Dec 29, 2015 | By Tess

From interior design, architecture, and fashion, to the automotive industry, to the medical world, to space travel, 3D printing technology has been behind some truly amazing breakthroughs and advancements this past year. As 2015 wraps up, we at 3Ders have looked back to some of the most exciting stories of the year, which can be found below, and are looking forward to what 2016 will bring for us 3D printing enthusiasts!

1) American Standard announces innovative new metal 3D printed faucet designs

In June, plumbing fixture manufacturing company American Standard Brands announced the launch of their new 3D printed faucets which were part of their innovative DVX line. DVX introduced three 3D printed faucet designs, each with a unique and stylish aesthetic, which were made using selective laser sintering 3D printing technology. As a rep from American Standard succinctly expressed, “3D printing will have a major disruptive effect on the design and construction industry, and DVX by American Standard is the first plumbing manufacturer to introduce a product for commercialization.”

2) Construction of the world’s first 3D printed metal bridge begins in Amsterdam

This past October, Dutch startup MX3D began the construction of the world’s very first usable 3D printed steel bridge, which will be placed in Amsterdam’s historic and famous Red Light District. The bridge, which was designed by MX3D’s Joris Laarman, is being made using a six-axis printing technique and has been designed to resemble the and ornate 17th century bridges that already exist in Amsterdam and make it a unique and charming destination.

3) Scientists 3D print realistic hair with first of its kind 'Furbrication' technique

In fall of 2015, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed a 3D printing technique known as “furbrication” that is able to additively manufacture fibers, bristles, and hair like textures using any desktop FDM 3D printer.

4) ICE HOUSE 3D printed Mars habitat wins NASA Challenge grand prize

NASA and America Makes awarded the ICE HOUSE, a 3D printed Mars habitat made entirely of ice, the grand prize in their 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, which was worth $25,000. The ICE HOUSE was developed by the SEArch Consortium in collaboration with Clouds AO and leading scientists in the fields of astophysics, geology, structural engineering, and 3D printing technology. Using water flowing beneath Mars’ surface, the researchers developed a potential way to turn the water into ice and 3D print the ice, using it as construction material.

5) World’s largest 3D printed pavilion, VULCAN, introduced at BJDW

Vulcan, which broke the Guiness world record for largest 3D printed architectural pavilion, was presented earlier this year at Beijing Design Week 2015. The impressive structure, is made up of over 1000 3D printed parts and, when fully assembled, measures an astonishing 8.08 meters in length and 2.88 meters in height. The structure was designed by architects Yu Lei and Xu Feng of Beijing’s Laboratory for Creative Design, and was inspired by an erupting volcano, which it is also named after. Vulcan was the highlight of Beijing Design Week 2015 which also featured a number of other impressive 3D printed projects.

6) Adidas and Parley for the Oceans collaborate to make a 3D printed shoe made from ocean plastic waste

Just weeks ago, sportswear giant Adidas announced it was collaborating with organization Parley for the Oceans in an effort to create Ocean Plastic, a sustainably manufactured running shoe. The shoe would be made using filaments made from recycled ocean waste and Adidas’ 3D printed Futurecraft 3D midsole, which was also released this past year. While the shoe is still in its concept phase, the innovation and move towards using recycled materials and 3D printing technologies is indicative of a larger shift in manufacturing processes.

7) MIT's Mediated Matter develops G3DP glass 3D printer

This past summer it was announced that researchers at Mediated Matter, a part of MIT’s Media Lab, had developed a 3D printing platform capable of 3D printing optically transparent glass with  high precision. The project, called G3DP: Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass, is able to 3D print glass in precise forms, which could have a big impact for all things made from glass. As the founder of Mediated Matter, Nori Oxman, suggests, the technology could have implications for such things as “aerodynamic building facades optimized for solar gain, geometrically customized and variable thickness lighting devices and so on.” Lookout for their work in 2016, as an exhibition of 3D printed glass objects is being planned at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

8) Danit Peleg 3D prints entire ready-to-wear fashion collection at home

This past year has brought us several impressive 3D printed fashion projects, though few have been as extensive as Danit Peleg’s collection of 3D printed garments. Peleg, an Israeli fashion student, designed an entire collection, comprising of five pieces, of 3D printed garments for her graduate project. What makes the designs so impressive is that they were designed to be printed on any regular 3D printer. The impressive pieces were additively manufactured using the flexible and versatile FilaFlex filament and took over nine months to design and make. They were presented on the runway where the models also wore 3D printed shoes.

9) AUDI 3D prints drivable replica of 1936 race car

In November, Audi Toolmaking, a division of the car manufacturer, successfully produced a 3D printed 1:2 scale replica of the Auto Type C, a Grand Prix racing car made by Auto Union in 1936. Though the 3D car is half the size of its original scale, it still fits a driver, and was made from metal using selective laser sintering technology.

10) WinSun China builds world's first 3D printed villa and tallest 3D printed apartment building

WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co., the company responsible for Shanghai’s ten 3D printed houses, made an announcement early in 2015 that they were building the world’s highest 3D printed building, as well as the world’s first 3D printed villa. The buildings are additively manufactured using recycled building materials and a large scale, continuous 3D printer. The 3D printed buildings made by WinSun could have several environmental and health benefits - not to mention their affordability.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Dr. Mohammad Qasim Ph.D. wrote at 12/30/2015 10:59:14 AM:

Global Warming can be stopped by Re-Printing Melting Glaciers. Global methodologies of manufacturing everything are at the verge of re-establishment. What a Wonderful World...All imaginations can come true. At Last humanity is reaching bright future. Poverty could be eliminated of re-printing foods from leftovers. What a bright idea.

Bob Loblaw wrote at 12/29/2015 9:44:04 PM:

Personally I'd rank the guy that made a $2m surgical robot for $5k above the plastic fur and dresses but still it's a good summary of the leaps and bounds this technology is advancing by. Unfortunately if companies like Stratasys have their way though, 3D printing will be like other forms of manufacturing. Like pottery and kilns, home 3D printing may become more of an eccentric novelty only artists and wealthy people have in the face of industrialized 3D printing.

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