Here are some amazing things 3D printing has already bestowed upon us, and some items yet to come.
Shoes (see picture above)
People might or might not ask you where you got your shoes when you sport these yellow heels, but if anyone ever does, you can tell them that they’re from Amsterdam, where designer Alan Nguyen of Freedom of Creation printed them.
Chewy steaks beware: Back in 2012, LayerWise in Belgium used 3D printing to make a replacement lower jaw out of titanium for an 83-year-old Dutch woman.
Since then, 3D printing has been used to make prosthetics both internal and external. University of Michigan researchers in February used a 3D printed airway to hold an ailing baby’s bronchus open.
And when cancer patient Eric Moger lost a large chunk of his face to tumor removal, doctors in Britain replaced the missing part with a 3D printed prosthesis.
A company called Defense Distributed created and made available for download blueprints for 3D printed plastic guns until the US State Departmentforced it to take the plans down in May. But the plans have been picked up by filesharing website The Pirate Bay.
Meanwhile, more people are following in Defense Distributed’s path, creating newand improved gun blueprints. The plastic guns don’t quite resemble traditional ones, but one of the copycats was recently able to survive firing nine shots.
Jim Kor of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is developing a working, fuel-efficient car using 3D printed parts. According to the Facebook page Urbee Car, “two people, as well as a dog can fit comfortably in Urbee.”
NASA awarded a $125,000 grant to Systems and Materials Research Corporation, for researcher Anjan Contractor to develop a 3D food printer that’s meant to feed astronauts and end world hunger. No pressure or anything.