Okay, I know a list like this may be a tad bit too cliché for the internet but after covering the industry for close to two years now I thought it would be fun to compose a list of the 10 coolest (in my opinion) 3D printed items of all time. Note that ‘all-time’ really means in the last 29 years and a few months, as the technology is rather new, and the majority of these items have actually been printed in the last couple of years. Here you have it, the 10 coolest 3D printed items ever!!
1. Local Motors’ 3D Printed Strati Car (Read More)
Phoenix, Arizona-based Local Motors is trying to upend the automobile industry by 3D printing customized vehicles. The design for the Strati, the world’s first 3D printed car, was obtained by the company after hosting a design competition. The first vehicle was printed at the International Manufacturing Technology show in Chicago in 2014 and blew the media, including myself, away. The company now has plans to 3D print yet another car, this time one that’s road-ready, and they also will be opening up as many as 50 microfactories across the globe, capable of 3D printing vehicles like the Strati in the years to come. The first Strati (pictured above) was printed in only 44 hours from an ABS/carbon fiber composite material.
2. 3D Printed Five-Story Office Building (Read More)
Although there is some question regarding whether or not Winsun stole intellectual property from an American company called Contour Crafting, and if in fact their five-story building really should be considered a 3D printed building, since it was printed in sections, I have to say the results are still quite impressive. Winsun, which has 3D printed several homes and buildings including a mansion, 3D printed the walls of this office building within their manufacturing facility before shipping them off to the build site. The walls were assembled to create the finished product and then the building was finished with traditional construction techniques.
3. 3D Printed Vincent van Gogh Ear (Read More)
If anyone is familiar with art than you likely are aware of the fact that artist Vincent van Gogh cut off his own ear. Another more current artist, named Diemut Strebe, teamed with researchers to 3D bioprint an ear using van Gogh’s own relative’s DNA. The results as you can see are a bit creepy but also very cool if you ask me.
There are so many awesome designs we have seen over the years from our readers, but nothing compared to two functioning power tools created by a man named Lance Abernethy, who had initially 3D printed a miniature working version of a drill. His creation garnered so much support that he decided, only a couple of weeks ago, to add to his miniature power tool collection by 3D printing and assembling a circular saw. While both creations actually will function, its very difficult to get either of the tools to actually be of any use besides of course garnering a ton of attention.
6. 3D Prints Smaller Than an Ant’s Forehead (Read More)
The circumstances around these 3D prints have to be the most ironic ever. Created by a man named Jonty Hurwitz, who teamed with the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Institute of Microstructure Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, these incredibly tiny 3D prints are nothing short of amazing. The prints are so tiny that they would have appeared no larger than a speck of dust to the human eye. The ironic part is that these miniature 3D printed figures were unfortunately lost. After all that’s not a very difficult task to achieve since they are pretty much invisible to the naked eye.
7. 3D Printed Life-Sized Castle (Read More)
It’s nice to have a large backyard, especially when it’s big enough to 3D print a full-sized concrete castle. This is just what one man named Andrey Rudenko decided to do in Minnesota. The castle, which was printed using a large-scale 3D printer that Rudenko built himself, is only a prequel to a much more interesting project he has planned: to ultimately 3D print a home. While Rudenko’s latest project is still in the planning stages, it will be interesting to follow along as this 3D printing genius continues to burst through boundaries.
8. 3D Printed Lawn Mower (Read More)
While there had already been 3D printed cars, buildings and human skin fabricated, there had yet to be a working 3D printed lawnmower, until South African engineer Hans Fouche decided to print just that. Fouche, who has been working on a large-scale 3D printer in his garage called the Cheetah, decided to use it for something functional. While he has 3D printed a variety of interesting objects such as a vacuum cleaner, furniture and other awesome things, probably his coolest creation was this white ABS lawn mower, which remarkably took just 9 hours to print.
9. First-Ever Object 3D Printed in Space (Read More)
What’s cooler than taking a rocket to space? How about taking a rocket to space with a 3D printer on board? That’s just what NASA, along with US company Made in Space, did last year, and the results were nothing short of spectacular. While the first-ever 3D print was a rather boring faceplate for the 3D printer itself, NASA went on to 3D print numerous objects, including a functioning wrench which was literally emailed to them from Earth.
10. The Liberator (Read More)
As probably the most controversial 3D print of all time, Cody Wilson’s 3D printed Liberator handgun caused a stir for sure. While Wilson and his company Defense Distributed initially uploaded the 3D model of the gun online, the government forced him to remove it. That wasn’t before hundreds of thousands of people had already downloaded and shared the design files. While the government put a halt (somewhat) to the public distribution of the files, they continue to be shared and printed around the world via private file sharing platforms. Wilson and his company are currently suing the State Department, claiming that his rights were violated.
As the technology behind all of these incredible projects continues to undergo rapid improvements, the next year or two will likely bring forth even more awesome 3D prints. We can’t wait to see them all. Let us know which 3D print was your favorite and why. Discuss in the 10 Coolest 3D Prints Ever forum thread on 3DPB.com.
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.