What can you do with 3D printing ?
Obtaining prototypes identical to those made in the traditional way is much more economical with 3D printing, as you cut the high costs of creating a mould.
According to Wohlers Associates, there are possibly more than 25,000 3D printers around the world.
The possibilities offered by 3D printing are virtually endless. This technology can be used to:
– Create ornaments (busts, figures), lamps, furniture
– Create clothes, shoes and all sorts of accessories
– Produce articulated parts for scale models (airplanes, cars, trains, boats), robots, or any other spare part
– Create mobile factories that can produce parts in the field, therefore cutting down the hassle of having to ship them.
– Build a car: one entrant in the 2010 X-Prize competition was the first car designed using 3D printing. The car, called Urbee, was designed by a partnership of Kor Ecologic and Stratasys
– Print food
– Print fossils (see Canadian Museum of Nature)
– Print organs for medical needs (see Organovo)
– Create replicators: some 3D printers (ReRap, MakerBot, Fab@Home) are designed to replicate themselves. The ultimate goal is for them to manufacture all of their own components – for the moment, about 50% of this has been achieved.
You can even create a miniature doppelganger of yourself! (Mini-you)