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Five Surprising Projects from 3D Printing Dec 30, 2011 15:00 by John Sollars

We’ve reported before on all kinds of uses being found for 3D printers, today I’ve collected some projects that show 5 surprising areas where 3D printing is making headway.

Fashion & Art
Novelty Items

Read on below to see some of the fantastic projects that are being enhanced by the emergence of 3D printing.


One of the most surprising fields that 3D printing has made an impact on is animation. The team behind this sustainable farming advert seen used a 3D printer to enable them to mass produce the models.

According to them the use of a printer meant they didn’t have to sub-contract out the painstaking and time consuming task of hand crafting the models saving the studio time and money.




A team at the Cornell Computational Synthesis Laboratory have been using a 3D printer to allow them to quickly build different designs for wings for their flying robot.

The different wings, often taken from nature itself, can then be tested and the results analysed.


There have been several other designs in the robotics field that have been helped along by 3D printing, including a 2 meter long worm that is intended to help find people trapped in collapsed buildings.

Each segment of the worm has been printed out and, despite it’s creepy-crawly nature, it could really save lives.



Novelty Items



I’d have really liked to get one of these in my Christmas stocking. granted, it doesn’t really do anything, but I could find myself staring at a revolving cube made of gears for hours (don’t lie, you know you could too).



Another bit of fun is this design, similar to a gyroscope it could quite happily fill the time wasting role of a newtons cradle on my desk.


Fashion and Art

The ability to create any shape that comes into the mind really has a large impact on the world of fashion.

Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen has recently used items made using a 3D printer as part of her Capriole collection. An interesting implication is that as 3D printing becomes more accessible to end-users intricate designs like this could re-created in the home.



In the world of art 3D technology is being used to create amazing things. One example of this is this stunning sculpture by Sophie Kahn.

Made by printing epoxy resin, plaster and cyanoacrylate the broken face of “Laura” is fascinating.

Laura by Sophie Kahn

Printing Printers



It is truly amazing that they’ve used a 3D printer to create a fully functional 2D printer… and it may just be me being a little paranoid… but isn’t this bringing skynet that one step closer?

I hope you’ve enjoyed these little examples. If you have any other great examples of stunning imagery or things accomplished with a printer then please comment below or drop us an email and we’ll get them added.

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