In last month’s news round-up, we covered a selection of 3D printing related news stories, including: 3D printed vegetables, a prototype military submarine and an innovative skull replacement procedure. Over the past month, there have been plenty of stories about the weird and wonderful applications for 3D printing. Here are the cream of the crop.
Revolutionary film props
In the film industry, it’s essential that props are ultra-realistic in order to bring the environment to life - whether it’s an intergalactic space station or a medieval setting. Certain films require unorthodox, original props and these difficult to create using traditional manufacturing methodologies.
Since movie production teams are always on the hunt for new technologies that will give them more creative freedom, it’s no wonder that 3D printing is now used frequently in the film industry. In fact, it’s estimated that studios spend 100 million USD per year on CGI special effects, which includes 3D printing.
New Zealand’s Weta Workshop, famous for producing props for The Hobbit, is one studio that has fully embraced 3D printing for prop design. Because 3D printing allows intricate objects to be constructed fast and inexpensively, it’s often used by the studio to create armour, chainmail and other exciting items.
Popular YouTuber and 3D printing fanatic, Matt Denton, stunned his viewers with an amazing project involving two of his favourite things: 3D printing and Lego. Taking inspiration from a traditionally model-sized Lego go kart, Matt Denton decided to replicate this model at scale: exactly 5X larger and big enough to fit a toddler in (initially he wanted a go kart large enough to fit his 8 year old nephew inside, but realised this would be too ambitious).
Using a Lulzbot Taz5 3D printer, the project was a resounding success. Just like traditional Lego blocks, each part was printed so that they could be slotted together - no adhesives were used! The scaled version looks incredibly similar to the original model, which demonstrates the accuracy of 3D-printing technology for prototyping applications.
As we’ve covered extensively in this blog, 3D printing has been used in multiple medical applications, from drug dispensing systems to prosthetic devices. In the latest in a long line of amazing innovations, BiliScreen is a smartphone application and 3D printed attachment which scans a person’s eyes in order to detect early signs pancreatic cancer and other afflictions.
This essentially turns an everyday smartphone into a powerful medical device. Medical diagnosis devices are typically expensive, so by using 3D printing in the production process - money can be saved, and hopefully, so can lives!