The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, construction, industrial design, military, engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech, fashion, footwear, jewelry, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, food, and many other fields. One study has found that open source 3D printing could become a mass market item because domestic 3D printers can offset their capital costs by enabling consumers to avoid costs associated with purchasing common household objects.



3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.

A 3D printer is a limited type of industrial robot that is capable of carrying out an additive process under computer control.

The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, construction, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military, engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech (human tissue replacement), fashion, footwear, jewelry, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, food, and many other fields.


3D printing is an awfully radical shift in the way people make things. We can create an object in a digital way and print it to make it a real life object. Bringing a virtual 3D environment to life.


Besides two-dimensional printing, we can now print in three-dimensional as well and create unique objects. Printing with materials as metal, plastic and even sand.


3D printing has been used to print patient specific implant and device for medical use. We are able to print objects in every shape we need. It is an efficient way to create parts of the human body and replace them with this printed object. We are not longer required to use complicated molds.

Successful operations include a titanium pelvic implanted into a British patient, titanium lower jaw transplanted to a Dutch patient and a plastic tracheal splint for an American infant.

The hearing aid and dental industries are expected to be the biggest area of future development using the custom 3D printing technology


Designer Sam Abott is recreating the limits and the paradigm of creating a new skateboard. Instead of the traditional subtractive process using a maplewood structure with a plastic coating for the board, Sam went all out with the additive approach and created a 3D printed deck.

With this project, Sam took away the win in a recent design competition in the best portfolio category, hosted collaboratively by the 3D printing company 3D Print UK and the 3D model repository CG Trader. After the win, 3D Print UK concretized Sam’s vision by 3D printing the design to life. The result of this is really a great looking deck, which has an outward structural pattern on its bottom, reminiscent of an asteroid or other space object’s crater-esque surface – which on closer observation is actually composed of odd looking creatures that may very well have originated from outer space.

Because of the obvious size limitations of current printer capabilities, the board had to be 3D printed in three separate parts. The different sections are held together by interlocking pin pieces and some adhesive, so it might not be suitable for hitting any handrails or tre flips down a set of stairs, but for just cruising around it could definitely be the weapon of choice.



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London Pop ups are always fun and unusual, but for Adidas Originals, the fun of adding a 3D printed spin on a Stan Smith pop-up shop to celebrate the world’s bestselling trainer shoe had never been more awesome. The Stan Smith shoe was named for the American tennis icon. The pop-up was set in London at the Old Truman Brewery. In the middle of the brewery, a really awesome giant shoebox held an interactive store and a 3D printing experience inside.

The pop-up was a scale replica of an Adidas Stan Smith shoebox. Customers entered through the side of the shoebox and were able to purchase limited edition shoes along with having an interactive memorable experience of becoming part of their shoe in a personal way.

3D Systems Cube printers lined the walls and were operating live in the store. The printers worked away making personalized lace locks for the customers to put the finishing touch on their shoes, just one of the many interactive experiences that were available.

The fun part of the process was unlike going into a store to buy a pair of shoes anywhere else,  customers could participate in experiences like the 3D printing station, using apps, and making their shoe with additional features like the ‘Stan Yourself’ app, which used the person’s portrait and signature instead of the classic Stan Smith image found on the inside of the shoe.

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