Exploring the Future of 3D Printing: Day 1

written by:
September 19, 2013
The Media Bistro–sponsored 3D Inside Printing Conference and Expo is happening over two days in San Jose, California, and has gathered the most cutting-edge inventors and companies in the field, offering some very mind-blowing ideas that promise to reshape the way we create objects, and even buildings. Here are our discoveries from Day 1 of the conference, which includes lectures and demonstrations on all things 3D.
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  A 3D-printed scooter at the 3D Systems display.

    A 3D-printed scooter at the 3D Systems display.

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  At 3D Systems, a wall of Cube personal printers was abuzz printing objects. Senior designer Scott Turner demonstrated the Cube at Dwell on Design 2013.

    At 3D Systems, a wall of Cube personal printers was abuzz printing objects. Senior designer Scott Turner demonstrated the Cube at Dwell on Design 2013.

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  Sugar cubes “printed” by the Sugar Lab for 3D Systems.

    Sugar cubes “printed” by the Sugar Lab for 3D Systems.

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  Husband-and-wife team (and former architecture students) Kyle and Liz Von Hasseln of the Sugar Lab show off their 3D-formed icing. The technology works the same as 3D-printed objects, only instead of polymers and adhesives, the couple uses a mixture of sugars and water to form their creations.

    Husband-and-wife team (and former architecture students) Kyle and Liz Von Hasseln of the Sugar Lab show off their 3D-formed icing. The technology works the same as 3D-printed objects, only instead of polymers and adhesives, the couple uses a mixture of sugars and water to form their creations.

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  A musician plays a 3D-printed guitar that started as a nylon powder, which is then hardened by a laser and melted into shape.

    A musician plays a 3D-printed guitar that started as a nylon powder, which is then hardened by a laser and melted into shape.

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  A shoe being printed from PLA, polylactic acid, which is biodegradable and derived from sugar (as opposed to the more common material used to create 3D objects, ABS). It also creates a shinier product, whereas ABS is matte.

    A shoe being printed from PLA, polylactic acid, which is biodegradable and derived from sugar (as opposed to the more common material used to create 3D objects, ABS). It also creates a shinier product, whereas ABS is matte.

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  An attendee customizes her own Star Trek 3D-printed figurine, which will be printed with her face on it based on a photograph.

    An attendee customizes her own Star Trek 3D-printed figurine, which will be printed with her face on it based on a photograph.

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  From Stratasys, a custom exoskeleton to aid in the therapy for a two-year-old girl with arthrogryposis. The lightweight exoskeleton was printed in 10 hours.

    From Stratasys, a custom exoskeleton to aid in the therapy for a two-year-old girl with arthrogryposis. The lightweight exoskeleton was printed in 10 hours.

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  A collaboration between Zip-Bit, Netfabb, Inition, and mcor, which specializes in 3D printing with paper, allows an architect to, by bringing a building model into view on an iPad or similar device, create an instant, changing virtual reality of what the building might look like in different scenarios. For example, here, a swipe on the bar shows a moving picture of how the building will look surrounded by trees from morning until evening. In other scenarios, cars zoom by, wind shear can be measured, and plumbing and HVAC systems are rendered exactly as they would be inside.

    A collaboration between Zip-Bit, Netfabb, Inition, and mcor, which specializes in 3D printing with paper, allows an architect to, by bringing a building model into view on an iPad or similar device, create an instant, changing virtual reality of what the building might look like in different scenarios. For example, here, a swipe on the bar shows a moving picture of how the building will look surrounded by trees from morning until evening. In other scenarios, cars zoom by, wind shear can be measured, and plumbing and HVAC systems are rendered exactly as they would be inside.

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  Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineering professor at USC, reveals his Contour Crafting fabrication process system, by which buildings, including plumbing and electrical utilities, can be built using what is in essence a large-scale 3D printer. Khoshnevis presented a scenario in which a 2,000-square-foot house could be completely framed in 20 hours, with lower construction costs than in conventional building methods.

    Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineering professor at USC, reveals his Contour Crafting fabrication process system, by which buildings, including plumbing and electrical utilities, can be built using what is in essence a large-scale 3D printer. Khoshnevis presented a scenario in which a 2,000-square-foot house could be completely framed in 20 hours, with lower construction costs than in conventional building methods.

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