Products and Design

The Week in 3D Printing

This week in 3D printing, we finally achieved good hair, learned how to make kids’ hearts stronger, peeped the future of footwear, made the world’s largest passenger jet lighter than air, and checked out the competition on the 3D printed race car scene.

Hair Story

The day is finally here where we can 3D print hair! Sort of. As Gizmodo reported, everyone’s favorite 3D Printing Nerd has figured out an ingenious way to create a hairy lion. It’s not the first time someone’s figured out a hack to create hair on a 3D printed sculpture. But, this application is particularly cool because it could provide a template for future wig-printing techniques. Don’t worry though — by then we won’t have to melt the hair around your face.

Difficult styling client Hairy Lion

Print It for the Kids

This one is so amazing, no jokes will be cracked. Because kids! Getting new blood vessels! Thanks to 3D printing! As we learned from Futurism, a pair of bioengineers from Northeastern University and the University of Texas at Arlington is working on a set of new 3D printing materials (bioinks) that can be mixed with human cells to create blood vessels unique to every patient. And, these blood vessels will GROW with young patients as they age, eliminating the need for a series of invasive, costly surgeries. Slow clap.

OMG Shoes

Even though not everyone around here is convinced, 3D printed shoes are the new big thing. And, as TechCrunch reported, adidas and Carbon are doing 3D printed shoes in a way that could actually pave the way to true mass customization. That means that instead of being a cool-sounding gimmick, custom 3D printed footwear could become the new normal. Good looking out, adidas!

Carbon tech, adidas hype

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… It’s a plane.

It’s really expensive to build planes. So expensive, in fact, that companies like Boeing have to lose many tens of millions on projects like the 787 Dreamliner before they’ll see a return on investment. Why does that matter? Well, what could possibly make planes cheaper? Three million bucks cheaper? I think you know the answer. 3D printing! Norsk 3D printed titanium, to be exact, and lots of it. The process by which titanium is 3D printed literally involves melting the metal with argon gas, so this is cool on many levels. Fly away, 3D printed titanium, fly away.

3D printed titanium coolness courtesy Norsk Titanium

We were so already on this tip

Like the cutting-edge toy-lovers that we are, we’ve been building RC race cars using 3D printing and the mad skills of competitive RC drifter and Shapie Tijs Lochbaum. But enough about us — the full-sized race car people, AKA McLaren Racing Limited, are doing it too. McLaren is using Stratasys 3D printers to rapidly replace worn parts for Formula 1 race cars. Two can play at this game! As long as only one of us is working on real cars.

Photo credit: oseillo via Visual Hunt / CC BY

About me
Editor in Chief, Shapeways Magazine + All Things Content, Shapeways
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