They’ve been used by large companies for rapidly creating prototypes for at least a few decades, but finding a reason to put a 3D printer in every home hasn’t been as successful. Making accessories for your vacuum? Boring. Building pop bottle bridges? Meh. Super-sizing Lego? Hello holy grail of 3D printing.
Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's gathering of the most wonderful, and often most ludicrous, merchandise we’ve seen on the web this week. This time, we’ve got our best look yet at the new anime Godzilla, some very funky Star Wars and Star Trek coasters, and yes, a rather large T-Rex.
Imagine a future in which humans can produce a vast variety of foods with all sorts of textures and shapes at the flick of a switch. Just throw a mix into your 3D printer, and, presto, gooey gorgonzola globules! Crunchy candy cubes! Incredible!
3D printers may have failed as a home appliance, but researchers at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut aren’t ready to give up on them just yet. Last year they successfully 3D-printed a working door handle without any moving parts, and this year they’re following it up with a 3D-printed, PIN-protected door lock.
Instead of just working on improving what 3D printers are capable of, researchers at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut are also finding ways to make everyday objects more 3D printer-friendly, including those that rely on moving parts that can’t be reproduced during the printing process.
The nomadic lifestyle of a 3D printsmith is made all the more difficult when it comes to carrying your 3D printer from town to town. Ultimaker has heard your lamentations, though, and has come up with a solution that promises to make transporting a 3D printer a little easier: a $69 pair of shoulder straps.
Bentley Yoder was born with his brain outside his skull. Doctors said he didn’t have a chance, but he not only survived—he thrived. Now, some seven months later, Bentley has undergone reconstructive surgery to move his brain back into his skull.
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.
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.
With an experiment that’s not going to help alleviate any concerns over 3D printing and piracy, researchers at the University of California Irvine have proven that they can copy a 3D model, with surprising accuracy, by simply recording the sounds that another 3D printer makes while it’s making it.
It sounds like something straight out of a comic book, but after losing his sternum and part of his rib cage to cancer, a 54-year-old Spanish man received the world’s first 3D-printed chest prosthetic made from lightweight, but incredibly strong, titanium.
It’s not just electronics and other product manufacturing that 3D printers promise to revolutionize. The machines might one day replace all the appliances in your kitchen when it comes to making dinner, or more importantly, making candy.
One day 3D printers will be able to churn out working electronics and fully-functional machines, instead of just plastic parts. And that day is now slightly closer with MIT CSAIL’s MultiFab 3D printer that can use ten different materials to build working devices in a single print run.
Helping to dispel the notion that 3D printers are only really useful for making plastic trinkets, New Zealand’s Lance Abernethy is back with another impossibly tiny 3D-printed power tool that’s powered by an equally small hearing aid battery.
Those telltale layered stripe marks all over a 3D-printed object might soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new high-res printing technique that’s actually capable of creating 3D objects smaller than a red blood cell.
Like how some animals can regenerate limbs or like how humans can, uh, make babies, 3D printers can 3D print the 3D printer parts necessary to make more 3D printers. Thankfully, they still require some living person to put these parts together because if they didn’t, they could just start eliminating us one by one as…