Interesting 3D printing facts: from its birth to saving lives

3D printer

The first 3D printers began to emerge in the 1980s and their popularity  is continuing to grow, and not only in technical areas. 3D prints can also make pizzas in space and save lives in medicine.

How did the first 3D printers originate?

The roots of 3D printing technology date back to 1980 and are associated with the name Chuck Hull, the inventor of a process called stereolithography, which used UV lasers to solidify layer-forming photopolymers.

Soon, large businesses began to use this prototype technology to save millions of dollars. Ford, for example, is currently using 3D printing to produce large car parts for testing. This process will save up to $ 493,000.

Since the 1980s, 3D printing has been greatly improved, and a host of 3D printing materials such as gold, silver, titanium, wood, and ceramics have entered the market.

VIDEO: The front cover prototype of a ZOXCALL press & call card being printed on a 3D printer.

The creation of props for Iron Man

3D printers are also currently being used in Blockbuster films not only to make production easier, but also faster and cheaper. We can see this technology in world-famous films such as Iron Man, The Hobbit, Avenger, Terminator, and Skyfall, where a German company supplied the Aston Martin DB5.

3D printing saves lives

3D printers have found great use in modern medicine. In 2016, the first piece of living tissue was printed. With 3D printers, it will be easily possible to print vital organs that currently have a long waiting period, and where the patient may not even receive a transplant.

Saving lives is not the only way 3D printing can be used in medicine. It also serves to improve life after injuries or accidents. With a 3D printer, it is also possible to print specific parts of missing limbs for disabled patients, and to allow them to live a full-filled life.

In 2018, scientists were able to print a replacement prosthetic piece of Keith Lonsdale’s face, who lost part of his face in 1990 from cancer. Scientists made a copy of Lonsdale’s son’s face and used it to fashion a replacement facial prosthesis.

And for those who are afraid of dental prostheses, we have a positive message: it will soon be possible to print a replacement tooth in just a few minutes.

Pizza in outer space

A great use of 3D printing is also being explored by NASA, who would like to take the 3D printer into space. The idea is to send robots along with astronauts to build buildings and infrastructure on the surface of the moon. It will also have a use on the journey into space. After NASA won a $ 125,000 grant, Anjan Contractor built a 3D printer that has the ability to print food. The first such product was pizza.

In schools and in construction

The abilities of 3D printers have become a big topic at schools in the US. In Texas, schools are doing more than simply discussing 3D printing news: programs in 3D printing have been running since autumn 2017.

The 3D printer has also found great use in the construction industry. In 2014, the first hut was made in Shanghai. After that, WinSun launched an experiment where, in just 24 hours, several houses were printed and a new village was built. These houses are attractive not only because of their speed, but also their price: the house came in at only $ 10,314. 

Other interesting facts about 3D printing

You can also print musical instruments. Scott Summi printed the first acoustic guitar and the sound even copied the original perfectly.

The first phone manufacturer to release the schematics to design a 3D Printed case for one of their phones is Nokia, for the Nokia Lumia 820.

Danish students started printing a bicycle whose price was so low that everyone could afford it. They also have printed boots and clothing.