10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do - InformationWeek

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8/2/2013
12:51 PM
Jeff Bertolucci
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10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do

Cars, guitars, and tracheal implants: Is there anything that 3-D printers can't make?
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Ivan Sentch of Auckland, New Zealand, has been working on his ambitious 3-D-printing project since the start of 2013. He's using a Solidoodle 3-D printer to build a replica of an Aston Martin DB4 sports car -- a daunting effort for an auto enthusiast with no previous 3-D printing experience. Sentch is using Autodesk 3ds Max as his 3-D design software, and AllyCAD, a separate CAD app, to print MDF (motion-defined form) shapes on paper. As of late July, his 3-D car project was 72% complete -- the printing, anyway. The assembly phase will bring "endless months" of additional work, he says. For more details on Sentch's 3-D-printed car project, check out Solidoodle's interview with the car builder.

Sentch isn't the only one printing vintage vehicles. The makers of the latest James Bond film, "Skyfall," enlisted the services of German 3-D printing company Voxeljet to build three plastic models of the legendary Aston Martin DB5 sports car, says 3-D printing news site 3Ders.org. One of the models explodes in the film. Sad.

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KMBurnham
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KMBurnham,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 4:54:45 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
^^+1. The applications are endless :-)
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/6/2013 | 7:03:14 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
3D printers are great for prototypes, but I think their utility to the general public is overstated. Until they can print food, it will always be more affordable and easier to one-click purchase plastic baubles from Amazon.com. In any event, many useful items have moving parts and/or were made with multiple materials, making them ill-suited for 3D printing. Single-substance items, like dinner plates, deserve a substance better than plastic (and even plates work better with glaze on the ceramic...so a multi-step manufacturing process). I'm sure however they'll find a home in places like the International Space Station for parts replication.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/6/2013 | 6:34:48 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
I love this technology, and it's amazing how it's just catching on with the public. Many people are still learning what it can do, and why it may be useful. Meanwhile its use within the medical and dental fields, to say the least, have been mindblowing (look it up). It doesn't hurt that I can print shoes too. A 3D printer is rapidly making its way to the top of my Christmas wish-list.
NnoduaN197
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NnoduaN197,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/6/2013 | 3:07:00 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
How can I get a 3D portable handy scanner
tcubed
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tcubed,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/5/2013 | 5:37:13 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
How about having the 3D printer make another 3D printer; and so on, and so on; eventually they will be plentiful and cheap enough for me to be able to afford one :-)
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