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3D Printing Examples

Once you have a 3D Printer, what can you do with it?

Here are some examples.

#D printed map of Mt. St. Helens

Topo Map

Here's an example of a 3D printed topo map of Mt. St. Helens from

3D Printed Wing Ribs

Tom Stanton shows how he used a 3D printer to print wing ribs for his model aircraft. Combined with foam sheets, packing tape and a lightweight wooden spar, they hold a true aerofoil shape and perform amazingly well.

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a Vica 3D printed sculpture

Vica Sculpture

This sculpture is pretty much impossible to create using conventional manufacturing techniques. But 3D printing makes it easy.

Turn loose your art students and see what sort of designs they can come up with.

Vica Sculpture Time Lapse

No only is the final sculpture intriguing, but watching it print can be mesmerizing. Here's an simple time lapse video (no sound) to show you what the process looks like.

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3D Printed Kitten Wheelchair


Meet Peggy. When this little kitty was rescued, they found the lower portion of her rear legs were gone. The author was asked to design a wheelchair for Peggy to keep her mobile and keep her rear legs off the floor (as they can easily get infections) until she reaches the ripe age of 1 when she can get some prosthetics fitted.

Take a look at the process and the results.

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3D Printed Geneva Drive

The Geneva Drive is an elegant mechanism used to convert rotary motion into intermittent motion. The link includes a YouTube video as well as the STL 3D printer files and complete directions.

A great introduction into how an item that would be complex and time consuming to create traditionally can be printed in just a few hours or less.

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'Germz' are a super small print that can be used as handy little clips for all sorts of applications.

We've featured this print in out convention booths. It shows how a simple item with moving parts can be printed all-at-once using a simple 3D printer. They are also fun to have around and encourage student engagement.

What other simple devices can your students dream up and print?

3D printed gyro cube sphere

This video shows not only the sphere being printed, but also the steps needed after the print to get everything to work. As you can see, 3D printing is still a work in progress.

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Red Eyed Treefrog

Red Eyed Treefrog is an example of the varied ways a 3D printer can be used in subjects as diverse as Biology and Art.

It was created "so you can decorate a garden pound without the noise, or check the calibration of your printer in the most cute way!"

Mendocino Motor

This is an example of using a 3D printer to create the connectors and other parts needed to assemble an item, in this case a simple solar powered motor. You can find details on the motor at Thingiverse/thing:17860

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Printing Magnets

We know about 3D printing with plastic, but what about printing magnetic fields? This video by Destin Sandlin looks at how Polymagnet has come up with a way of printing magnetic fields to order. How about printing a child proof spring latch, with no springs? Or your logo as a magnetic field?

The Polymagnets segment starts 2 1/2 minutes into the video. The link below has more information on Polymagnet and where you can purchase your own "spring latch".

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The MultiFab Next Generation 3D-printer

MIT gives us a glimpse into the future of 3D printing technology with an inexpensive printer that can print 10 materials at once, no assembly required.

Combining multiple materials, an integrated 3D scanner, and self-calibrating, self-correcting software, the MultiFab gets us closer to the goal of finished products right out of the machine. Includes a short introductory video.

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