the durability they needed. The final design is similar to a Slinky in both look and movement.
3D Printed Oreos
Mondelez International, parent company of Oreo, used a 3D printer to print out unique, edible Oreos for event attendees. They partnered with Twitter to create a “customized consumer experience” that bridged “real world events with online conversations,” according to Bonin Baugh, Mondelez International’s VP of global media and consumer engagement.
The result was the “Trending Vending Lounge” where attendees could choose their Oreo flavor and color based on trending hashtag conversations on Twitter. Then, they could watch it being printed (it took 1-2 minutes) and continue the conversation with the hashtag #eatthetweet.
Creopop 3D Printing Pen
For what looks to be mainly a creative tool for kids (of all ages, of course), there is no danger of being burned by hot temperatures or melting plastic. Their photopolymer ink has been modified to cool at lower temperatures.
Available in June 2015, Creopop offers a large selection of cool inks, including different colors, elastic ink, magnetic ink, glow-in-the-dark ink, temperature sensitive ink, conductive ink and body paint ink. Some of these are still in the testing phase.
The company was also a finalist in the SXSW Accelerator competition, which highlights the most innovative online technologies.
Imagine a 3D printer that’s not only mobile, but can hover to create an object of any size anywhere. That’s the concept behind Gensler’s prototype, MUPPette or Mobile Unmanned Printing Platform (-ette because this one is the small version).
It’s a combination of “advanced consumer robotic technology with a custom-built 3D printer.” Think of it as a 3D printer attached to a remote control helicopter (without the remote control) that’s able to print objects in the air.
While it’s still early in their research, they list the following commercial and humanitarian uses for the MUPP:
- Building temporary relief shelters.
- Fixing damaged levees.
- Constructing flood diversion barriers.
With each of these companies looking to expand the boundaries of what 3D printing can be used for, it’s going to be fun to see what new possibilities the future holds.
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Image Source: CreoPop Screenshot