3D printers are supposedly shaping the future, but how? Yes, those random figurines people are printing for fun are neat...but how can this machine be used for innovation? Many startups have been taking advantage of this new technology and have been finding that it is cheaper, greener and more customizable. Here are some startups that are revolutionizing particular fields by using 3D printing:
These are the first 3D printed wireless earbuds to be designed. OwnPhones print custom earbuds that fit your ears perfectly. Not only that, but they also come in an array of sweet designs to match your personality! How do they shape it to your ear? Download their app and take a short video scan of your ear, OwnPhones can then convert the video data and print custom earbuds. They fit so well that any outside noise is blocked! Have the freedom to do anything with these truly wireless headphones. Check them out on kickstarter, they have greatly surpassed their fundraising goal!
Another custom solution, but this time for eyewear. Similar to OwnPhones, you take a picture of yourself from the side and front, fill out a survey, receive style recommendations and pick from 24 different frames. They work with insurance and ensure fast & free returns. Protos brings customizable, strong and lightweight glasses to the market that are even waste-free. Support their funding goal now!
3D printing can also be a life saver. Organavo creates synthetic tissue that replicates real human tissue. This biotech startup also helps researchers study diseases by allowing them to test drugs on 3D printed tissue. No humans are at risk now! What's next for this startup in San Diego? Printing real organs, such as the liver, that can be used for implants.
Get ready for maybe the most freaky startup yet. Thinker Thing allows you to print what your mind thinks. By connecting neuro technological equipment with 3D printing technology, the software can tell the 3D printer to print the object thought by the person wearing an EEG headset. They also allow you to custom manufacture products from a mobile phone, pick a material (plastic, full color, rubber, brass, ceramic, silver & gold) and print. It can be as little as $6!
Technologia Humana 3D
I guess those ultrasound baby pictures are pretty amazing, you can put it in a frame and have your friends "aww" over an expected baby boy or girl. Though what if you could print a 3D ultrasound of your fetus? I introduce Technologia Humana 3D: a Brazilian company that lets parents now display their future child not in a frame, but in a more three dimensional look. In Tokyo, a similar startup does the same thing, a key-chain sized fetus is about $1000, tempting right?
Designers can now print their designs in 3D. 3DLT officially launched in April after being in stealth mode for a while. With a partner network of more than 500 3D printers worldwide, they have built jewelry, eyeglasses, toys, tools, shoes and more. CEO John Hauer believes 3D printing will bring cheaper, greener and better products than mass production does.
Wait what...Hershey's?? Yes folks this is real, Hershey's has partnered with a 3D printing company to produce a specialized 3D printer for producing chocolate! Lets take a step back, how do you feel about 3D printed food? Sugar Labs has already done this with icing and sugar. It is not confirmed when this machine will be made, but when it does I will be first in line.
Throw away your kids' barbie, enter the Makie doll. MakieLabs prints 3D 10 inch, flexible fashion dolls that are completely customizable. Choose their face, eyes, jaw, smile, hair....anything. This company is environmentally friendly as well; the packaging is made from recyclable material, and the printing of the dolls produce less waste. IMVU meets reality. Kids can also play with them online through computer games.