In pictures: Crazy 3D printed models

We take a look at 3D printing and how far it has come in recent years.

  • Rapid Prototyping for Baghdad

    3D printing even has medical purposes. The RP4Baghdad team (Rapid Prototyping For Baghdad) uses 3D printing and stereolithography to create prototype prosthetics for war-affected Iraqi civilians, allowing for a better and more customised fit. The project is a humanitarian effort that has used the dropping cost of 3D printers to help those in need of prosthetics.
  • Intel

    The picture above can't be strictly defined as a 3D printed model, but fits into the same realm of 3D objects that have come to life. Dubbed "programmable matter", the Intel-developed technology allows for even greater control over prototypes, which are manipulable by human touch and reprogrammed on the fly to create a new 3D model. The new technology, unveiled by Intel last year, has limitless applications, allowing users to dynamically modify prototypes. While 3D printing is definitely a reality now, programmable matter is more a sign of what is to come.
  • For many of us, the idea of creating a 3D object out of (almost) nothing seems like science fiction, but for those who have enough dough (money, that is), then 3D printing is very much a reality. Of course, there are professional uses for it in architecture and related fields but since they're boring, we've decided to pick out some of our favourite creations made by 3D printers.

  • Hiroshi Yoshii

    These 3D sculptures from Hiroshi Yoshii are created on a computer using ZBrush and printed out in a resin form via a Dimension BST 3D Printer and then finished in a surface paint and hand-painted to his desired palette. The sculptures are part of an ever-growing collection of "Piyora" resign figures, made from original Pokemon-like characters Yoshii designs, most of which you can check at his Picasa page
  • Geoffrey Mann

    Geoffrey Mann's use of 3D printing shows its artistic value. Mann captured a moth's flight as it was attracted to light through a long exposure camera technique, and used rapid prototyping to bring it into reality. The result is a truly artistic lamp.
  • EA and ZCorporation

    Though Yoshii offers a number of characters for buyers to choose from, they still aren't wholly unique. EA changed this when it teamed up with 3D printer manufacturer ZCorporation to offer 3D sculptures of user-created creatures from the computer game SPORE. At Spore Sculptor, you can get that weird approximation of a dinosaur-dolphin mashup printed into a 3D sculpture for $US50, with colour and everything. The idea is simple and financially feasible for the company thanks to lowering costs of materials and the printers themselves, and allows you to see your own computer creation come to life.
  • complex3D

    Given the possibilities for prototypes and architectural models with 3D printing, it is no surprise that there are already a number of companies that cater purely to creating rapid prototypes and 3D models for architectural agencies. One of the more interesting of these companies is complex3D which produces 3D models for some of the more avant-garde architectural clients. The above is a 3D model for Zus. While basic when compared to some other models, it shows the extent to which 3D printing can make the unlikely material.
  • Given the ease with which Yoshii can create the Piyora collection en masse, it only makes sense to make it somewhat financially rewarding. They are available to purchase at the Factron online shop.

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