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22 great examples of print in 3D

Date:2016-11-26 Hits:989

22 great examples of print in 3D


Print in 3D puts the power to create in the hands of ordinary people, like US!


If you believe the hype, print in 3D will transform the way we manufacture everything on the planet, putting the power to create in the hands of ordinary people.

Of course, the process itself is nothing new. 3D printing has been around for 30 years and is an expensive process on an industrial scale. There are many different methods, but all the options to print in 3D take a computer model and build it up layer by layer, fusing dust particles or melting polymers to create a solid object.

Print in 3D: a revived interest

The current interest in print in 3D has arrived thanks to devices like the Makerbot. They may be cruder than their industrial cousins, creating layers by squeezing molten plastic through a nozzle, but they are relatively inexpensive. Suddenly, 3D printing is realistic for thousands of hobbyists.

UK-based artist Brendan Dawes is one designer who was immediately bitten by the 3D printing bug. "The idea that you could have a machine at home that could make things appear out of nothing seemed full of possibilities," he explains. "I'd known about rapid prototyping for a long time but now it was possible to own a machine for around £1000 and print physical objects."

Nick Allen of 3DPrint-UK agrees that reduced set-up costs are bringing new opportunities: "Designers can get their projects manufactured without having to outlay thousands of pounds tooling up." For Nick, the process compares to podcasts and blogging, providing a platform for raw talent. "It's a way of getting noticed. In future some of our most iconic designs will have begun life on a 3D Printer."

With new developments being announced every day, we've gathered 10 of our favourite 3D creations, hailing from hi-tech University labs to amateur garage setups. So, what will you make?

01. SLO Printed Lens Camera

Amos Dudley's camera features a 3D printed lens

A fully-functioning 3D printed camera is impressive enough by itself, but what's really amazing about Amos Dudley's design (you can inspect it in detail below) is that it boasts a 3D printed lens, made using clear resin and a technique called stereolithography.

It took two months of testing and prototyping to create the SLO - much of which was focused on getting the lens right - and you can see how it was made, as well as some of the photos taken with it, here. It's still early days for 3D printed cameras and actually printing one yourself might be a bit of a tall order right now, but it's an exciting use of the technology.

02. Widow's Kiss

This amazing gaming replica takes a lot of making, but it's worth it

This isn't a 3D printing project for the faint-hearted. A stunning 1:1 scale replica of the Widow's Kiss gun from this year's smash hit online game, Overwatch, it's built out of around 40 parts, requires 1425 grams of filament and will take roughly 122 hours to print, and that's before you even think about putting it all together.

The best bit about it? Just like the in-game version, this Widow's Kiss converts from an assault weapon into a four-and-a-half foot sniper rifle, and features movable shrouds, telescoping barrel sections, a fold down rear sight, and collapsible main scope. Thankfully, its creator Indigenous Effects has provided a must-have guide that'll help you put everything together.

03. Nuke Lamp

print in 3D

Print in 3D: This incredible lamp could be yours for €1,369

It was love at first sight for this Nuke lamp. Created by Italian designer Luca Veneri, with its complex surfaces created using real fluid dynamics simulations. The lamp consists of 2 parts and is currently available to purchase at a price of... wait for it... €1369.62. If only we could win the lottery!

04. Dinosaur bones

Paleontology has been using the same, solid tools for around 150 years. However, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara of Drexel University decided it was time for the art of digging up dinosaur bones to catch up with technology.

Palentologists can now use the required skills to print in 3D to make replicas of their bone findings to send to doctors and scientists around the world. This way, the discovery can be truly researched without restrictions.

05. Mars Rover

3dMarvels is a great site to look at for all things 3D; showcasing new 3D printed designs weekly, the site also explains how the model was created. Their latest collaborator Michael designed and printed this stunning replica of the Mars Rover.

06. Yoda

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Print in 3D: Who wouldn't want their very own Yoda?!

This is one 3D printing creation that we'd have on our desk any day! The sculpture only took an impressive five hours to print in 3D, and was printed at .1 mm layer height with a 10% honeycomb fill. Created by Jonathan Wong, you can gain the instructions from his website and make a Yoda of your very own! Have fun you will.

07. Birdsnest egg cups

print in 3D

Print in 3D: Colours are seasonal, so be quick if some take your fancy!

This adorable egg cup was crafted by dutch designer Gijs de Zwart. Since graduating from the Delft University of Technology back in 1999, Gijs set up StudioGijs which is where his 3D prints come to life. These egg cups are printed on demand in laser sintered polyamide and come in packs of 4. You can buy yours from Shapeways.

08. Your face in chocolate

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Print in 3D: Eat your own face!

Have you ever wanted to eat your own face? Well, thanks to print in 3D, now you can! The 'Eat Your Face Machine' (EYFM) is a 3D printer developed by David Carr and the MIT Media Lab. The EYFM scans your face and then recreates it onto a block of chocolate. The end result being your face, in chocolate, ready to eat. NOM!

09. Customised iPhone case

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Print in 3D: Create your own customised iPhone case

3D printing has become a lot more affordable in days of late. Thankfully, that means that more of you will be able to craft your own 3D creations including these customised iPhone cases. If that sounds a little daunting, head on over to designers Polychemy, where you can choose your style, colour and name for your smartphone case.

10. Demon girl figure

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Print in 3D: The attention to detail in this sculpture is incredible.

We've just shown you Polychemy's iPhone cases but get a load of their diversity with this incredible demon girl sculpture. The designer Andrew Baker already has an impressive portfolio, having worked on the likes of District 9 and Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. The sculpture is currently available to buy for $207.

11. The invisible shoes

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Print in 3D: Designer Andreia Chaves created the Invisible Shoes

Brazilian footwear company Melissas caught the 3D printing bug and have been creating incredible fashion designs ever since. The shoes are made out of a proprietary plastic called Melflex using injection-molding and 3D printing. Any left over material is saved and used for the next print in 3D project, so the process is nice and green! These invisible shoes were created by Andreia Chaves.

12. Ornate Type

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Print in 3D: Like Minded Studio created this stunning typography piece

This is one of the most stunning examples of print in 3D that we've come across. Combining typography and pirates, this creation was designed by Luca Ionescu of Sydney based design studio Like Minded Studio. The piece was started using a simple pencil design, then Illustrator for finishing the type and ornaments, and the 3D modeling in Cinema 4DXL via SLS printing.

13. Glove One

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Print in 3D: The international sign for 'call me' made flesh (well, plastic anyway)

If you're always losing your phone, this could be the answer. Glove One is the brainchild of Milwaukee artist Bryan Cera. As part of his Master of Arts, Cera created the fully operational gauntlet using a 3D printer and recycled circuitry. Slot in your SIM card, dial the number on your fingers and then talk to the hand - literally. Cera plans on releasing the plans for Glove One later in the year.

14. Spider 3D Guitar

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Print in 3D: 3D printing gave rock 'n' roll to you

Talk about progressive rock. The Spider 3D guitar was created by Olaf Diegel, rock 'n' roll fan and professor of mechatronics at Auckland's Massey University. The elaborate webbing, complete with three-dimensional spiders running around the open casing, is printed as a single component and can be customised to fit any guitar neck. Of course, arachnophobes looking to print in 3D may prefer the Scarab guitar festooned with butterflies, dragonflies and flowers.

15. Atlas

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Print in 3D: A gaming icon comes to life thanks to adding a LED light

Neemesh Patel, aka Psychobob, is gaining a reputation for creating insanely detailed models of gaming and movie icons. First there was the USB-powered Rig Helmet from Dead Space, then the Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy, both of which Psychobob gave away to friends. His next project is going nowhere and who can blame him. This incredibly detailed model of Atlas from Portal 2 was designed in Modo and printed by Shapeways, a UK company specialising in on-demand print in 3D.

16. Translucent Toddler

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Print in 3D: Imagine what Frankenstein would have done with 3D Printing

Yes, you read that right. Not only can 3D Printing create guitars, robots and phones it can produce full-size, see-through children. Weighing in at 10kg, the macabre maquette is a fantastic example of what 3D printing can do. In days gone by the underlying skeleton would have been built and then encased in the amber-like transparent. Today, the entire model is printing in one piece. Impressive, but we don't want to know why it has no legs.

17. N12 Bikini


While plastic swimwear is unlikely to be the look of 2012, Continuum Fashion's N12 bikini could be a glimpse into the future of fashion. Thousands of circular plates, connected by minuscule springs, are printed in 3D using Nylon 12, a solid but flexible polymer. Not only is Nylon 12 completely waterproof, the designers insist it becomes more comfortable the wetter it gets. In time, the process could be refined to create perfect fits for any shape and size using body-scanning.

18. Edible Brains

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Print in 3D: Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains!

Thanks to print in 3D you don't have to be a zombie to enjoy snacking on brains - even if they're your own. Designers at Intion used a MRI scan of their co-founder's brain to create a solid 3D model. This in turn was used to manufacture a latex mould that was filed with melted chocolate. After three hours in the fridge, the creepy candy was ready for Andy Millns to sample. Yummy!

19. Printable Food

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Print in 3D: Cornell researchers slaved over a hot 3D Printer all day

What if you wanted to create confectionery based on body parts and didn't want to bother with moulds? Researchers at Cornell University's Creative Machines Lab have developed a printer that uses liquid ingredients such as batter or cheese instead of plastic. Fancy a scallop in the shape of the space shuttle ready to deep fry? No problem. A cake with a hidden message printed on the inside? Simple.

While Cornell's printer is still in the prototype stage, a team from the University of Exeter already claims to have perfected a 3D chocolate printer for customisable treats.

20. The Tantillus Lathe

Proving that you don't need an industrial printer to create something amazing, a 3D enthusiast by the handle of 'Sublime' has created a fully operational lathe on Tantillus, the open-sourced printer he designed himself. Of course, a lathe made of plastic wears out pretty quickly, which is why Sublime printed it using PLA polyesters. As PLAs are derived from renewable resources such as sugarcane and corn starch, broken parts can easily be composted. Clever and green to boot.

21. Turtle Shells

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Print in 3D: In the words of Mario: “I’m-a gonna win!”

Michael "Skimbal" Curry's impressive Arc Reactor from Iron Man almost made our list, as did his recreation of Thor's mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Then we spotted these little guys. Based on Mario Cart's spiked shells, Skimbal's has made him 3D models freely available so you can make your own Koopa racer. Print out the individual blocks that snap together to form the shell along with the wheel spokes and internal gears, add the innards of a radio-controlled car and you're all set. Mamma-Mia.

22. Titanium Jaw

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Print in 3D: What other printable body parts will follow this titanium jaw?

3D Printing isn't just about fun and games. If you don't believe us, ask the 83-year-old Belgian woman who can speak and chew thanks to her new printed jaw. Working with Professor Jules Poukens of the University of Hasselt, medical implant experts, Xilloc printed a 170g titanium copy of her original lower jawbone based on MRI scans. The match was so perfect that the patient was able to talk and swallow normally just 24-hours after it was implanted.