Iconic shoe and car brands let customers at their 3D printed products, CES trumpeted the best in new 3D imaging and printing tech (but not all of it), and we made even more progress toward 3D printing organ replacements — all this week in 3D printing.
In your shoes, in your car
It’s everywhere! Mass-manufactured 3D printed products are finally getting into customer hands… or onto their feet and into their garages. That’s because adidas’ long-anticipated Futurecraft 4D shoes with 3D printed midsoles finally dropped this week. And MINI announced that in 2018, customers can personalize their rides through the new MINI Yours Customized program. Hopefully, this will show everyone what we already know: that 3D printing CAN MAKE (almost) ANYTHING.
The Greatest Show on Earth (but not the only show in town)
CES is paradise for geeks, futurists, audiophiles, 3D designers — basically, anyone who is really into any technologies available to consumers. That’s why it’s a good place to spot the kind of 3D technology that could one day (soonish) be in your house. There were a couple of standouts at this year’s CES, which ended last Friday: Ethereal Machines’ “5D printing,” a 5-axis 3D printer with a rotating build plate, and the HP Z 3D Camera, which turns an easily-mountable camera into a scanner and facial-recognition tool. Some very cool news also came from outside the consumersphere: Another rotating 3D printer part, this time the printhead, was demonstrated by Harvard researchers to increase the strength, stiffness, and resistance of 3D printed parts. And in another leap forward for really, really big 3D printers, a new printer from CEAD is already contracted to print ships. We’ll see that one in action at CES 2030.
Breathe easy and break a leg
It might not solve all our problems, but I mean, 3D printing can now print structures that could regrow lung and brain tissue, plus titanium bone replacement meshes that are often better than bone grafts. It’s not a license to live dangerously, but it might just be there for us when we inevitably do.