Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Some Of The More Outrageous Things Being Made With A 3D Printer

by Hugh Larson

What does the world of 3D printing look like outside of the laboratory? Additive manufacturing is changing the face of many industries, including healthcare, aerospace and automotive, but what about just having a little fun? Like when Howard and Raj on the Big Bang Theory spent thousands of dollars on a 3D printer just so they could make superhero figurines of themselves. Take a look at some of the wacky ways people are using rapid prototyping and 3D printing to produce interesting things.

Band Equipment for a Live Concert

A design engineer and educator in Sweden combined his fascination with rapid prototyping with his love for music. In 2013, he created 3D printed musical instruments for his band and played live for engineers attending the EuroMold design fair.

With his 3D printer, the professor made a drum set, keyboards and two guitars – all ready to use once complete. His goal was to show the music industry the benefits of custom-made instruments and to prove that rapid prototyping had real world applications beyond its current uses.

A Working Gun

Solid Concepts took rapid prototyping down a controversial path. The company printed a copy of a 1911 handgun able to fire just like a semi-automatic pistol, according to TechCrunch.

Their purpose was not to fashion a gun using a 3D printer, but to take the technology a little further. They made the individual pieces of the gun with the 3D printer, then used a metal laser sintering process to solidify them into one solid unit.

It took work to get the gun to fire. Designers had to remove all the support material and make modifications that included store bought pieces. Solid Concepts was able to show the value of their finishing process when combined with 3D printing.


Will you soon be rapid prototyping your next meal? Companies are developing food products using 3D technology. A U.K. based firm already markets a printer that comes with the layering material to print chocolate candies.

NASA commissioned a company to come up with a 3D pizza printer able to function in space, too. It prints the dough onto a heated plate to bake, then adds tomato sauce and a protein layer.

Other printable food options currently available include:

  • Ravioli
  • Chickpea nuggets
  • Corn chips

Some companies are using this technology to create sugar confections for cakes, as well. The printer can produce a cake topper that looks like the bride and groom, for example.


Fashion designer Francis Bitonti is a pioneer in couture-based rapid prototyping. He teaches a class at Ravensbourne College in London that utilizes 3D printing technology to create distinctive fabrics and fashion designs. His first full creation was a dress worn on the red carpet by burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese.

Bitonti uses a biopolymer mesh in his creations. He inputs the design into software first, and then saves the final product onto an SD card to transfer it to the 3D printer. The printer heats up the biopolymer base and then stretches it out to create fabric.

Making dresses this way saves the company both time and money. A dress takes about five hours to print without all the labor that goes into manufacturing the fabric, cutting it and then sewing the pieces together.

Rapid prototyping and 3D printing are serious technology. Manufacturers use it to develop product prototypes. Scientists print out organs that save lives with it. Dentists even make custom crowns and dentures using a printer.

The flip side of this industry is the not so serious products coming out of a 3D printer. If you are a designer working on anything from computer product development to shoe fashions, consider how creating your projects with the help of rapid prototyping might give you an edge. Click here to read about rapid prototyping and how you can use it.


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.