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What can be 3D printed?

3d printing has become a transversal technique in all aspects of society. With the constant news about what’s new in the world of printing, you are probably wondering what exactly can be printed with this revolutionary technology.

Here we explain the limitations of 3D printing, and some of the most surprising things that can be printed.

Plates with good impression.
One of the most amazing creations that can be printed is food. Yes, FOOD. Not a toy, not a decoration, but food that you can chew, swallow and digest.

The truth is that this requires special equipment and materials (logically), but it is already a reality.

What’s more, nowadays you can even cook and print the food on the same computer, with an internet connection to select recipes and have the food ready when it’s time to eat. To lick your fingers!

Undoubtedly one of the most relevant medical advances in recent times has been printing functional organs for transplantation.

So-called “bioprinters” use human cells as ink to form tissues and organs. First, they create a hydrogel base on which the human cells are printed, and then the hydrogel disappears (it is biodegradable) to make way for the human cells themselves to reproduce and fully form the final product.

Not all organs are equally easy to print, or even possible. Only some areas of the heart can be printed, and the brain continues to be that great unknown also in this field.

3D printing has never been so alive!

Height creations.
If you are one of those who thinks that 3D printing is very limited by the size of the prints, I hope this section will make you change your mind: one of the possibilities of 3D printing is to print ENTIRE BUILDINGS.

The printers intended for this field print the cement in the appropriate proportion so as not to use bricks or generate the typical and numerous construction waste. For the project of the meeting room of the hotel Slaapfabriek (Teuge, Holland), shown in the previous image, a saving of 40% in CO2 emissions and a 75% reduction in construction waste was calculated.

In addition, the times are much shorter than those of typical construction, the materials are much more sustainable, and the costs also decrease (which almost no category in this post can boast of today).

Who knows if in a few years we will forget about the pharaonic works that are built for a specific event and end up in absolute abandonment, and we will create biodegradable buildings destined for this purpose? Perhaps we are very close to this… and much more.

to the sound of the injector
A family of objects that is easy to build and that contributes a lot to many are musical instruments.

These do not require special materials or equipment, although it is true that not all of them have the same complexity and that some require some added material (such as strings).

Maracas, flutes, guitars, ukuleles, guitars, violins, drums… Join the party!

Print to spin, iron, roast…
Perhaps the title of this section has left you perplexed. It means, neither more nor less, that 3D printing allows you to print spare parts for all types of household appliances.

Planned obsolescence is a term that unfortunately we have had to become familiar with in recent years. The useful life of the equipment has been greatly reduced, and here 3D printing has a lot to contribute.

The spare parts sought do not have to be too complex: the cover of the remote control, a small plastic valve, a hinge…

From the MyMiniFactory page they can be downloaded by category and have a large number of spare parts. By extending the useful life of electrical appliances, we take care of the environment.

Everything in progress, and in automatic
And it is that 3D printing will also change the world of the automotive industry. Currently it is already possible to print vehicles in 3D, making an industry that is always in the spotlight in the fight against pollution more sustainable.

The world’s leading manufacturers not only intend to sell cars at a more competitive price, but also embrace industry 4.0 through R&D in sustainability and new materials.

It took Local Motors 44 hours to build the first 3D car at the Intelligent Manufacturing Technologies Show in 2014. Two years later, the first commercial model was available. Will we be able to buy a fully customizable vehicle in just a few days in less than 10 years? Warm up engines…