Dec 30, 2016 | By 3Ders

Most people agree that 2016 was a terrible year in virtually every respect: the conflict in Syria worsened, all of your favorite celebrities died, and Britain voted to leave the European Union. In the 3D printing world, however, things were moderately better: companies like XJet, Nano Dimension, Carbon, and Rize did exciting things; printing giant HP entered the additive manufacturing market; and specific 3D printing technologies like 3D bioprinting reached new levels of sophistication. Here are the most important 3D printing stories of the year 2016:


1. 3D Systems launches high precision ProX DMP 320 direct metal 3D printer:

On January 4th, 3D Systems announced the immediate commercial availability of its ProX DMP 320 3D printer. A direct metal 3D printer, the ProX DMP 320 promises high precision, high throughput printing, and has been optimized for chemically-pure titanium, stainless steel and nickel super alloy parts.

2. 3D printed lifesize Titanosaur, largest dinosaur ever found is on display in New York: The American Museum of Natural History unveiled the newest member of its permanent exhibit - a colossal casted and 3D printed skeleton of the world's largest known dinosaur, a new species of titanosaur.

3. ONRL and SOM unveil 'world's largest 3D printed polymer building' powered by a car: US Department of Energy's ORNL and architectural firm SOM unveiled the prototype for their sustainable, energy efficient 3D printed structure and its integrated 3D printed vehicle, which showcase the future of off-the-grid living.

4. U.S. DOE investing $1M in 3D printing research to develop cheaper wind turbine blades: the U.S. Department of Energy announced a plan to invest heavily into 3D printing technology with hopes of lowering the cost of wind-turbine blade production by a further 5 percent.

5. Harvard Scientists unveil 4D printed structures that change shape when placed in water: Inspired by plants that change form over time upon exposure to external stimuli, the team used a special hydrogel composite formula to produce predictable shapes once submerged in water. Jennifer A. Lewis, senior author on the new study suggests that "this work represents an elegant advance in programmable materials assembly, made possible by a multidisciplinary approach. We have now gone beyond integrating form and function to create transformable architectures."



1. Siemens invests EUR 21.4M to open first metal 3D printing facility in Sweden: German electrical engineering giant Siemens made its first major investment into the industrial production of metal 3D printed components by opening a manufacturing facility for the mass production of metal 3D printed components, the first of its kind in Sweden.

2. 3D bioprinter can create transplantable human ear, muscles and bone tissues: A team of regenerative medicine scientists from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center developed a 3D printer capable of printing living tissue structures such as bones and organs. The scientists successfully printed ear, bone, and muscle structures.

3. TU Delft creates a fully functional 3D-printed stainless steel bicycle using MX3D's multi axis robotic arm: A student team from TU Delft in the Netherlands designed and produced a fully functional 3D-printed stainless steel bicycle. The students achieved the goal of their three-month project by printing the frame of the bicycle with the help of MX3D in Amsterdam.

4. threeASFOUR unveils two spectacular 3D printed dresses at New York Fashion Week: New York based fashion collective threeASFOUR unveiled their stunning collection, Biomimicry, at NYFW. The designs featured two stunning 3D printed dresses made in partnership with 3D printing company Stratasys.

5. 3D printing community rallies against eBay store selling 3D prints of Thingiverse designs without permission: Thingiverse users protested against just3Dprint, an eBay store selling 3D printed models of Thingiverse designs without the permission of their designers. A maker named 'loubie' brought the matter to public attention when the store refused to take down her design from their catalogue.



1. The $99 OLO box turns your smartphone into a DLP 3D printer:  The very eagerly awaited $99 OLO DLP resin 3D printer, which replaces expensive light sources with your smartphone, officially hit Kickstarter on the 21st of March. Now called the ONO, the smartphone 3D printer smashed through its crowdfunding goal, raising over $2M.

2. NASA to send second 3D printer into space & set its Cygnus spacecraft on fire: Orbital ATK, a NASA commercial provider, launched its fifth mission to the International Space Station on March 22, bringing with it a second generation portable onboard 3D printer. The Orbital Cygnus spacecraft then set itself on fire, allowing NASA to observe how fire behaves in space.

3. Nervous System's Kinematic Petal Dress, made up of 1,600 pieces, is 3D printed fully assembled: Nervous System, the Massachusetts based generative design studio, created a new Kinematics 3D printed dress inspired by flower petals. The stunning dress was debuted and exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston until July 2016.

4. Israeli metal 3D printing startup XJet raises $25m from Autodesk and Catalyst CEL: Israeli metal 3D printing company XJet closed a $25 million funding round, led in part by 3D printing software developer Autodesk, to help develop and launch its proprietary liquid metal 3D printing technology, known as NanoParticle Jetting.

5. WASP and municipality of Massa Lombarda begin building 3D printed sustainable village: On March 22nd, the mayor of Italian town Massa Lombarda, Daniele Bassi, signed an agreement with Italian 3D printer company WASP's business owner Massimo Moretti to begin the construction of an experimental, eco-friendly, 3D printed town.



1. Carbon releases the M1, first commercial CLIP based 3D printer: Industrial 3D printing company Carbon (formerly Carbon3D) unveiled its first commercial CLIP based 3D printer, the M1, along with seven new proprietary resin materials. The Carbon M1 3D printer has a build envelope of 144mm x 81mm x 330mm, and features a build platform made from billet aluminum, a foot-activated build area door, an oxygen-permeable window cassette, and a high performance LED light engine.

2. Siemens unveils cluster of 3D printing spider robots: A team of researchers from the Princeton campus of Siemens Corporate Technology created a cluster of spider-like 3D printing robots. The spider-bots, dubbed SiSpis, have been designed to work autonomously and collaboratively, and can even recharge themselves.

3. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed announces that 25% of Dubai's buildings will be 3D printed by 2030: Dubai launched the "Dubai 3D Printing Strategy", a unique global initiative that will exploit 3D printing technology across three key sectors: 3D printed construction, 3D printed medical applications, and 3D printed medical goods. A key goal of the project is to have 25% or more of all buildings 3D printed by the year 2030.

4. Stratasys' new J750 3D Printer can make multi-material parts in full color & in a single print: 3D printing giant Stratasys revealed its innovative J750 3D printer, a perfect design tool that is twice as quick as existing Stratasys polyjet 3D printers, can 3D print up to six materials simultaneously and features thousands of multi-color options.

5. 3D printed prototype of Aurora and DARPA's VTOL X-Plane takes flight:  Aurora Flight Sciences, commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), announced that it successfully flew a subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) or prototype of its VTOL X-Plane, which was made with the help of 3D printing technologies.

6. byFlow serves delicious five course 3D printed meal at pop-up restaurant: During the 3D Food Printing Conference held in Venlo, Dutch food 3D printing startup byFlow teamed up with Spanish chef Mateo Blanch to serve an exclusive 3D printed five course meal in a pop-up restaurant.



1. HP begins selling Jet Fusion 3D printer, 'ten times faster, half the cost' of current systems: HP, the legal successor of printing giant Hewlett-Packard, unveiled its first ever 3D printing system, the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution. The new and highly anticipated machine can print up to 10 times faster than other existing 3D printing systems, and at half the cost.

2. Dubai opens world's first 3D printed 'Office of the Future', completed in just 17 days: As part of Dubai’s ambitious national 3D printing strategy that was announced in April, the UAE has just unveiled a remarkable 250 square meter 'Office of the Future', which was 3D printed in just 17 days.

3. Josef Prusa unveils $699 Original Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer: Prusa Research, the Czech 3D printer manufacturer behind the Prusa line of RepRap 3D printers, unveiled a new model: the Original Prusa i3 MK2. The 3D printer kit was available for preorder for $699.

4. Sketchfab lets you explore 750,000 3D models using any VR headsets: Sketchfab, the popular 3D model sharing platform, expanded its VR capabilities meaning that you can now view your 3D models using any VR headsets. The 3D model website announced the launch of a series of apps for VR which are compatible with the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, Gear VR, Cardboard, as well as its WebVR support.

5. World's first 3D printed supercar wins 2016 North American Technology Innovation Award: Consulting and market research firm Frost & Sullivan named Divergent 3D, the manufacturing company responsible for Blade, the world's first 3D printed modular supercar, the winner of the 2016 North American Technology Innovation Award.

6. 3D printed vagina artist Megumi Igarashi convicted for obscenity in Japan, fined 400,000 yen: Japanese feminist artist Megumi Igarashi, who in 2014 was arrested for selling 3D printable data of her genitals and who has since been fighting Japanese courts for her innocence, was found guilty on charges of obscenity, while being acquitted on a separate charge of displaying obscene materials.



1. Airbus unveils Thor, a 3D printed 4 meter long unmanned aerial vehicle: Aircraft developer Airbus unveiled Thor, a 4 meter long unmanned aerial vehicle at the 2016 International Aerospace Exhibition and Airshow in Berlin. The completely 3D printed aircraft will be used to optimize aerodynamic designs.

2. Along came Olli: Local Motors debuts autonomous 3D printed vehicle powered by IBM Watson: Local Motors debuted Olli, its 3D printed autonomous shuttle bus. The vehicle, which hit the roads of Washington DC in June, is the first to use IBM Watson's Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive, a car-focused cognitive learning platform.

3. First student-designed tool 3D printed aboard Space Station: R.J. Hillan, the winner of the first ever Future Engineers challenge, recently got to catch up with the astronauts who 3D printed his winning tool in space aboard the ISS.

4. Björk performs first ever VR live stream show wearing 3D printed mask by Neri Oxman: Björk ventured into the realm of VR, performing the first ever VR live-streamed show. The performance, which opened the artist's 'Bjork Digital' event series was not only notable for its VR aspect, however, as it also featured an especially striking piece of 3D printed fashion, a mask designed by Neri Oxman.

5. Alex Le Roux 3D prints livable concrete structure 'Tiny House' in just 24 hours: Concrete 3D printing developer Alex Le Roux successfully completed the first 3D printed livable structure in the US, using his custom V2 Vesta 3D printer. The whole structure was complete within just 24 hours.



1. Hackers create 3D printed TSA Safe Skies master key, release blueprints

As a team of hackers revealed that they used 3D printing to reverse engineer the master key used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)to check luggage guarded by Safe Skies luggage locks.

2. Rize introduces Rize One 3D printer

3D printing startup Rize introduced its potentially game-changing 3D printer that requires no post-processing.

3. 3D printed character appears in Kubo and the Two Strings

Stop-motion animation studio LAIKA released its latest film, Kubo and the Two Strings, in August. A month before, Laika revealed it would debut a fully 3D printed character, Moonbeast, in the film.

4. French 3D design studio Le FabShop closes its doors after 4 years

Le FabShop, the French 3D printing design studio which brought us a number of stunning 3D printable interior decor pieces, fun trinkets, and useful tools, announced its liquidation. After 18 months of fundraising and searching for investors, the design studio was forced to shut its doors and liquidate its assets after being in receivership for nearly a year.

5. Everyone starts 3D printing Pokémon Go stuff

It was inevitable, really. There were 3D printed Pokémon sex toys, 3D printed Pokémon Go cheat phone cases, 3D printed Pokémon, and 3D printed Pokémon Go battery cases, amongst other things.



1. Nano Dimension ships first DragonFly 2020 PCB 3D printer

Nano Dimension, developer of 3D printed electronics systems and advanced additive manufacturing tech, shipped the first ever DragonFly 2020 PCB 3D printer—to a leading Israeli defense company.

2. Stratasys debuts Infinite-Build and Robotic Composite 3D printers

3D printing giant Stratasys unveiled two production-level demonstrator 3D printers, both targeted at the aerospace and automotive markets.

3. $499 M3D Pro 3D printer smashes $100,000 Kickstarter goal in hours

M3D, the company behind the most successful 3D printing Kickstarter of all time, returned with the more advanced $499 M3D Pro. The newer Kickstarter campaign went on to raise $487,497.

4. Formlabs raises $35 million in Series B funding

Beloved SLA 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs completed a staggering Series B funding round that raised a total of $35 million. With these funds, Formlabs planned to scale up operations and R&D.

5. ORNL and Boeing receive Guinness World Record for largest solid 3D printed item

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Boeing received the Guinness World Records title for largest solid 3D printed item. Their dense 3D printed tool was used to manufacture the Boeing 777X jet.



1. GE attempts to buy Arcam AB and SLM Solutions

American corporation General Electric attempted to buy Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group AG for $1.4 billion. The Arcam deal went through, but the offer for SLM was unsuccessful. GE ended up buying Concept Laser instead.

2. Formlabs gets sued again

EnvisionTEC, a global 3D printer manufacturer with headquarters in Detroit and Gladbeck, Germany, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Massachusetts-based Formlabs. EnvisionTEC CEO Al Siblani offered a statement on the action.

3. MakerBot launches Replicator+ and Mini+

MakerBot launched the new MakerBot Replicator+, the company’s first ever professional-grade 3D printer, as well as the MakerBot Replicator Mini+.

4. WASP unveils house printer BigDelta: world's largest delta 3D printer at 12 meters tall

At a multipurpose three day event in Massa Lombarda, Italy (18-20 September), WASP unveiled the BigDelta 3D printer: the world's largest delta 3D printer, standing at 12 meters in height and capable of 3D printing entire homes.

5. L’Oreal and 3D bioprinting company Poietis attempt to 3D print hair

French beauty product developer L’Oreal signed an exclusive research partnership with French biotechnology startup Poietis to explore the possibility of 3D printing hair follicles, the small organs that produce hairs.



1. Ultimaker unveils Ultimaker 3

Ultimaker announced the global availability of the Ultimaker 3 on October 18. Building on the capability of its predecessors, the Ultimaker 3 stands out through a fully integrated professional 3D printing environment, access to industrial grade filaments, and a reliable dual extrusion system. Truly a professional-grade desktop 3D printer.

2. Titan Robotics introduces pellet extrusion system, making 3D printing “90% cheaper, 3x faster”

3D printer manufacturer Titan Robotics partnered with filament provider Push Plastic to develop a high-speed, low-cost pellet extrusion system for the Atlas 3D printer. According to Titan Robotics, pellet extrusion can push plastic three times faster than high-volume filament extrusion.

3. Markforged introduces powerful Mark X 3D printer for strong carbon fiber reinforced parts

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based 3D printer manufacturer Markforged unveiled its latest product, the Mark X 3D printer, in October. The printer is being marketed as the industry’s “most powerful fiber composite 3D printer,” and costs $69,000.

4. Huge 3D scanning project lets you walk around a large Pompeii house before the volcano

A group of researchers from Lund University in Sweden has used 3D scanning technology to reconstruct a house from the ancient Roman town of Pompeii. The generated 3D model shows what the house would have looked like before it was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

5. HP Inc cuts 4,000 jobs as it refocuses on 3D printing

HP Inc announced it would cut up to 4,000 staff over the coming three years as it restructures the company. The printing giant shook the 3D printing world in May with the introduction of the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, and is now making that machine its number one priority.



1. Explosion caused by 3D printer and hairspray kills teenage boy

An inquest into the death of British 17-year-old Tom Taylor found that the youth was killed in an explosion in 2015 after using hairspray to make objects stick to the bed of his 3D printer. The hairspray had apparently left a cloud of propane in the air, which was then ignited by a spark from either the 3D printer or a power outlet. Many commenters scoffed at the inquest findings, insisting that a 3D printer could do no such damage.

2. Microsoft awarded patent for full-color 3D printing with mixed CMYKW materials

Microsoft, dreaming about the next generation of multi-color 3D printers, patented a new 3D printing technique that creates mixtures of 3D printable materials with CMYKW colors, allowing it to 3D print objects in any and full-color.

3. “3D printed” submachine guns discovered in Australian drug bust

A 3D printing facility supposedly built for fabricating machine guns was discovered during a series of drug-related raids across Australia’s Gold Coast. Police found a secret lab where computers, a 3D printer, and drill presses were apparently being used to make automatic submachine guns. In the aftermath of this story, a number of gun experts produced evidence to show that the “3D printed guns” may not have been printed at all.

4. Toshiba reveals details of metal 3D printer, “10 times faster” than competitors

Electronics company Toshiba is working on a revolutionary metal 3D printer that is set to reach the market in 2017. Featuring a revolutionary laser metal deposition technique, it could be up to ten times faster than current metal printers.

5. Harvard scientists 3D print “living” kidney model

Scientists at Harvard used a 3D bioprinter to 3D print a tubular renal architecture that mimics human kidney function. The research will advance the collective goal of 3D printing functional human organs for drug screening, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine.



1. 3D printer company Prusa has over $1M in funding blocked, issues warning about PayPal

Czech Republic-based 3D printer developer Prusa Printers published a warning to other small but quickly growing businesses after online payment company PayPal froze over $1 million of its funding. Prusa, which unveiled its newest RepRap-style Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer in May of this year, said it could no longer send money, transfer money to another bank, or even refund clients.

2. Scientists are one step closer to 3D printing hearts with bioprinted beating heart cells

Sydney-based Heart Research Institute (HRI) has developed a bioprinter that is capable of 3D printing human cells that could be used to repair damaged heart tissues. The breakthrough is significant as it is bringing the field of 3D bioprinting one step closer to the ultimate goal of 3D printing implantable human organs.

3. Arrival of Armbot, $399 3D printer with articulated robotic arm

A Kickstarter was launched for a robotic arm 3D printer called Armbot, which its makers hope will become the new standard for filament-based 3D printing. The machine can offer high-precision 3D printing at 100 micron layer height on a 10” x 10” x 8” build volume, at speeds of up to 150mm/sec.

4. CyBe unveils RC 3Dp, a concrete 3D printer that moves around on caterpillar tracks

CyBe Construction, a construction technology company from the Netherlands, unveiled the CyBe RC 3Dp, a mobile concrete 3D printer that moves on caterpillar tracks. According to CyBe, the 3D printer’s tank-like transport system makes it easy to use during on-site additive manufacturing.

5. Get your feet in a pair of Adidas' new $333 3D printed running shoes

Adidas released its new "3D Runner" shoes, which are made up of a 3D printed mid-sole and a Primeknit upper. The 3D printed shoes were made available in limited quantities, retailing for $333 a pair.

Provided the world doesn’t get destroyed over the next twelve months, we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for 3D printing.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive