While 3D printing is no longer a new kid on the technology block, it is constantly being used in new and innovative ways. Even when you think you’ve seen it all – and we’ve seen plenty – a new project pops up that catches our eye and gets our creative juices flowing.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most surprising ways 3D printing is currently being used.
3D printing has been a key factor behind the medical industry making such huge strides over the past few years. From prosthetics to surgery, equipment to models, 3D printing has established itself as an essential part of the industry. The technology is now being used to 3D print skin replacements for burn victims. While bioprinted replacement skin has been used on arm injuries before, researchers are now attempting to use the technique on facial injuries, which could then be used to treat acid and burn-related damage.
Some recent 3D print projects have been truly out of this world, many of them literally. Here at Ogle, we worked on a prototype of the recently named Rosalind Franklin ExoMars Rover that will be landing on Mars in 2021. 3D printing is now set to be used on Mars itself, with NASA planning on using 3D printing to construct buildings on the planet that can house people when man eventually sets foot on the Red Planet and opens a 24-hour Tesco Express.
While you could 3D print individual frames for glasses, this isn’t why the industry is beginning to embrace the technology so widely. As is the case in many other sectors of manufacturing, 3D printing is being adopted by the industry for rapid prototyping. Being able to 3D print a prototype in the required colour, the turnaround time for a new model is now a fifth of what it was before, giving designers more freedom to create more styles.
Whether it’s ethical, environmental, health, fashion, or a combination of all three, there has been a significant rise in veganism over the years. And yes, you guessed it, you can now 3D print vegan food! Giuseppe Scionti, the Italian founder and CEO of Barcelona-based Nova Meat has created a method of 3D printing meat that can duplicate the texture of beef or poultry by using a number of vegetable proteins. And, to the joy of vegans everywhere, this method doesn’t mean the meat substitute has to be reduced to being a burger.
The growth of the wearable market has brought with it sporting giants such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance and others, all jostling for position to try and find their share of this fitness boom. With the need for constant innovation, 3D printing is now being used to create wearables. With the ability to design a completely unique and bespoke product, 3D printing allows companies to design a device that perfectly fits an individual’s requirements.
To learn more about some of the fascinating projects we’ve worked on here at Ogle, follow this link and read our case studies.