8 Amazing Things Made With 3D Printers

Movie theaters and expensive LED TVs aren’t the only tech toys going 3D these days. Lately doctors, hackers, geeks, and architects are using design software and state-of-the art 3D printers to sculpt some truly awesome stuff. 3D printers squirt molten plastic, metal, and even human tissue into shapes previously only possible through hand craftsmanship, if at all!

Check out these awesome examples of printing in the third dimension:



Using laser beams to fuse layers of recycled plastic powder into shape, fashion designers are now able to make seamless, perfect-fitting clothing from 3D laser printers with virtually no waste. The process is faster than weaving textiles, and opens up enormous possibilities for bespoke (custom made to order) clothing. Freedom of Creation, which prints 3D textiles, has some of its designs currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Marble Buildings


Inventor Enrico Dini uses his own large-scale 3d printer to literally print buildings. His Radiolara Pavilion, an egg/igloo-looking alien structure, is his first printable edifice. His massive printer binds layers of sand to form a marble-like structure. BlueprintMagazine says “Dini claims the d-shape process is four times faster than conventional building, costs a third to a half as much as using Portland cement, creates little waste and is better for the environment. But its chief selling point may simply be that it makes creating Gaudiesque, curvy structures simple.”

Since this printer requires no human to operate it, it can be used to build structures in hostile environments, possibly even on the moon.



Doctors today can use 3D printing to squirt out exact replicas of bones inside a living human body. When attached to digital CT scanners, 3D printers can be more speedy and accurate than casts or molds. This way a surgeon can practice a tricky operation on an exact copy of the patient’s innards before cutting away at the stuff that counts.

3D puzzles


Puzzle design is a difficult, specialized art. Three-dimensional puzzle creation involves a special dose of spacial visualization and imagination. But 3D printing takes the difficulty out of constructing a 3D puzzle. Puzzle designers can (and do) now model their creations using software and then print them out in a few minutes’ time. It’s a lot quicker than whittling wood and using the “guess and check” method. But more importantly, it’s allowing for more interesting and difficult puzzles to be developed.



Though King Tut is still resting peacefully in Egypt, an exact replica of him is making the museum rounds in New York and elsewhere due to 3D printing. CT scans were taken of the mummy, and a 2-meter-long 3d printer gave meat and bones to his clone. Makeup artists then brought Tut 2.0 to life.

Heritage-Key.com explains the process: “The material used is called ‘photopolymer resin’, which is a liquid at the start of the process.  A UV laser is then used to trace the shape of the model layer by layer, ‘glueing’ each one to the layer below. Each time a layer is finished, it is re-coated with liquid resin to create the next layer.”

High Heels


When was the last time you heard someone say, “She looks like she was poured into those shoes!”?  Today, there’s no better way to achieve a perfect fit and a seamless design than to digitize and print shoes.

Designer Pauline van Dongen says, of her 3D-printed high heel shoes, “Is the body the content and the clothes the container, or is it the other way round? My work explores the void between the body and the garment. Alienating shapes or capsules floating around the body are turned into clothes, like organic sculptures. Metal knitwear and the contrast between dark shades and bright tops create a sharp, minimalistic feel. In collaboration with Freedom Of Creation I developed an innovative shoe, which is printed three-dimensional.”

Perhaps custom, 3D-printed orthopedic shoes will be the next wave in fashion (and medicine).

High tech furniture


From flat-folding LED lamps to funky pedestal chairs, 3D printing enables furniture makers to churn out some exceptionally sexy stuff. Artisans can create high tech designs without having to stoop to cheap molds or wood glued seams. When structural and manufacturing constraints are removed (as the digitizing and printing process does), the kind of mass-production-friendly, top-tier design that can take place is pretty fantastic.



That’s correct, scientists are now printing organic material – real, living cells – to create arteries and other tissues, and hoping to eventually print full on organs like kidneys and hearts. The San Diego-based company, Organovo, has developed a 3D printer that uses two inkjet cartridges to print the living goo that makes up your guts. The hacked ink cartridges are filled with live cells and hydrogel, a material that’s sprayed down and forms a scaffolding for the cells to form on. It takes 24-48 hours for the cells to bond and become an organ.

Organovo expects to ship its 3D organ printers to researchers this year, and in 3 years they expect to be using them in human trials.

Forget watching prehistoric Piranhas through bulky theater glasses! With the growing prevalence DIY 3D printers like Makerbot and commercial 3D printers like those invented for the above-mentioned items, today’s 3D is becoming truly tangible.

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  • Anonymous

    Wow, that is truly amazing. That King Tut thing is way cool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Jones/602954096 Peter Jones

    Wow, I heard ariline tickets , voucher coupons and hotel booking websites will be compatible with 3d printers, just like http://www.onlyrooms.com . though still needs some work but slowly getting there

  • Andrew

    print me up a new spleen!

  • http://twitter.com/onreact_com Tad Chef

    Soon it won’t be Made in China it will be Made in Garage.

  • http://twitter.com/DustinCase Dustin Case


  • http://twitter.com/DustinCase Dustin Case


  • vivzizi

    The “Users guide to rapid prototyping” is an excellent professional resource book all about 3D printing with manufacturers lists and comparisons to CNC manufacturing.


  • VAG

    I want to see 3d printers printing 3d printers. now that would be amazing.

  • Ooo

    remote controls… yes.. many years ago they started printing fully functional remote controls… would be interesting to see where it is at now…

  • Adrian

    Great article! I just bought a red 3D printer from BotMill. http://www.BotMill.com, they have a huge selection. DIY kits and fully assembled models at the lowest prices I’ve seen anywhere.

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    That looks really awesome. Hope I could see how they do that in a video.

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    Awesome things that are generated from printer.

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  • Mastermesmer

    Awesome!… I would like a new ME please….

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    Simply amazing. Soon there won’t be anything that technology can’t take care of!

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    I though the high tech furniture section was pretty cool. I have not seen that around in stores but I could see that in my apartment. Keep up the good design work!

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    This is really amazing, I like it. 3D printer is latest technology and in this technology added new feature. 3D printer output is totally different than simple printer.

  • Sean

    Would it be possible for a 3D printer to print out discs with data on them? 

    Or am I completely missing the point of these 3D printers? They seem amazing….

    It could open up many possibilities, like if a company couldn’t afford to manufacture items they could just sell the blueprint and people at home could print it out themselves. :o

  • lulu rules

    wow only ten comments NERDS!! yes but i do think VAG’s idea would be amazing xx bye me

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    This is unbelievable, art has left nothing behind, it has made use of almost everything to create something new and beautiful. These are some of the great creativity with 3d printers.

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  • Mcleods777

     That’s already being done…

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  • Tom

    Yeah really Its been done for years……RepRap the self replicating 3d printer

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