3D print a house, car… or a heart
The evolution of 3D printing has been accelerating, from faster print times to more precise detail in finished pieces. With footprints forming in medical breakthroughs, innovative and sustainable home construction, and even printable treats, the once niche craft is also becoming more widespread and available for use.
Amazon joined onto a trend set by other sites like Shapeways or Staples’ “My Easy 3D” by launching a store for 3D printed goods. It allows users to customize features like an item’s color, size and material. The store has several categories to create with, including tech accessories, jewelry, home decor, and a unique highly personalized “create your own” section. Now, even those who don’t have access to a 3D printer normally can join in on the maker revolution.
Recent advancements in 3D printing use have a vast array of uses. A medical professional and music aficionado has found out a way to fuel his curiosity of delicate, time-worn instruments through the use of CT scanning of parts to the 3D print them. This process prints copies of parts and allows many instruments to come back to life. The process is now patent-pending.
On a larger scale, one Chinese company has achieved a feat that could affect people worldwide. WinSun Decoration Design Engineering built 10 one-story houses in Shanghai in a single day. Using four giant 3D printers, each house was 33 feet wide and 22 feet high.
The art of 3D printing is alive locally as well. Phoenix-based Local Motors, a company comprised of designers, engineers, and makers, is well known for producing 3D printed automobile parts. The company plans to build an entire car at the International Manufacturing Technology show in Chicago within a 6-day period through the use of a large scale FDM based printer.
Also a notable local advancement, was the partnership of Arizona State University and Phoenix Children’s Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to perform the virtual implantation of a pioneering artificial heart. Through the use of 3D printing technology, physicians and engineers developed heart models of cardiovascular flow dynamics for personalized preoperative surgical planning and advanced imaging.
To read more AZTechBeat coverage of 3D printing, click here.
Contributions from Mashable, 3dprint.com and Amazon
Photos courtesy of Amazon, AP, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Post originally ran in July and has been updated