Whether or not you agree that, as has seriously been suggested, the still relatively recent invention of 3D printing could spark a third industrial revolution, it’s hard to deny that it’s a pretty awesome emerging technology. Vindicating this are the following extraordinary 3D printed creations – you might have to see them to believe them…
Local Motors’ Strati Car
The world’s first 3D printed car? That title goes to the Strati, which the Arizona-based manufacturer Local Motors first printed at the Chicago-based International Manufacturing Technology show in 2014. Journalists in attendance were thoroughly impressed, and Local Motors now intends to 3D print another automobile – except that, unlike the Strati, this one will be suitable for taking to the road.
Six-Storey Apartment Building
There is some controversy over whether this structure, which was unveiled at the Suzhou Industrial Park in east China’s Jiangsu Province last year, should be considered completely 3D printed, as it was actually printed in sections. It is also thought that, for making this building, the company behind it, Winsun, might have stolen intellectual property from the American firm Contour Crafting. Nonetheless, we think that the building is impressive – and potentially pioneering – enough to warrant inclusion in this list.
It’s not just modern buildings that 3D printing can effectively replicate. One man, Andrey Rudenko, has used a large scale 3D printer to make a proper-sized castle in Minnesota. The finished thing looks like something out of Disneyland, or perhaps one of the beautiful historic castles scattered across the UK. However, it turns out that Rudenko has even bigger plans; specifically, to 3D print at home. Now that could be a huge game-changer…
Recreation of Vincent van Gogh’s Ear
The sheer size of these 3D printed creations can often be enough in itself to impress. However, 3D printed art doesn’t need to be physically large to have the wow factor – and, yes, you might genuinely describe the creation we are about to mention as art. That’s because it was made by the artist Diemut Strebe – with help from researchers – and bio-printed using the DNA of a relative of the legendary artist Vincent van Gogh.
That man is, of course, well known for having severed his own ear – and this recreation seems a fitting reminder. In fact, many artists and other visual creatives could be pleasantly surprised by how much use they can make of 3D printing products in our stock.