By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
Some 3-D printers are now creating items you can actually stick a price tag on, like lamps and clothes.
Three dimensional printers have always had that certain neat-o factor, even though the machines were used primarily to produce simple prototypes of products.
But the technology has advanced considerably over the past few years. Some 3-D printers are now creating items you can actually stick a price tag on, like lamps and clothes. As SmartPlanet's Joe McKendrick had already noted, companies like Bespoke Innovations have used 3-D printers to make prosthetic limbs for the disabled. And in Belgium, a 3-D printing company named i.materialise just opened the first store for 3-D printed housewares.
Three-dimensional printers print out objects through a process in which the machine lays out the source material one layer at a time based on design specifications. The most sophisticated 3-D printers can cost upwards of 100,000 dollars, according to The New York Times.
To demonstrate just how sophisticated 3-D printing has become, a college student named Amit Zoran used an Objet Connex500, a machine capable of assembling multiple materials, to print out a flute.
Zoran, who conducts research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had already received some attention last year when he unveiled a concept design for a food printer.
Although the flute wasn't quite perfect, the mere achievement of producing a working musical instrument that involves a high degree of finely tuned craftsmanship is still pretty impressive. Don't you think?
Related on SmartPlanet:
- 3D printing: coming to a workstation near you
- With new printers, classrooms will go 3-D
- Massive printer builds 3D structures with sand
Jan 7, 2011