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What is a 3D Printer and What Can You Make with it?

What is 3D Printing?

A 3D printer is unlike common printers. 3D printing turns computer models into real, physical things.

How Does it Work?

On a 3D printer the object is printed by three dimensions. A 3D model is built up layer by layer. Therefore the whole process is called rapid prototyping, or 3D printing.

What Can You Make With a 3D Printer?

1)            Wheels for 2-legged Dogs


This is TurboRoo, a Chihuahua puppy born without front legs.  But thanks to a customized cart made with a 3D printer, he can now go wherever he wants.  As he grows up, larger carts can be printed for him.

2)            Replacement Human Organs


Scientists are still working on this.  Right now, they can use 3D printers to create strips of organ tissue using actual cells.  But if all goes according to plan, they will soon be able to create entire, actual replacement organs.

3)            Portable Wheelchair Ramps


The plastic wedges in the picture above were made by a 3D printer.  The fact that they’re portable means that hard-to-get-to places are more easily accessible for those in wheelchairs.

4)            Hybrid Car – The Urbee 2


This is the Urbee 2, a car made out of parts created by a 3D printer.  The developers hope to have it on the road by 2015, and will attempt to drive it across the country using just 10 gallons of gas.

5)            Robo Hand


A teenager in Kansas made this robotic prosthetic hand for a 3rd-grader born without fingers on one hand.  A regular prosthetic hand would have cost around $18,000, but this one that came from a 3D printer is much more affordable.

6)            3D Printer Lamp

This lamp is made using parts created by a 3D printer that snap together. 

7)            Hydroelectric  Generator


This generator was created using parts made by a 3D printer.  After the Japanese earthquake in 2011, it was used to generate electricity to areas that were without it.

8)            Toothpaste Tube Squeezer


This device forces all your toothpaste to go toward the top of the tube.  It can also be used for many other tube-related products.  It’s that versatile.

9)            Plastic Bag Holder


With this useful handle, you can easily carry around multiple grocery bags, just like carrying a briefcase.

10)          3D Printed Guitar


This is a working guitar made using a 3D printer.  3D printers can make many other instruments, including flutes, violins, whistles…pretty much anything else.


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