3D printing has allowed people to unleash their creativity in a number of exciting and unusual ways. From personal action figures to artificial limbs, 3D printing technology has made a number of amazing if slightly unusual ideas a reality.
3D printing technology is still developing so it’s amazing to consider what could be printed in the future when some wondrous things have already been created. Let’s take a look at my top 5 picks for unusual things that people have made using 3D printing technology.
While it might seem a little strange to have a replica of a still-developing baby as a paperweight 3D printing has made it possible and to be honest it is oddly sweet. The Japanese medical technology business Fasotec are the people responsible for this unusual idea.
By converting the images of a fetus, taken during an MRI scan they can create a 3D replica of it using 3D printing. It might be a slightly odd keepsake, but it is oddly touching and would certainly make an interesting memento.
This one is a bit of a throwback because a lot of people are trying it now, but while it might be popular it’s still a little odd if you stop to think about it. I mean printing food is strange isn’t it? But while it might be a little unusual now it could soon become the new norm because it’s seeing a lot of interest.
Natural Machines is just one business that as based itself around 3D printed food and it’s already developed what it calls the first 3D printing kitchen appliance the Foodini. But they are not the only business working in 3D printed food, Sugar Lab an American based business design 3D printed cake-toppers and other edible confectionary products as well.
Yes, you really can 3D print a house, and this as actually been in development a lot longer than many people realise. Joseph Pegna from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s department of mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and mechanics even developed some 3D printing techniques in 1995 for building a house.
But it wasn’t till much later that actually 3D printing a house was possible and one of the first businesses to do it was tech start-up Apis Cor. They successfully designed and then built a fully 3D printed house in less than a day! The University of South California also houses its own 3D printer designed to help build houses and other large structures.
And when I say organs I don’t mean the musical instrument, although someone did use a 3D printer to make a working violin. Numerous medical organisations and businesses have already begun work on using 3D printing technology to replicate organs found in the human body.
Of course, the 3D printing in the medical world is a little different, your standard 3D printer won’t be up to the task of creating a working replacement organ but there more advanced counterpart might. These bio-printers use tissue and embryonic stem cells and a wide range of organs have already been successfully printed.
This includes a heart, lungs, bones and even skin, as the technology gets more advanced and better systems are created 3D printing could make what was once believed impossible possible! There have already been some amazing breakthroughs in the field of medicine with 3D printing and it’s only going to get better.
A 3D Printer
Well they do say the machines will one day take over, don’t they? I suppose it was inevitable that eventually, someone would use a 3D printer to try to make their very own machine. Adrian Bowyer an English engineer and mathematician was such a person and he succeeded!
He created the RepRap project which was designed to be an open-source and self-replicating 3D printer. The printer was a big success and no one can say for sure how many there actually are operational today, but it’s fair to say there's probably a lot.
In recognition of his work Adrian Bowyer was awarded the 3D Printing Industries Outstanding Contribution to 3D Printing Award in 2017 and while the RepRap project as currently ceased trading it’s already made an undeniably huge impact in the 3D printing industry.
So, while printing your own 3D printer is certainly unusual it does easily display the amazing possibilities of this still-developing technology.
*This article was written by a 3rd party. Print My Part will not be responsible for any factual inaccuracies.
Cambridge based 3D printing service, Print My Part have been working with Ramiro M. Joly-Mascheroni, a PHD student within the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit at City University, London, to produce a range of visual development stimuli.
These stimuli are being used to carry out medical studies alongside doctors in European hospitals into the sight of prematurely born babies, and consequently the rehabilitation of an underdeveloped visual system.
Ramiro said that, according to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. Of these, one in 20 is likely to be born blind or with severe loss of vision, a rise of 22% in the past decade.
In neonatal units, along with sensorimotor and neurological training, time in the incubator during their first periods of extrauterine life is considered of utmost importance. These first months, when babies rely completely on the incubator to survive, are also a vital opportunity to achieve significant rehabilitation of their underdeveloped visual system.
At present, early interventions in neonatal units consist of visually exposing and training eye-gaze using two and three-dimensional emoticon type pictures and objects.
To date, Print My Part have designed and created these three-dimensional models using their in house design skills and 3D printers. The printer in question uses the fused deposition modelling (FDM) technique to produce a series of white and black ‘slices’; which are later assembled. This provides the vivid contrast between white and black required for the models.
Using their in-house product design engineer, Print My Part were also able to adapt the design to improve the efficiency of the study. This was achieved by adding features such as ‘hold points’ to the base plate. Furthermore, the team is also designing a mounting part which can be attached to the incubator door, offering a secure mount location for the visual stimuli and effortless transition between the models.
Moving forward, there is also a large body of literature that shows the importance of the baby being exposed to human features. Babies follow and prefer human faces to objects, and they recognise their mother’s voice and facial expressions even when they are born extremely early in their uterine maturation process. Unfortunately, immunological risks and other issues often prevent parents from spending invaluable time in the tiny babies’ sensorineural and emotional development. This overall has an impact on the baby’s development, as from early age they are deprived of the essential social and maternal contact. This period has been proven to be important not only in the level of attachment, but also in the babies’ global progress.
The present project aims to provide a tool to improve the ‘parental social’ contact with the new-born that helps increase interest in engaging babies’ eye gaze behaviour and maintain a certain level of social contact with their beloved parents. Moving forward, Print My Part hope to progress their involvement in the project further, utilising Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing methods to achieve this.
Print My Part is run by an experienced product design engineer, and is home to in-house 3D printing equipment utilising both FDM and SLA 3D printing methods. Whether you need product design expertise, existing parts reverse engineering or a reliable and affordable 3D printing service, Print My Part can help.
Print My Part work with individuals, DIY’ers and businesses nationwide. For more information visit www.printmypart.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are pleased to announce that our web address PRINT4D.co.uk is for sale!
With the 3D printing industry progressing rapidly, market leaders are exploring the future boundaries of 3D printing. A result of this is 4D printing, a ground breaking technology where materials can change shape post-production.
Below are some notable articles regarding 4D printing technology:
At Print My Part, we are always interested in the latest technological advancements in the world of design, and more specifically advancements in the 3D printing industry. This knowledge helps us adapt to offer the latest technologies and machinery to our customers.
One 'buzzword' which we are hearing of more and more is '4D printing'. So we have put together a guide summarising everything you need to know about 4D printing, in an easy to understand infographic.
The infographic covers the following topics:
What exactly is 4D printing?How does 4D printing work?Who came up with the idea?Real life progress4D printing examplesThe future of 4D printing
Feel free to use, share and repost this infographic as you wish, however we would appreciate your acknowledgement of www.printmypart.co.uk when doing so.
Print My Part is run by a product design engineer, and is home to FDM and SLA 3D printing equipment.. Whether you need product design expertise, reverse engineering or a reliable and affordable 3D printing service, we can help.
Print My Part work with individuals, DIY’ers and businesses nationwide. For more information visit www.printmypart.co.uk or email email@example.com.
Whether restoring old products, or starting a new project, sourcing spare parts fit for purpose can be a minefield. Sure, finding parts and components for modern-day devices doesn’t prove to be too much of a problem, but what about products that are a little more aged?
History is very much part of today’s world, whether it’s household items you want to maintain, as today, they aren’t built like they used to be, or toys, that bring back memories of times gone by. Unfortunately, many of the spare parts these require are short in supply, or non-existent, which can mean many restorations and projects hit a dead-end.
Fortunately, the evolution of 3D printing has meant that bespoke spare parts can be created that can restore or repair a product to its original glory and offer a functional replacement for lost or broken parts.
Create Spare Parts Quickly
In many instances, there will be a need for spare parts as soon as possible, and those looking for a bespoke solution in the past may have found that they were waiting for some time to get the final product.
The modern era provides a more streamlined and time-effective process that can have the parts designed and 3D printed in a number of hours.
The time it takes to create the spare parts can vary depending on the volume, design complexity, size of parts and type of 3D printing , but the time this take is far more efficient than traditional manufacturing methods.
The design and 3D printing of customised parts can be surprisingly cost effective. The majority of the cost is usually in the time taken to recreate the part ready for 3D printing. However, simple parts can usually be created within the hour.
Due to the process that 3D printing employs, unlike other manufacturing processes, there is no need for upfront tooling and in most cases printing a single component is cost effective. This means that those in need of spare parts can acquire them without having to spend a small fortune.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when talking about bespoke parts, but you’d be surprised that there can still be limitations when creating parts using other methods.
Additive manufacturing technology thrives on creating single parts that overcome the majority of limitations faced with other manufacturing methods such as injection moulding. This has been used to great effect when creating products in a range of industries from F1 through to dental care.
Acquiring Bespoke 3D Printed Parts
Some may assume that to be able to produce bespoke 3D spare parts, they have to invest the hardware and software needed. Not only can this be a costly process, it can also be a time-consuming.
This is why so many prefer to use a professional product design and 3D printing service like Print My Part. Print My Part offer a one-stop-shop for the design and 3D printing of bespoke components. The Design Engineers at Print My Part create all parts using cutting edge software and 3D print on industrial grade machinery.
The investment needed for a personal 3D printing setup will most definitely cost more than the project requires, so using a professional can ensure you’re saving time and money when acquiring spare parts.
Calling all makers, designers, inventors, DIYers, students and creatives!
We have just joined Facebook, and to help spread the word we are giving away £500 to bring your ideas to life. This will include 5 hours of design time and £250 worth of printing credit, allowing you get your design drawn in CAD by a industry experts and 3D printed on our high quality machines to turn your idea into a physical prototype.
To be entered into the prize draw, all you need to do is visit our Facebook page and 'like' and 'comment' on the competition post.
Terms and Conditions:
- Winner is picked at random from the list of Facebook users who, who have 'liked' and 'commented' on this post. - One winner will be picked once we have recieved 1200 entries. - Winner will be notified through Facebook Messenger and the prize must be claimed within 1 week of contacting winner. - Entries must be 18 or over & a resident of the United Kingdom. - Prize description: 5 hours of design time to turn your sketches and drawings into 3D CAD files and £250 credit to 3D print the parts on our machines. We will also send your parts to a UK address free of charge. - We will progress the design as much as possible in 5 hours. We recommend you keep your ideas very simple to enable maximum progress in the 5 hour peri
od. We will work from your existing ideas & sketches. - We will work on plastic part design only. We will not work on any other parts of the overall design such as electronics etc. - All intellectual property will belong to you and all CAD files will be sent to you. - 3D Printing must be within the capabilities of our machines (including colour). - We will need sketches of the part. - Prize cannot be exchanged for any other product or for cash value. - Our standard T's & C's also apply. - The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. - Facebook cannot be held liable for anything related to this promotion.
We recently stumbled upon Martin Schneider, a freelance illustrator based in Germany. Martin has designed and built the worlds first 3D printed etching press.
Martin highlighted that the unavailability of a press is one of the main challenges for people that want to try printmaking. The project took place over the course of 5 months and resulted in 10 prototypes, printing more than 100 proofs and using a kilometer of filament.
Naturally, we had a go at printing one of these ourselves, and its amazing! Printed on our Stratasys uPrint SE Plus, the ABS plastic offers an extremely robust and durable model which truly functional.
After more than 300 years of nonexisting innovation in the design of a printmaking press, this project is a breath of fresh air. The final prototype is able to print on a 70 x 100 mm paper and the whole assembled product fits comfortably into a shoe box!
Letterpress printer and Director of Cambridge University's Careers Service, Gordon Chesterman has collaborated with local 3D printing bureau, Print My Part, to explore a new method of creating letterpress printing blocks. An approach using modern technology to support traditional printing methods.
From its invention in the 15th century through to the 20th century, letterpress printing was the only way of printing text, using hand-carved wood blocks for illustrations and larger letters. This traditional craft all but died out in the 1950s but, in recent years, we’re enjoying a resurgence in letterpress printing – the beauty and tactile qualities of fine printing are being appreciated by those bored with mass-produced, dull, computer-generated print.
Today, Gordon uses old iron printing presses and type over one hundred years old at his home-based printshop to create exquisite posters, stationery, invitations, poetry books and ephemera for a range of clients in Ely and further afield.
Gordon explained, “with wooden printing blocks dating back many years, some blocks become damaged and new printing blocks become hard to source. Or one is ‘out of sorts’ – a printer’s term for not having enough letters. As a result, I approached Print My Part with the task of recreating printing blocks using the 3D printing process”.
The collaboration has been extremely successful, resurrecting some blocks designed and cut over the last 150 years whilst offering customers the freedom to create completely unique and personal designs for print. As a result of the collaboration, Gordon is now working closely with Print My Part to complete further business of this nature.
Gordon said “At first I was hesitant, as after all, it is the unique, handcrafted element of letterpress printing which gives letterpress printing its appeal. Fortunately, I was able to work closely with Jack at Print My Part to ensure every unique identity and subtle qualities from the original block were maintained on the 3D printed blocks. The result is astonishing, offering a seamless replacement for the traditional printing blocks”.
Jack at Print My Part said “We always welcome work from the local community and when Gordon got in touch with us, we couldn’t wait to give this a try. We hear lots of stories of new technology making old manufacturing methods redundant, however this is a great example of new technology supporting old technology to ensure the craft lives on”..
Check out our other blog post for a step-by-step guide of the complete process, from 2D image through to authentic letterpress print.
If you would like a bespoke letterpress poster, you can get in touch with Gordon directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to check out some examples of Gordon's work.
Print My Part aims to offer the ultimate 3D printing service, often turning models around within just 24 hours. Jack explains “rather than pricing jobs on part volume, we review every job individually, not only does this result in lower prices, but it also allows us to offer a detailed review of every part we receive. This means we can offer complete transparency in both price and ‘printability’"
Print My Part welcome more work of this nature and would love to discuss your requirements. For more information, contact Jack at email@example.com.
Print My Part have recently joined forces with the British Printing Society to offer its members an exclusive 25% discount on 3D printed letterpress printing blocks.
In turn, an article outlining the process of 3D printing letterpress printing blocks has been published in the March 2018 issue of Small Printer Magazine, the monthly magazine of the British Printing Society.
The process of 3D printing letterpress printing blocks will also be exhibited at the British Printing Society 2018 annual convention in Bournemouth on 20th to 22nd April.
For more information on the British Printing Society, please click here.
If you have any questions regarding 3D printing letterpress printing blocks, please contact us.
Alternatively, if you would like a design letterpress printed by an expert in the craft, please get in touch with local letterpress printer Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be happy to work with you.
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