3D printing is a great way to create something truly personal, make your awesome ideas reality, or just make perfect replacements for broken parts or components. If you’re stumped for ideas though, here are 10 great resources for you to get inspired, or just find something you’d like to have printed yourself.
A 3D-printed replica is nothing more than a plastic trinket if it doesn’t function as well as the original. But as revealed last year, a company called 3Dvarius has created the world’s first 3D-printed playable electric violin that sounds just as good as its wooden equivalent—and now you can finally buy one.
Lasers and metal were part of 3D printing for decades before the machines became affordable for personal use. But researchers at Harvard are demonstrating a new technique by which 3D metal structures can be printed in midair, without the need for anything supporting them.
Can’t make it back to Smalltown, USA, for Mother’s Day this weekend? That’s OK. Your mom will happily pretend that a phone call and a flower delivery is enough. But imagine her excitement if instead of flowers, someone delivered a life-size 3D-printed replica of you to her door?
Handheld 3D printing pens seem like a cheaper alternative to those giant autonomous boxes, but they require more patience than most of us can muster, and a decent level of artistic capability. This robot arm can help with the latter, by controlling where the pen can move to ensure better results.
As Kate Winslet and Leo can attest, piloting ships in icy waters can be hazardous. So for an Antarctic naval patrol vessel, it makes sense to get some extra help.
A decent robot mower will set you back a couple thousand dollars, considerably more than the robot vacuum that’s patrolling your living room for dust. But if you’ve got access to a 3D printer and a bit of electronics know-how, you can print and build a robotic mower for a fraction of the cost.
Bringing the world one step closer to having real-life replicators like Star Trek promised, researchers at MIT’s CSAIL lab have developed a new 3D printing technique that allows fully-functional robots to be created in a single print run. Add a motor and battery, and they’re able to walk right out of the 3D printer.
If you find yourself in trouble you can always use your phone to dial 911. Or you can reach for this compact 3D-printed lens that turns your smartphone’s camera flash into the Bat-Signal, summoning someone who can help but who also has a way cooler car than the police do.
The trade-off of an affordable 3D printer is that they’re usually small and can only produce small objects. To make something big, you have to break it down into smaller parts first. But Autodesk has come up with a better approach: a 3D printer with multiple heads that all work together to churn out massive creations.
3D printers have revolutionized the speed at which prototype parts can be created, but what if your deadline is so tight you can’t wait for the printer to finish before the part is shipped out? That’s easy, you just pack up the entire printer in a box, with a battery for power, and send it off in the mail.
This light pink plastic dish may look like something from your grandmother’s china collection, but in fact it’s the European Space Agency’s first 3D-printed dual-reflector antenna. And it works surprisingly well.
At the age of nine, I became the first kid in my elementary school class to get braces. They did their job, but by the time I left college, I’d lost my retainers and my teeth had drifted back into disarray. Imagine the feeling of kinship, then, when I saw this blog post by a college student who 3D-printed his own…