It’s hard not to have heard of 3D printing these days – or even seen some of the creations – But it’s still a world mostly unknown to most people. If this is a topic of interest to you, I invite you to stay and read on.
The modern 3D printer got its start with a few men, but two notable ones are Dr. Hideo Komoda and Charles W. Hull.
But, What Is 3D Printing?
The 3D printing process – also called additive manufacturing – consists of producing objects by adding material in layers that correspond to successive cross-sections of a 3D model.
Plastics and metal alloys are the most commonly used materials for 3D printing, but almost anything from concrete to living tissue can be used. So, 3D printing is used to create – efficiently – unique parts and truly complex geometries that are only possible with 3D printing. Although, this isn’t always the case. Let’s see the top 5 most useful 3D prints.
In addition to building models, which make it possible to perfect details before construction and to see the changes in successive three-dimensional prints, there is already an experimental technology called “Contour Crafting”, which combines Geographic Information System data with 3D printing to apply this technology to construction in earthquake-sensitive areas.
4. Clothing And Footwear
The Internet is starting to fill up with proposals for making your own clothes using 3D printing. The textile market sees a new field in these products. At the moment, two startups are dedicated to it: Electroloom and Openknit. The former already creates fashion with different raw materials. The latter allows customers to create clothing from their designs, which they then materialize with a device adapted to print yarn and wool.
Sterling Backus – a father of an 11-year-old boy – downloaded and 3D printed a Lamborghini for his son. Backus is a physicist, scientific director of KMLabs in Boulder, Colorado, and also specializes in laser design. So he had an idea of what he was doing when he started this project. For this project, named ‘Interceptor’, Backus had a budget of approximately $20,000. He downloaded the designs of each of the panels that make up the Lamborghini – which he obtained through the online design community GrabCAD – Afterwards, he only had to make a few modifications to 3D print them.
2. Customized Prosthetics
Given the need for prosthetics to be customized, i.e. adapted to the specific needs of each patient, this is one of the fields in which 3D printing is providing the most advances in medicine. Additive manufacturing has been used in many different cases: dental prostheses, hip replacements, coronary valves, knee reconstruction, titanium thoracic cage, skull reconstruction, among others.
The idea of being able to inhabit Mars is still a dream, but there is no doubt that 3D printing will be one of the great allies to conquer outer space and will allow fulfilling one of the great goals of mankind, to know other planets. MARSHA (Mars Habitat) was created by the New York-based company AI Space factory, which developed a 3D-printed dwelling for habitation on Mars and received a prize of almost 21,000 USD.