Last month, we covered a range of exciting stories from the world of 3D printing: including edible selfies and 3D printed parts in space. As 3D printing continues to evolve as a technology, there is no shortage of stories from around the world of new applications. Here are some of the most interesting 3D printing related stories to hit the news in the last month.
Crime Prevention in Hong Kong
For most people, the association of crime and 3D printing immediately conjures up images of the world’s first 3D printed gun that hit the news several years ago. However, Hong Kong police are using 3D printing in an entirely different way as a preventative measure against criminal activity.
A series of crime scenes have been reconstructed as 3D models by the Hong Kong police to serve as a learning tool. These models are highly accurate, yet scaled down, and will help to educate Hong Kong’s counterterrorism unit regarding disasters in the past, such as the 2010 hostage situation which occurred on a bus in Manila.
Additionally, the models can be used in courtrooms to help elucidate the layout of a crime scene and to corroborate witness testimonies. Unlike conventional manufacturing technologies, these models can be produced rapidly, bespoke and at a low cost, which makes 3D printing incredibly attractive for this type of application.
There have been many situations where enthusiasts have used 3D printing technology to additively construct edible items - from the strange to the extraordinary. In the latest story of this nature, a specialist team from WASP (an Italian 3D printing company) have developed a 3D printer which creates gluten-free food.
While eschewing gluten has become a popular trend in recent years, for those who suffer from celiac disease, abstaining from gluten is a case of life and death. 3D printing allows food to be created in unusual shapes, as evidenced by the edible gnomes which came out of WASP’s machine at a recent demonstration. Importantly for celiac sufferers, the WASP team’s latest creation is specifically designed to create tasty, bespoke gluten-free food, and it’s easy to operate just like any other kitchen appliance!
Robotic Geisha Masks
‘Ghost In The Shell’, starring Scarlett Johansson, is one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of 2017. The movie is a live-action Hollywood adaptation of an extremely successful Manga series which debuted in the late 1980s. Set in a fictional, futuristic Japanese metropolis, CGI as well as traditional physical effects have been used in abundance to bring this city to life.
Robotic geishas, which feature prominently in the movie, have been brought to life with a little bit of help from 3D printing. Their masks were created by taking 3D scans of the face of a famous Japanese actress. With a digital blueprint of the mask, they were then constructed using 3D printing, milling and handcrafting. The hairpieces were also constructed using 3D printing and additional post-processing.
The end result was startling, as the actresses involved were transformed to look like lifesize porcelain dolls. Check out some of the stunning images at 3Ders.