If you’ve seen my coverage of advanced examples of 3D printing, you might be tempted to think that great 3D-printing results can only be achieved on a high scale and at a professional level. But the truth is that 3D printing has terrific results no matter what the purpose. As long as people are willing to let their imagination flow there will always be mind-blowing designs, even for home use. Below are a few examples that caught my eye.
1) Coffee Cup
From shapeways.com – Coffee cups
I love the smell of coffee in the morning and I feel even merrier if the cup I am drinking from is something special! The One Cup A Day project lasting for 30 days, showcased cups designs I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. Ranging from designs like the Octo Cup which has, you guessed it, 8 handles to the Bird Nest Cup. For Superman fans, there is the Kryptonite Cup and for those who would rather choose an unusual cup instead of a practical one, there is the French Coffee Cup with the Eiffel Tower placed inside it.
From thingiverse.com – Yoda
“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” Yeah, yeah, you got that. You don’t even have to be a Star Wars buff to love Yoda. Everybody does it, right? There are free 3D designs available to create your own sculpture. It can be done in roughly 5 hours and printed at around .1 mm layer height. Love it, you will!
3) Printing Yourself
From oxfordmail.co.uk – 3D-Print Selfies
We invade our Instagrams and Facebook profiles with selfies anyway, so having your own figurine modeled by your looks shouldn’t be considered that creepy. When I was younger, I was fascinated with Marvel action figures like Spider-Man and just the thought that there could be one there with my face makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Yeah, it will be pretty much printed in one copy, but I will be its proud owner. One brand which pushes 3D-printed figurines forward is Cubify’s 3DMe and the models you can create range from bobble heads to cake designs with the mini-version of you.
4) iPhone/tablet case
From shapeways.com – accessories cases
We strive for uniqueness, always attempting to differentiate ourselves from the crowd whenever we have the chance. This can be achieved even by having small, but interesting accessories around like a custom made iPhone or tablet case, for instance. Since 3D printing is becoming more and more affordable, it’s a lot easier to craft such cases. Still, if you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can head over to Shapeways and choose from a variety of options. The “sweater” case is a personal favorite of mine simply because the idea is so basic but so effective at the same time.
From polychemy.com – Jewelry
Since I was mentioning our struggle to be unique I couldn’t leave jewelry behind. Isn’t it annoying when you want to buy a ring, and it either doesn’t fit or doesn’t stand out? But 3D printing is up to the task of changing that. On Polychemy for instance, you can buy custom made 3D-printed rings, either of sterling silver or gold-plated. There are interesting designs available like the Bit Ring or the Barcode Ring which you can customize with your own text.
Is it adequate to call a bikini “beautiful”? Hey, girls will understand this. 3D printing is ready to make a breakthrough in the fashion industry as well and Continuum Fashion’s N12 bikini is one bold move. The bikini is made out of thousands of circular plates joined by tiny, almost invisible springs and printed in 3D using a durable, but flexible polymer called Nylon 12.
The good news is that there are other reasons for getting such a piece, apart from the intriguing look. The bikini is completely waterproof and the designers even claim that the wetter the bikini gets, the more comfortable it feels on your skin. I do fancy the idea of going to a beach and not having to undress myself in the toilet or somewhere else because I can’t return home wearing a wet bikini. Also, in the future, body-scanning will allow the designers to create custom ones which fit everybody.
I know I might be cheating here because “beautiful” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when thinking of brains, but this idea is just so wacky that I had to include it. There is a zombie-frenzy lately and everybody is jumping on that bandwagon. As we all know, zombies are fans of BRAAAAAAAAAAINS and the guys over at Inition thought it would be a great idea to create an edible chocolate brain.
Hey, are you freaked out? It’s just chocolate! After all, how many times in your life are you going to say that you’ve just eaten your (chocolate) brain? It’s an opportunity you can’t pass. How did they do it? All they needed was a brain MRI scan, convert sliced DICOM (data into the appropriate file format (STL), tweak the model a bit, print a sturdy 3D model, create a latex mould and last, but not least, cast the chocolate. And there you have it! Your own edible brain! Bon appétit!
8) Star Trek Ships
From scifi3d.com – Star Trek
Space 3D, the final frontier! Since I had already mentioned Star Wars, it would have been unfair to leave the Trekkies behind. On SciFi 3D, there are many designs available for free downloading, from the Alexandria Station to the Starbase. And of course, the one and only USS Enterprise couldn’t miss. Most of the designs can be downloaded in the MAX & 3DS formats.
9) Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor
From thingiverse.com – Arc reactor
Here is something for the Marvel nerds out there. This is just the electromagnetic field you needed to keep that pesky shrapnel away from your heart. Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit here since you’re no Iron Man and the Mark 1 replica will probably not save your life and help you save humanity, but this is a pretty cool and simple design you can 3D print at home.
10) Joshua Harker’s Art
From joshharker.com – Art
I saved the best for last. Joshua Harker really puts the “beautiful” in the title, with his astonishing 3D creations. Even if skulls and masks aren’t your thing, it’s impossible not to appreciate the craftsmanship of the designs. While those are predominant, you will also find gigantic headdresses, flower bouquets, kinetic sculptures, and they’re all 3D printed!
The idea behind this page was to think small, but big at the same time. I hope that what I’ve listed here will spark your interest, because mine is definitely at its peak!