The additive manufacturing process of 3D printing has taken the world by storm. The technological breakthroughs which have arisen from it are quite incredible. Since its birth in the 1980’s it has moved on so far that we have gone from simple model replication, to the manufacturing of prototype parts to the point where we are at today with buildings and even human organs being 3D printed! However there have been some slightly stranger things which have been produced but probably passed you by. Let’s have a look at some of the oddest things people have used 3D printers to create.
3D printed clothing has changed the fashion industry. Famous designers have been showcasing 3D printed lines and an increasing number of companies have started to produce basic clothing items such as tee shirts. However, slightly more unusually, a company by the name of N12, in partnership with Continuum Fashion has developed a 3D printed bikini which looks like chainmail and is assembled from separate parts.
Vincent van Gogh’s Ear
3D printed body parts could revolutionise the medical world. By utilising similar methods to how these are produced, an American artist by the name of Diemut Strebe recreated Van Gogh’s ear – the one which he cut off. This was actually printed from the tissue of his great-grandson after the initial plan to use Van Gogh’s own DNA proved to be impossible after they discovered that what they thought was his DNA was actually not.
You can look at this in one of two ways. Either it’s really quite weird and unpleasant or it’s a beautiful memento of a major milestone in one’s life. Either way, the 3D printing of foetuses from the ultrasounds taken from pregnant mothers is surely one of the most unusual things to have been 3D printed. A few companies offer this service and some even do them contained within a paper weight. Horses for courses and all that!
Whilst we’re on one market that won’t necessarily sit well with everyone let’s move onto another as there have been several companies who have started producing personalised sex toys. Some even allow people to print out their toys within their own home. Possibly due to the desire of people to keep such purchases private, this market has grown quite big in recent years.
Doll of Yourself
A company in Japan has started producing 3D dolls which can fully recreate people from a series of photos which are then used to create a model. People have been purchasing dolls of themselves on their wedding day which even include the hair, make-up and dress that was worn on the day.
No that’s not a typo. When you buy 3D printers the last thing you would probably expect to print from them is more 3D printers. Whilst 3D scanners enable people to model anything and therefore the possibilities are seemingly endless RepRap developed a completely self-replicating machine and it was an open source project. However they had to close trading on this product in recent years due to the drop in prices and wider availability of 3D printers.