3D printing is a very popular topic right now, and with great reason. There have been some huge advancements in the way we are utilising 3D printing technology over the past 12 months or so, and from the looks of things, it’s not slowing down at all, in-fact, it’s doing quite the opposite.
Over the past year there have been a number of very impressive 3D print projects going on. One of which you can see a picture for above – the world’s first fully 3D printed house. A group of architects have plans to build a canal house entirely from materials which are printed on-location using a purpose-built 3D printer called the ‘RoomMaker’. If this project works out it could change things in so many ways. Imagine being able to construct buildings without the need of transporting mass materials, only a printer.
3D Printing Guns
This is a hugely controversial project that’s gained a huge amount of media attention over the past few months. Notably due to one company in particular – Defence Distributed. This non profit company managed to design the worlds first fully 3D printed handgun – and it works! They successfully test fired it not too long ago, and they released the blueprints for the weapon on their website, free for anybody to download.
You can imagine the controversy surrounding this issue; many people feel it’s not right that anyone who owns a 3D printer can print a weapon, but others disagree. For the moment, 3D printing guns remains legal, and if you have a 3D printer, you can download blueprints and print your own right now.
3D Printed Foetus
This is an interesting concept, and something which I think could become quite popular. A Japanese company is offering the chance to immortalize your fetus by taking a scan and producing a 3D model of it on a 3D printer. The model is then encased in glass and makes a very pretty ornament! It’s a much better alternative to the ultrasound 2D scans which are used at the moment, but it comes at a price – $1,300!
As well as the great stuff like you see above, there’s also much more basic applications for 3D printing that will be much more popular among the home consumer market. Things like accessories for your phone and tablet, even 3D printed wallets and such.
I can imagine lots of new business opportunities arising for creative product designers, and backed by an easy means to print their own products – it’s definitely going to be a game changer!
Sooner or later I’m sure we’ll see 3D printing companies popping up, offering us the ability to print our own 3D designs without actually having to own a 3D printer ourselves – that would be awesome and would certainly be a game changer in terms of things like the accessories you see above. At the moment we have such companies, but for the 2D printing industry – companies like www.nextdayflyers.com who provide a vast range of print services from business cards to flyers, stickers to postcards, and brochures to canvas prints. I guess even these 2D printing companies could find themselves start bridging the gap themselves and introducing 3D print products into their own product catalogue. 3D business cards would certainly be a way to stand out!
I look forward to seeing how 3D technology impacts our lives and the various consumer industries over the following years. It’s definitely going to bring around some major changes, that’s for sure.