Intro

<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p>3-D Printing began as a way for architects and car designers to model their products, but has recently become an emerging new technology poised to change everything from manufacturing to retail to medical science.</p> <p>In just the last year, 3-D printers have produced artificial organs, research tools for scientists and the head of Stephen Colbert. As these devices drop in price, rise in capabilities and work their way towards the ubiquity enjoyed by conventional inkjet printers, we decided to take a look back at the 10 most incredible objects ever made with a 3-D printer.</p> <p><i>Follow InnovationNewsDaily on Twitter <a mce_href="http://twitter.com/#!/News_Innovation" href="http://twitter.com/#%21/News_Innovation">@News_Innovation</a>, or on <a mce_href="http://www.facebook.com/InnovationNewsDaily" href="http://www.facebook.com/InnovationNewsDaily">Facebook</a>.</i></p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Blood Vessels</b></p> <p>Printing up a set of blood vessels may seem like something from the future, but researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute are doing exactly that, using 3-D printers to create artificial biological molecules that can be hit with a laser and formed into the shape of actual capillaries and veins.</p> <p>The technology that is normally used to print 3-D objects creates objects by applying material in layers which are later chemically bonded by UV radiation. While the technique is already being used to create microstructures, it was still not precise enough to create delicate, detailed structures of human capillaries. In an attempt to remedy that issue, the team from Germany used laser pulses to make the material more elastic and therefore closer to to how blood vessels actually behave.</p> <p>At this time, the process is still in the development stages, but the process advance will pave the way for accelerated developments in the field of 3-D printed organs.</p> <p></p>

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<p><br></p> <p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Buildings</b></p> <p>The process of putting up a building requires lots of materials, lots of time and lots of specialized workers. In the future that may not be the case, as we now have 3-D printers that are capable of printing actual structures.</p> <p>Italian inventor Enrico Dini has created a device that uses a magnesium based material to bind sand particles together; creating sedimentary stone a process that normally takes hundreds of years in a matter of minutes. Dini's printer, known as the D-Shape, can put together a building four times faster than conventional means, and also reduces the cost to half or less. Not to mention, the machine has the ability to 'print' curved structures, which are usually difficult and expensive to build.</p> <p>Right now, the D-Shape has only been used to create structures on Earth, but a collaboration between Dini and the European Space Agency (ESA) could eventually lead to a modified printer which has the ability to use moon dust to print a base on the moon.</p> <p></p>

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<p><br></p> <p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Furniture</b></p> <p>So once you have your 3-D printed house, you'll need furniture. Why not go all the way and fill it with furniture that has also been printed? There are tables, chairs, light fixtures and even beds that have been made by using 3-D printers.</p> <p>At the moment, most of the creations look like something out of Beetlejuice, but the hope is that in the future, you'll be able to purchase and then download the design for a chair online. You could then customize the digital blueprint however you want. Once you've finished formatting the chair so it fits your needs, you could send the file to a local rapid-manufacturing store where the finished item would be printed off and ready for use at home.</p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Artificial Limbs</b></p> <p>The impractical expense of manufacturing artificial limbs customized to each user has severely limited their potential. In effect,, they're one size fits all. Understandably, this can make it difficult for amputees to feel comfortable with their artificial limb, but 3-D printed prosthetics are making this problem a thing of the past.</p> <p>By using a 3-D copying program, designers have been able to make a copy of a person's remaining limb, and use that image to print a prosthetic that almost exactly the same as the original leg or arm was. The limb will not only fit better, but because it is so similar to what was there before, it is much easier for a person to become comfortable with their prosthetic.</p> <p>3-D printed limbs not only fit better, but their appearance can also be customized, taking into consideration a person's lifestyle and tastes. Various companies have offered limbs that can be finished in leather, metal or reflective material depending on a person's preferences.</p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;">{youtube iQ4TCR9WoLY}<br></p> <p><b>Mummies</b></p> <p>King Tutankhamen's mummy has never left Egypt, but last year visitors to the Discovery Times Square King Tut Exposition were able to see the next best thing. The exhibit featured an almost identical replica of the mummy that had been created using 3-D printing.</p> <p>Materialise, the company that created the replica, used data from CT scans taken of the mummy to make a shocking accurate reproduction. They created the replica from a photopolymer resin, a material where a UV lasers trace the shape of the model layer by layer, gluing each one to the layer below. </p> <p>When the 3D model of Tutankhamen was completed, it was removed from the tank of photopolymer, cleaned up and handed over to a natural history and prehistoric life modeler. The life modeler was tasked with adding the detail, color and texture that would help make the model as realistic looking as possible.</p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;">{youtube 2JpIj9IN924}<br></p> <p><b>Cars</b></p> <p>For those who wish to out green regular hybrid car drivers, the Urbee is the car for you. Not only is the Urbee a hybrid, but it is also entirely manufactured by 3-D printing. Like almost everything else on this list, the Urbee is made with additive manufacturing, meaning the body is printed layer by layer until they have a complete car.</p> <p>Designed by Kor Ecologic, the Urbee is a two-seater that gets up to 200 miles to the gallon highway and 100 in the city. It can also be charged overnight using a standard electrical outlet, from wind power or from a small solar-panel array. The company is also trying to keep the Urbee affordable, with estimates for the costs around $18,000 to $21,000.</p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Food</b></p> <p>There may not be any scientific evidence indicating that cheese and scallop puffs baked in the shape of space shuttle taste any better than those made into more traditional shapes, but it definitely makes them more exciting. 3-D printing has made it possible for chefs to take foods like chocolate, cheese, ground turkey and celery and make them into new and exciting shapes.</p> <p>Developed by students Cornell University in collaboration with New York's French Culinary Institute, the food printer works with softer foods which can be poured into a print head and then pumped out via syringe to form whatever intricate design the digital blueprint calls for.</p> <p>Its creators hope that food printers will not only be novelty items for restaurants, but will eventually make their way into people's homes, helping them to make complex recipes or getting kids to eat their vegetables by molding them into more exciting shapes. Who wouldn't want to eat peas in the shape of a dinosaur? </p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Airplanes</b></p> <p>Companies such as Concord and Boeing are already using 3-D printing to create certain airplane parts like landing gear brackets, eventually they hope to print much larger parts, including the airplane's wings. </p> <p>In the meantime, entire unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have already been printed. The SULSA, as the UAV is known, has a wingspan of two meters and can travel at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Because these planes are printed instead of constructed using more conventional techniques, designers can create shapes and structures that would normally involve costly traditional manufacturing techniques.</p> <p>This technology allows for a highly tailored aircraft to be developed in just a few days. Furthermore, because no tooling is required for manufacture, radical changes to the shape and scale of the aircraft can be made with no extra cost. </p> <p></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Clothing </b></p> <p>The same process that is used to create those UAVs has also recently been adopted by the fashion world to print the N12, a ready-to-wear bikini. The bikinis name comes from the material used to make it, Nylon 12, which is strong, flexible, and has a thinness of 0.027 inches. </p> <p>The bikini itself is composed of small nylon disks which are held by tiny springs, which makes is flexible enough to be worn comfortably. The bikini's designers hope that eventually the printing process could make it possible to completely customize the bathing suit by using a body scan to create an exact fit for the customer.</p> <p>And bikinis aren't the only clothing emerging from 3-D printers these days, as designers have made shoes, dresses and all kinds of jewelry using the same method. </p> <p></p>

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<p><br></p> <p style="text-align: center;" mce_style="text-align: center;"></p> <p><b>Stephen Colbert's Head</b></p> <p>Thanks to 3-D printing, Stephen Colbert's head has made it into space. Makerbot, a company well known for its 3-D printing exploits made a model of the talk show host's head, outfitted it with a flipcam, attached it to a weather balloon and let it loose. </p> <p>In addition to being attached to a weather balloon, Colbert's head was also given tentacles, wings and even placed on the body of a T-Rex (with a pizza slicer for a tail) courtesy of Makerbot and their Thing-O-Matic. The Thing-O-Matic is a 'cheap' 3-D printer that costs around $1300.</p> <p>So if you have the money, you can print your own Colbertopus at home. <br><br><br><br mce_bogus="1"></p>

10 Incredible 3-D Printed Products