3 Weird Things that 3D Printers Have Made

June 8, 2017 7:58 pm

3D printing is one of the most innovative types of printing that has only recently become available to the general market. Even today, using a 3D printer is an expensive endeavour, preventing everyday households from having one and experimenting with their new machines. That said, when HD televisions were first released, followed by the 3D TV, people also believed they would never be able to own one in a residential property because of the tremendous price. Today, almost everybody has an HD television at least.

The same goes for consumer 3D printers. There are even rumours that companies like Ricoh Printers are considering carrying them. Sure, those that are currently available are still very expensive, but prices are coming down. Added to that is the fact that scientists and researchers have already been having a lot of fun with 3D printing, coming up with weird and wonderful ways to use it. So what are the three most bizarre things that have already been 3D printed to date?

1. A Gun That Works

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Image from Pexels

The first printed gun has caused quite a bit of concern and excitement, depending on which side of the gun debate someone is on. The gun, at the minute, looks not like a deadly weapon (which it is), but like a toy. Created by radical anarchist and libertarian Cody Wilson, from the University of Texas, created Defense Distributed, a non-profit organisation that would print the weapon. The organisation’s first gun was the “Liberator”, successfully printed and fired in Texas. The gun is made entirely of plastic pieces, except for the metal nail used for the firing pin. The Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer, which costs around $8,000, printed the weapon. To date, the company has made two versions of the Liberator. The first fired a .380 bullet successfully. The second fired a 5.7×28 rifle cartridge and promptly exploded.

2. Human Stem Cells

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Picture Source

One of the main reasons why people are getting so excited about 3D printing is because of the potential for medical use. Human stem cells have already been created, forming tiny droplets, all the same size, of embryonic stem cells. In early tests, the printer was able to produce five uniform cells at a time, all of them undamaged. These cells can then be used to create tiny tissue scraps or to test drugs. Scientists hope that the machines will eventually be able to make entire organs, and preliminary tests seem very confident about this. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has started to look into the possibilities as well.

3. A Bikini

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Flickr Photograph Credit

Fashion and technology now go hand in hand, so it will be no surprise that 3D printed clothing also exists. Continuum Fashion is the first to have created the first 3D printed bikini. The bikini is made of 3D printed nylon circular plates and thin springs that connect them. Each bikini is unique as it is made to order, and this has made the garment quite expensive.

From weapons to fashion, the 3D printer is taking the world by storm. However, before they become commonplace in people’s homes, two fundamental issues have to be resolved: quality and copyright concerns. But most believe this will all sort itself out very soon.

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