3D printing is awesome and there are some unbelievable things out there that have been achieved, so as a bit of fun, we thought we'd take you through Quadra's favourite 3D printed projects that we have seen/heard about over the last few years.

3D printing is awesome and there are some unbelievable things out there that have been achieved, so as a bit of fun, we thought we’d take you through Quadra’s favourite 3D printed projects that we have seen/heard about over the last few years.

1. All made possible ‘beakcause‘ of 3D printing

This is Zazu, a toucan that had its beak broken and by using 3D printing technology a prosthesis was made! Zazu recovered completely, being able to feed itself moments after the end of the surgical procedure.

2. Shelling out for a new look

Keeping on the subject of animals, when Freddy the tortoise was caught in a bush fire in Brazil, his chances of survival were slim. Freddy not only survived his ordeal but is also now the proud owner of the world’s first 3D printed shell and very fetching look it is too!

3. Breaking your foot doesn’t mean you have to smell like one

This cast was created so people who required splints or casts could still continue to go about their daily activities with ease. Since this original project was completed there are now many companies that offer this as a service.

4. A helping 3D hand

3D printing has already revolutionised the creation of prosthetic legs and hands. Previously a prosthetic hand could cost thousands of pounds to make. Whereas now with 3D printed prosthetics they can be made for around £30.

The really exciting part of this though it the difference in the price means that many in developing and war-torn countries can experience a higher quality of life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 40 million people need prosthetic and orthotic devices and the use of prosthetics not only means that they can go on to live useful and fulfilling lives but the prosthetics also reduces the chance of infection to the original limb.

5. The shower that helps you become ex-stinked

Enough of the serious stuff for a bit!

Who would want this for a showerhead? Bit of Jurassic Plastic? Yeah, possibly not. But if nothing else it would give any visiting friends or family a roarsome surprise!

6. I like big boats and I cannot lie

You have probably seen this one ‘floating’ about on Youtube, but this was the world’s first 3D printed boat. The piece is 7.62 meters long and weighs 2.2 tons.

It was manufactured in just 72 hours from a mixture of plastic and wood cellulose. And, just to show off even further, the boat actually floats as well.

7. We can move mountains

Ok, well, we had to use one of our 3D models!

Here is a 3D printed model of Helvellyn in the Lake District. Created initially in Fusion with a morphed spiral toolpath and then printed on our 3D printer at our Training Centre. This has helped plan walking and running routes and is being used by national parks and tourist information centres to help guide visitors.

Interested in 3D printing – Talk one of our team!

8. 3D printing for life

Right, back to it and at number 8

Overcoming infertility is often a long, painful, and expensive process. But one pioneering experiment gives hope that we might see an innovative new treatment approach in the future. At the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, a mouse was implanted with synthetic, printed ovaries. The mouse went on to give birth to healthy babies.

9. Home is where you print it

If you’ve been on the internet in the last year, you may have seen the viral clip of a 3D printed house built in just 24 hours.

But the details of how they did it mean that it could revolutionise how we see any form of building in the future. The mobile printer lays down layers of a concrete mixture to build up the walls, then, once the printer is removed, insulation, windows, and a roof are added. And because the printing devices are mobile, houses can be printed on-site rather than in a factory.

10. There is more with 4? 4D printing

Yes, you heard right 4D printing.

This example shows how it could be used in the future. Researchers at the have printed silicone material that is flexible and can adapt itself when heat is applied. This could, for example, be used to create truly customizable, form-fitting shoes that adapt to the wearer’s feet.

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