If you have a 3D printer, you’re probably using it to make cool video game models. But other visionaries around the globe are finding new and epic applications for 3D technology. Doctors can already make custom prosthetics, and soon, they’ll be making human organs. Of course, it’s almost as exciting to know that we can 3D print a pizza in space. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this technology’s potential, here’s a glimpse of the world’s biggest 3D printing projects.
Researchers from the University of Maine have 3D printed a boat. The 2.2-ton, 25-foot-long pleasure cruiser set a Guinness World Record for the largest single 3D printed part. The university nabbed another world record for printing it on the world’s largest 3D printer.
The world is starting to catch up with sci-fi. Jet packs are still rare sightings, but one company is conducting a Kickstarter campaign so it can 3D print small, inexpensive electric cars. The auto industry is already depending on the technology to 3D print components that are stronger, lighter, and cheaper. But the YoYo is skipping to the end of the race. Every bit of the car is printed except for the chassis, seats, and glass. It takes just three days to make, and the price point will be around $7,500. Its top speed? 43 miles an hour.
The Fibonacci House
The architectural and construction industries were among the first to seize on the powers of 3D printing. The world’s tallest 3D printed building has been in operation in Dubai since 2015. Now builders are setting themselves apart with creations that show off technology’s ability to produce complicated designs. Canada has set the standard with the Fibonacci House, a 3D printed concrete home with five bedrooms and a tiny carbon footprint. Its avant-garde spiral design is based on Fibonacci’s famous mathematical sequence.
Homes on Mars
This would qualify as one of the world’s biggest 3D printing projects, if it weren’t destined for space. NASA challenged scientists to come up with homes for Mars, and backed it up with millions of dollars in prize money. The winner? A vertical structure that can be printed on-site with materials from the Red Planet, including basalt and renewable bioplastic. It looks like a beehive, with four sleeping pods, and two floors dedicated to astronauts’ leisure time.