Steampunk is a genre that many are familiar with but don’t actually know much about. They are familiar with books, movies, and designs that are based on this steampunk genre, but are not all that familiar with its origins. The term ‘steampunk’ actually didn’t come into existence until around 1987, but the genre existed well before then.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is a genre consisting of designs, stories, novels and movies that has taken on a history of its own. Steampunk works are usually set in a fictional time period in the 1800s, and the machines that take on the ‘steampunk’ appearance are what those living in the steam powered 19th century could have thought future inventions may have looked like. The 1950s and 1960s are when this steampunk genre really came into existence, although back then there wasn’t a specific name for it.
Steampunk machines, devices, etc., usually consist of a lot of gears and analogue mechanisms. Today you see all sorts of unique designs, such as steampunk jewelry, clocks, clothing, and just about anything else that you can think of. 3D printing is a technology which has taken things to the next level, as designers can now fabricate their own unique, extremely complicated, steampunk creations. We thought we would share with you some of our favorite 3D printed steampunk designs.
The Steampunk Guitar
We’ve begun to see a lot of unique 3D printed guitars hit the market, mostly designed by Olaf Diegel and 3D printed with 3D Systems’ printers. This is our favorite design of them all. This steampunk guitar features real moving gears within the body of the instrument. Priced at $4,000, this isn’t a guitar for everyone, but might be just the perfect instrument for that musician who happens to be in love with steampunk.
This 3D printed desktop toy is obviously steampunk themed. If you turn one of the 28 gears in this cube, the other 27 will follow suit. In fact, the designer, Alexander Maund has created a motor system to do the work for you, as seen in this video. Available on Shapeways for $110, this is hard to pass up, especially if you take a liking to steampunk.
Steampunk 3D Printer
We’ve heard about using 3D printers to print out new 3D printers. It’s quite the interesting idea. However, one designer on Thingiverse came up with the idea to 3D print a Steampunk 3D Printer. OK, maybe it doesn’t actually work, but it still looks cool. The futuristic 3D printer of the 19th century? Perhaps not.
Ever imagine what a futuristic hand grenade might look like to a designer in the 19th century? Well, Reg Taylor certainly did. He designed and 3D printed this incredible steampunk grenade in his free time. Of course it’s not actually a working grenade, but it certainly looks like it could be. It uses a 12v car bulb in the base, but Taylor suggest that perhaps it could be improved upon by adding in LEDs.
Steampunk Gear Dice Set
Shapeways is full of 3D printed dice, but perhaps none as unique and interesting as this creation by designer Seth Alexander. Alexander makes this dice set available in a variety of metals and plastics, ranging in price from $21.98 for a plastic version up to $107.42 for the gold steel dice set.
Time Keeper Pendant
This is a non-working time keeper pendant, created by 40 West Designs. “It commemorates a birth date, an anniversary, or any other significant moment in your life, in history, or the future. It will keep that time with perfect accuracy, forever,” explains the designer. “You set the date and time. You can also include a short message below the date.” Available, starting at $74 on Shapeways, this is quite the gift for the steampunk lover in your family.
This is probalby our favorite of them all. It is a 3D printed mechanical octopus vehicle, that includes working features and LED lights. The panels on the sides are held on with magnets and can be removed at will. The door latch is fully functional and the LED switch is hidden inside. It has an operational hoist that moves back and forth and can turn. Be sure to check out the video of this amazing creation below, created by Sean Charlesworth.
Well there you have it, our top 7 3D printed steampunk designs. Which are your favorites? Discuss in the 3D printed steampunk forum thread on 3DPB.com.