Since the advent of digital printing, even ordinary individuals were able to print any image file directly to a printer. Unlike the traditional offset printing, digital printing offers inexpensive printing that you can easily carry out at home or office. By using either inkjet or laser printers, anyone can conveniently print without the need for printing plates or giant reels. And just when we thought digital printing has reached its full potential, here comes 3D printing.
Nothing can be further improved on 2D printing. Whether for personal or business purposes, or whether for small-scale or large-format outputs in low or high volumes, digital printers can efficiently execute all your printing needs. That is, only in 2D format. And because technology always finds a way to evolve, digital printing has taken a higher altitude beyond 2D. As the name suggests, 3D printing is a printing technique that reproduces a three-dimensional object from 2D or CAD model. In other words, 3D printing can transform any 3D printable model into sculptural object.
When 3D printers were introduced, most of them came at a hefty price. Due to the trend it created, more manufacturers began producing 3D printers resulting to more affordable brands. Nowadays, more and more people are finding brilliant ways to utilize their 3D printers. Some clever people have successfully created dresses, armors, prosthetics, and even houses out of 3D printing. With a 3D printer, anything that you can imagine could become a reality. While the application of 3D printing is boundless, there are those who superbly utilized it for brilliant purposes. Whether the output serves to assist disabled animals or just for fun’s sake, your imagination is your only limit.
Here are some examples of impressive stuff that came out of a 3D printer and the ingenious imagination of the people behind it:
“Toucan With A Reconstructed Beak Done Through 3D Printing”
Does it sound too good to be true? A 3D printer that can bring a flat imagery into something with depth and perspective is indeed a technological breakthrough. But of course, everyone wants to know the actual processes behind the ‘magic’. How do 3D printers create three-dimensional objects?
Instead of ink or toner, 3D printers are using either one of the following – plastic, resin, or powdered metal. Under a computer control, these printers execute variety of processes to mold the output by joining or solidifying the material together. The materials are fused together layer by layer in order to copy the digital image or a CAD file.
3D-Printed Classical Painting That Let The Blind Touch the Artwork
3D printing is primarily categorized based on the material and process being used. These methods are namely Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
FDM uses plastic filaments. The FDM printer melts the plastic and deposits them in layers until it completely constructs the 3D model. There are two types of plastic material that can be used in FDM printing. They are the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA). ABS is derived from oil-based resources which has a high tensile strength and highly resistant to physical impacts. PLA, on the other hand, is derived from plant-based resources which makes them biodegradable. Unlike ABS, this eco-friendly material does not emit toxic fumes when melted.
SLA uses resin to fill up the model layer by layer. But instead of using heat, SLA printers are using laser to cure the resin. This method also includes supports that must be manually removed from the printed output after printing.
Lastly, SLS printers are also equipped with laser technology to sinter powdered metal layer by layer. This way, the printer makes the powder coalesce into a solid structure based from the copied model.
“A Prosthetic Arm I Made For A Friend”
Manufacturers continue to discover new innovations to create more advanced 3D printers. New printers are now using other types of materials such as gold, silver, titanium, ceramic, and gypsum. Professionals in the medical field are also proposing the use of biological substances as the main material to reproduce organs and tissues. If, and only if, 3D printing can successfully reprint body organs, this will become one of the biggest innovations in the field of both medicine and printing technology.
3D-Printed Transparent Prosthetics Made From Titanium
“A Neighbor 3D Printed A Walker For His Crippled Little Buddy”
“I Came Back To My Apartment To Find That My Roommate 3D Printed A T-Rex Shower Head”
“My Brother Is In A Wheelchair And Is Starting His First Job At Google Next Week. People Said I Should Make Him The Google Logo, But That’s No Fun So I Made This For His Desk”
Injured Tortoise Gets A 3D Printed Shell
3D Printed Hodor Doorstop
“My Mom’s 3D Printed Cast. She Can Take A Shower With It!”
Chloe’s 3D Printed Walking Assistant
“A Friend Nailed Halloween And 3D Printed His Own Face”
3D-Printed Plastic Cast That Uses Ultrasound To Heal Broken Bones Faster
“Our 3D Print Failed Half Way Through. This Is How We’ve Been Using It”
3D Printed Violin
“As A 16 Year Old Guy With Nosy Parents, This Has By Far Been My Most Useful Print”
“Student In My Country Made Mostly 3D Printed 1:1 Moveable Bb-8 Model As Her Engineer’s Thesis As Final Work Ending Her Studies. She Also Programmed An App Which Let You Control The Robot”
“3D Printed And Painted My Cat”
“Not Inherited, But 3D Printed”
Darth Vader Pen Holder
3D Printed Vases That Give Plastic Bottles A Second Life
“My Friend Made This Costume For Dragoncon… With A 3D Printer”
“Friend Made A Luggage Tag With Her 3D Printer”
3D Printed ‘Game Of Thrones’ Dragon Lamp
“Proof That Perseverance Pays Off… My Full Iron Man Suit, Printed In Many, Many Pieces On My Tiny Up Mini Over 6 Months”
3D Printed Mesh Gown (Worn By Dita Von Teese)
“I 3D Printed My Son’s Brain Using Data From His MRI”