From Novelty to New Lives – 3D Printing’s Evolution

When 3D printing was all the rage last summer, it was hard to tell how it would move beyond the novelty (or decorative) phase and into the mainstream of life. But while you were Snapchatting, 3D printing evolved to offer some strange and wonderful solutions. Here are a few interesting uses that recently caught our eye:

3D Babies

Imagine having a toy model of your wee one before it’s even born. Nope, we can’t either. That hasn’t stopped a company called 3D Babies. They use the 3D ultrasound to create a 3D model of your baby in the womb and  delivers to your door before your real baby arrives. Not pregnant? No problem! Order your very own printed model celebrity baby. Right now only Northwest is available, but I’m holding out for a version of Blue Ivy.

3D baby

DIY Confections

This year at #CES, 3D Systems debuted 3D printers that combine sugar and water for – voila! – instant candy. In this example the colour comes from an inkjet infused with food colouring for truly eye-popping designs. Colour me – the one with a hearty sweet tooth – absolutely thrilled.

3D sugar

Missing Limbs

At a British Colombia K-9 rescue facility, poor Dudley the rescued duck lost a leg in a vicious chicken coop attack. The owners contacted mechanical engineer Terence Loring, who outfitted Dudley with a 3D plastic webbed leg free of charge. The happy ending doesn’t end there. Dudley has since found a mate!

And in the developing world a company called Not Impossible has brought 3D limbs to child amputees affected by the raging war in southern Sudan. This heartwarming video shares one boy’s story and some perspective on the positive impact 3D printing can truly have in the world. What kinds of 3D solutions are inspiring you? Share with us.

Dudley-the-duck

Dudley the duck with his prosthetic leg

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