Now that you understand what a 3D printer is and does, we thought we would tease your imagination a little with some of the creative and useful things people have made with 3D printers, excluding the obvious toys of course. Here are 11 really creative ways to use 3D printers.
A camera lens
If you are a photographer you should be leaping for joy here because the cost of camera lenses, especially the good prime ones, can do some damage to your pocket. Well imagine a future where you can download the template for that zoom or macro lens you could use and print it yourself for cheap.
Why the heck stop there, why not print a replacement lens cap, universal lens adapters (so your can use any lense with your camera) or the whole camera body in future? I do understand this might take purchasing some extra parts like glass, sensors & chips, but I am being optimistic here.
A guitar, a 3D printed guitar… sweet. I can’t wait for a piano or keyboard template, I have always wanted to learn those instruments.
Medical training props & prosthetic limbs
While universities like Monash University have eliminated the cost and trouble of sourcing bodies to train future doctors using 3D printed models, Not Impossible Labs in third world countries has started printing low cost prosthetic limbs. This could just be the tip of the ice berg in terms of what is yet to come in the medical field with 3D printers.
Yes, a weapon. Practically though, they have only successfully printed parts of interchangeable guns in the United States. Nonetheless, this starts to open up some serious ethical questions that need to be answered or governed before 3D printers are affordable for the masses.
A sewing machine
Imagine all the clothes you can could make, or the machine you could upgrade to if you already make clothes. Maybe you just might be ready to open up shop for a fraction of the cost.
For third world countries that have always relied on first world countries to spin their cotton for them, maybe this might level the playing field a little.
Mobile phone casing
We found a 3D printed mobile phone case useful as this usually is one of the first accessories you buy for your smartphone. Usually that add on lasts the lifetime of the use of that mobile phone, unless you get bored or it breaks. In which case, why not just print another one. Being able to make these cases yourself puts all design choices at your fingerprints and not just what is available at your local store.
Home hardware tools
Imagine being able to 3D print a hammer or a nail. When I worked in retail, this was the most nerve wrecking threat posed by this new 3D printing technology in terms of sales & job security. As a consumer, I wouldn’t mind being able to print a pliers or a precision screwdriver when my local hardware store has closed. Even if at the very least, it saves me braving a trip to the 24/7 mart in the cold of winter.
Oh the joys my mother will discover when I tell her about this one.
The fashion industry is in for a makeover. Already, people have printed high heels, replacement zipper handles, scarfs, entire dresses, bras & underpants.
Just saying that, was like a flashback of walking in a shopping mall. Where is the tiny man section? I can’t wait to see people get creative in this industry here, lot’s of potential.
An LP music player
Here I was tossing between the 3D LP player or a lamp shade, and while both are useful depending on your age, the LP player won the battle as you can hardly buy this old technology nowadays.
As such, this represents all the old technology you once really loved but has been phased out for one reason or another. You can now 3D print it back into use, should you find or create your own template.
10 Houses in 24 hours
While America has examples of individual houses being built using 3D printers, you can count on China to have already effeciently mass produced several houses in a short period of time. Since February 2014, a Chinese company has been 3D printing at a rate of 10 houses per 24 hours… I believe a Guinness World record award is in order.
Conclusion: 11 really creative ways to use 3D printers
The future of the world is going to take a whole new shape because of 3D printing and from here it looks awesome. From retailers to manufacturers, everyone should be getting ready to change their strategies and patent their products, peripherals & designs. I would also recommend they start getting into the business of selling 3D templates rather than actual products for some, if they wish to survive this new wave.
Tell us in the comments section below, what would you like to print or make if you had a 3D printer.
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