What’s New in the World of 3D Printing?
In case you haven’t noticed, 3D printing is so hot right now. It seems like every week we see a new innovation or discovery in this new creative world, so we’ve decided to kick off a series where we share the latest and greatest news in 3D every month. This month’s got 3D printed ears, squishy elasto plastic, and 3D printed dragons. Here we go!
1. Play-Doh 3D Printer: This might be the ultimate Play-Doh accessory — yep, even better than the Fun Factory. Admittedly, the Hyrel 3D Printer has way more features than just printing in Play-Doh: it can also print in self-setting Sugru (a kind of rubber) and air-drying clay, in addition to plastic. We’re loving the potential to use this for some epic stop-motion animation.
2. MakerBot Watch: The MoMA store now stocks 3D-printed watches made by a MakerBot replicator – they’re flexible and made from pieces that snap together. We’re loving the bright color scheme and the minimalist clock face.
3. 3D Printed Bionic Ear: Electronics meet 3D printing in this crazy-cool project out of Princeton University. Scientists printed 3D cells and combined with an antenna to create an ear that can hear radio frequencies a million times higher than humans.
4. 3D Printed Running Shoes: The ultimate in sneaker customization, these shoes are printed to fit your foot and running style. This would be great for serious runners or people with really specific shoe needs. Plus, we’re picturing an updated Cinderella where the Prince brings one of these around the kingdom!
5. Zero Gravity 3D Printer: Ok, this one legitimately sounds like science fiction. NASA has recently worked with the company Made in Space to develop a printer that can work in zero gravity, for use on the International Space Station and other space related initiatives.
6. 3D Printed Game of Thrones Board Game: Cyvasse is a game featured in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice novels and now, thanks to an enthusiastic fan and 3D printing, you can totally play it!
7. Stratasys acquires MakerBot: Two of the biggest companies involved in the 3D printing world are coming together and we think this promises great things for the future of this technology.
8. 3D Replications of Sculptures: San Diego-based Cosmo Wenman has replicas of the most famous statues in the world sitting in his living room. He made them by taking hundreds of photographs of the originals and then turning to 3D printing to make the models. While certainly not a substitute for the real thing, this is pretty cool for art students dying to touch the inspiring pieces.
9. Elasto Plastic: Shapeways has introduced a new material designed to add a little flex to 3D-printed creations. They stress that the material is still experimental but we’re loving the potential to produce more elastic objects.
10. 3D Printed Gummy People: Move over bears, worms, and fruit shapes, the new way to get your gummy-candy fix is by printing a 3D version of your own body. We’re thinking these would make great birthday party or wedding favors in the shapes of the guests of honor. Fingers crossed they’re as tasty as Haribo. For more 3D printed snacks, head here.
11. The Buccaneer: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Buccaneer is a Kickstarter project offering personal 3D printers for just $347. The project still has a little over 2 days left for funding, so be sure to head over there and back if you’re dying for one of your own.
12. Amazon Launches 3D Printing Category: Amazon is getting in on the trend, launching a category specifically for 3D printing. It offers the opportunity to purchase 3D printers, materials, parts, books, and software.
That’s all the news that’s fit to (3D) print! We’re so excited to see this technology really taking off and we can’t wait to see what’s next in the world of 3D printing. Seriously, they’ve already tackled the Final Frontier, so who knows what’s coming!?
Have we missed any crucial news? Have you tried 3D printing yourself? Talk to us in the comments below or over on Facebook.