From beautiful and unbelievable instruments that actually work to even things like an incredible 3D printed pizza made by NASA!
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# 10 3D-Printed Ear
You’ve seen 3D printing make fashion garments and body prosthetics, so it’s not too much of a leap to imagine a 3D printed organ. Scientists at Princeton University designed this bionic ear that can actually hear even better than human ears. The 3D printed cells and nanoparticles with a small coil antenna create the cyber ear that can be installed onto a real human and hear radio frequencies a million times higher than our own ears.
# 9 3D-Printed Cast
Jake Evill was a recent graduate of Victoria University when he broke his hand and was stuck with an arm cast that he found “archaic.” So he designed a cast for the millennial: a 3D printed, lightweight, washable, and breathable. It lets in air and prevents that age-old feeling of gross itchiness and suffocation the usual plaster casts come with. Plus, they just look super cool.
# 8 3D Printed Pizza
Try explaining to someone from 10 years ago that NASA funded a 3D printing project to print pizza. Well, that’s the reality we are living in. The company known as BeeHex was commissioned by NASA to develop palatable food for astronauts’ deep space journeys to Mars. The printer can create specific flavors and toppings and even shapes based on scanned .JPEG files to keep those bored astronauts appeased on their years-long journey. Humans aren’t scheduled to make any trips to our sister planet until the early 2030s, so we’ll probably be seeing these printed pizzas at theme parks and novelty restaurants until then.
# 7 Shakuhachi Flute
The Shakuhachi flute is a beautiful Japanese flute from the ancient Edo period that is classically made from a bamboo shoot. In 2016, you can now 3D print one out of stainless steel with matte or gold finishes and an intricate dragon design. You can own this ancient instrument for as little as 240 dollars.
# 6 3D Fetus
3D scans of your unborn fetus can be a little confusing to look at or understand. Now, you can get a 3D print of your fetus to hold and touch and see. For as little as 1275 US dollars a Japanese company will create a small sculpture with a software called Biotexture.
# 5 3DVarius Violin
If you’re into instruments at all you’re probably aware of the Stradivarius Violins and string instruments renowned for their well-made instruments. The 3Dvarius violins brings that model to the modern age with a slick 3D printed polymer design and funky synthetic sound. While it is based on the Stradivarius violins, it’s goal was to be it’s own unique shape and have it’s own unique sound.
#4 Tampon Magazine
Here’s something I’m sure none of us thought would exist: a Tampon Magazine. It’s meant to make you have fun and feel cute storing your tampons in a hyper-femme bullet style box, letting you shoot ‘em out whenever you need. It isn't really space efficient or practical but it is a way to bring something fun into what is arguably the worst time of any lunar cycle.
#3 3D Printed Medical Models
Surgeons and medical practitioners often have to practice procedures on dummy models or cadavers, but as you can imagine those options are either slightly inaccurate or expensive and a limited resource. Now, with 3D printed models practice dummies are easier to come by AND more accurate which is great for patients and surgeons alike.
# 2 3D Printed Buildings
When you think about 3D printing, you usually imagine printing little gadgets, lifehacks, and little things that make your life easier. If you take that to its logical conclusion, you might wonder if we'll ever have 3D printed buildings and housing. Well, we do, and they were printed and constructed by WinSun in China. These two buildings were constructed from parts entirely made with specially made 3D printing technology including the plumbing, wiring, and entire foundations.
# 1 3D Printed Camera Lens
This camera - including the lens - was made completely with a 3D printer, and it actually works! Camera lenses are made from either acyrlic or sandblasted resin, and it has all the moving parts that allow you to change aperture, load and unload film. The photos that come from this 3D printed camera aren’t exactly crisp or super pristine, but they have a dreamy quality about them that you would expect to come out of a handcrafted camera.