The definitive, totally unsurpassable Top 10 3D Printed Things, as selected with exceeding unparalleled rigor by me. You could disagree with this list, but then you would be wrong. These things have all inspired us, are emblematic of major steps forward in 3D printing, are very important designs, are some of the most popular 3D prints of all time and have all pushed the envelope in the 3D printed world.

10. Nervous System’s Cellular Lamp

Nervous’ Cellular Lamp is a very popular 3D print. The design studio also blazed the way by sharing designs and software on how to make them online. Now the cellular/voronoi aesthetic is almost inescapable in 3D printing.

 

9. Flowalistik’s Low-Poly Pickachu

Agustin Flowalistik always makes awesome work, but this unleashed many low-poly things on the world and is an elegantly executed idea and a lovely fun super easy print for your desktop machine.

 

8. Benchy by Creative Tools 

When CAD and 3D printing reseller Creative Tools released their Jolly Torture test, the 3D Benchy, not a lot of people knew how important it was and would become. There was no model in existence that could let you compare 3D printers well and show what was going wrong in a 3D print. The Benchy let you have one easy 3D print which shows you a lot of the performance of your printer.

 

7. Olivier van Herpt’s 3D Printed Ceramic Vase

Van Herpt showed us how one individual could develop a 3D printing technology that could print ceramic vases in a few hours, making functional 3D printed ceramics possible.

 

6. Richard Horne’s Universal Pellet Extruder 

Horne, or RichRap, as he’s known by many, has developed printers, models and even written the 3D Printing For Dummies book. His Universal Pellet Extruder shows us how someone who cares passionately about the technology can improve it significantly by creating a universal pellet extruder that could radically change how 3D printing works.

 

5. Virtox’s Gyro the Cube

Unleashed on Shapeways in the early days, Gyro the Cube perfectly illustrated what 3D printing could do and the beautiful objects that it could create. Gyro the Cube is probably still one of the most popular 3D printed things on Earth.

 

4. Michiel Cornelissen’s 36 Pencil Bowl

Cornelissen worked at Philips Design designing shavers and MRI machines before coming to 3D printing. His experience and aesthetic feel lead to many successful 3D printed products. His 3D Pencil Bowl combines Selective Laser Sintering with the ubiquitous pencil to make a bowl. A fun, whimsical and beautiful solution to making larger things for 3D printing.

3. Janne Kyttanen’s SoFa So Good

Kyttanen was the first designer to start a design label in 3D printing, .MGX, and the first to make a line of functional 3D printed products. Then he founded the second design label in 3D printing, FOC. He pioneered a lot of applications such as lamps and wearable 3D prints. His SoFa So Good is a functional ultralight 3D printed sofa. Beautiful, spare, open, it elegantly shows us what can be possible with 3D printing.

 

2. The e-NABLE hand

It is the best of what we are and could become. A simple cost-effective solution for hundreds of thousands of people the world over. With e-NABLE hands, kids can grab things, do more and be more independent. A customized 3D printed hand shows off what our technology could mean for humanity.

 

1. Scott Summit’s 3D Printed Fairings

Designer Scott Summit worked for Apple, Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics before coming to 3D printing. His 3D printed scoliosis braces and 3D printed fairings changed the path of 3D printing. Before them there was work on 3D printed implants and 3D printed design items. Summit, however, turned a bug into a feature. He made prosthetics that were not only functional but also beautiful. Functional fairings that were something to be proud of, something to show off. This inspired all the casts, prosthetics, prosthetic devices, prosthetic startups, etc. that we see in 3D printing today and also led to people eventually coming up with things such as e-NABLE. Furthermore these unique 3D printed items could be customized for the customer. Aesthetics could be taken into account but also individual needs, sizing and biomechanics. This was a functional item, meant to be exposed to real world conditions, that was 3D printed and customized, that worked and showed us what 3D printing can become, in 2008. By blazing new ground and building a future that wasn’t there, Summit showed us how one person can influence the development of a technology while improving lives by making beautiful 3D printed things that didn’t exist yet.

Share your thoughts on this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or in the comments below.

 

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