3D Printing Goes Mainstream

3D Printed Items

In our previous post on 3D printing we highlighted some of the most interesting and advanced projects from around the globe. 3 weeks later we have seen the technology advance even further. Whilst a number of these projects are still in their infancy, these companies are upping the ante and revolutionising the industry.

Once the stuff of science fiction, 3D printing technology is now becoming readily available to the general public. Changing the way we work, design and invent, the possibilities are endless. 

Print A Mini-Me

If you have ever watched an episode of the Big Bang Theory, you may remember the episode where Howard and Raj buy their very own 3D printer for $5,000 to make models of themselves. Whilst this sort of money is totally unrealistic for many of us, the supermarket giant Asda is set to make it 3D printing available to everyone.  Thanks to a £40,000 printer and a 3D scanning booth in-store, you will now be able to pop into your local supermarket and pick up a mini-me and a loaf of bread. 

Hoping to start a new craze called ‘shelfie’ (need we say any more), the supermarket has unveiled their first automatic scanning booth in Trafford, Manchester. For a small £60 fee, you will be able to create a 8 inch full colour ceramic model of yourself.

How does it work you might ask? The scanner will take thousands of pictures, scanning your entire body in just 12 seconds. This data is then sent to the Asda printing facility in Sheffield where the model will be created. Unlike conventional 3D printers, this system uses fine white powdered ceramic which is solidified by a series of water jets. 

3D Drawing On The Go

Ever wanted to turn your drawing into 3D reality? With the new 3D printing pen from CreoPop you will be able to instantly print and draw in 3-dimensions. Whilst not the first of it’s kind, CreoPop is the first to use cool ink. Using photopolymers which are solidified by UV lights in the tip of the pen, the techies behind CreoPop have developed UV, scented, elastic, magnetic and conductive inks for a number of different purposes. Pretty cool!

Child’s Play

Previously we discussed the benefits of making 3D printing technology available in schools. Since then, a number of companies across the globe have began to focus on the importance of making new technologies available to the next generation of designers; our children. Heralded as ‘the next thing you will be buying you kids this Christmas’ by The Guardian, Printeer which has been developed by Mission Street Manufacturing in the US, is already working with schools in California to test the device. 

Printeer 3D Printer

Image Credit: Mission Street Manufacturing

Recently launched on Kickstarter and seeking $50k funding, Printeer is a range of 3D printers which enable children to draw their designs and print almost instantly. Removing some of the more complicated CAD steps, this printer will enable primary and junior school children to gain first hand experience of this emerging technology.Created with kids in mind, all you will need is an iPad and wifi in order to design and print 3D objects in minutes. Still in the early prototyping stages “Printeer is for today’s kids, tomorrow’s engineers and designers.” 

3D: Printing Is The Future

If you are looking to inspire your children or see 3D printing in action yourself, the Science Museum in London has a fantastic exhibition that we recommend you go and see. Open until April 2015, 3D: Printing the Future features an exhibition wall with over 600 printed objects on display. Discover how computer data is being turned into physical objects and how industry, medicine and even retail are going to change with the advent of 3D. 

Entry is free to the exhibition showcasing how artwork, everyday items and advanced mechanical objects can be printed for a variety of different purposes. 

Science Museum 3D Printing

Image Credit: sciencemuseum.org.uk

Want your own 3D printer? At Printernet we stock a range of 3D printers to help turn your designs into reality. Talk to one of our team today for more information. 

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