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All of the Materials We Can Currently Use for 3D Printing

All of the Materials We Can Currently Use for 3D Printing

3D printing is revolutionary, there’s no doubt about it! The capacity for people around the world to create 3D objects from scratch is becoming rapidly more accessible. We are at the point where almost anything that can be designed on a computer can be printed in three dimensions. Everyone from children to doctors and scientists are benefiting from 3D printing.

As 3D printing technology progresses one thing that continues to expand are the materials currently used in this printing–everything from metal and plastic to cement and even live human cells!

Basic 3D Printed Materials

While 3D printing seems like a brand new phenomenon, the process has actually been around for decades. Since the 1980s prototypes and models have been created using archaic versions of 3D printers. What’s changing is that now not only prototypes are being printed, fully functioning products can be produced.

Additionally, the ability for people to access basic materials for 3D printing is becoming increasingly common. The vast resources at our disposal create countless creative outlets–we are only limited by what we can dream up or scan and alter!

Plastics/Acrylic

a wide array of plastic and acrylic raw materials are available for consumers. Even kids are able to get involved as economic 3D printers for toys are now in existence.

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Glass

Current glass 3D printers thrive on the physics of molten glass and create designs that are mesmerizingly beautiful. Modern printed glass designs are as attractive as they are intelligent in their design.

Porcelain/Ceramics

Utilizing a capacity for accuracy more precise than even the most veteran potter’s hand, 3D printed porcelain and ceramic objects merge art and practicality. Printed ceramics can withstand temperatures of up to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Metals

Everything from precious metals and unique alloys are being used as 3D printing materials.

top-18k-gold

    Printed 18k Gold Keychain via Shapeways

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    Food

    Yep you read that right, food is already being printed using sanitary printing heads. Think about the potential for decorative treats and candies and the concept of fully-printed meals. This will correlate to impressive food concepts like dazzling chocolate models and even fully printed pizzas or burgers.

    pancake printer

      Pancake printer via 3D Printing

      3D Printing the Only 2D Material

      Graphene is perhaps the most revolutionary discovery to be made since it was uncovered back in 2004. The world’s thinnest solid has the following properties, all of which make it an extremely promising material:

      • The first 2D material with many unique properties
      • The thinnest, lightest object ever-only one atom thick!
      • The strongest material on Earth: harder than a diamond and 300x stronger than steel
      • It is more conductive than copper
      • It is transparent and bendable

      A printer for creating the world’s first three dimensional objects using the world’s first two dimensional material is truly sci-fi turned reality. It will make all kinds of components thousands of times stronger!

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      Bioprinting Human Tissues

      Some of the most groundbreaking applications for 3D printing have been in the healthcare niche. Earlier this year a team at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine began printing live human body parts, using a combination of living cells and a special gel.

      The steps to this process are fairly simple. It all starts with a scanned image of the body part to be printed. Layer after layer, tiny drop by tiny drop, the replacement body part is slowly printed out using a special intricate printer head.

      What separates this process from other 3D printed materials is fact that live human cells are used. Bioprinted replacement parts are attached directly to patients and regrow once accepted by the body. These development in 3D printing capabilities are part of a rapid upward curve; a major contributor to the future of healthcare tech. The goal is to print everything from noses, to muscles, to bones.

      Large Format 3D Printing

      The world is no longer limited to what can be printed in a small desktop sized 3D printer. Large format printer heads can move freely and print massive objects. The sky’s the limit as size constraints no longer exist as serious obstacles to further innovation.

      Aerospace Technology

      Some commercial planes are now outfitted with air ducts that are 3D printed. This is just the beginning of what will be mass produced for aerospace tech as GE has begun piloting efforts to print engine parts for planes.

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      3D Printed Buildings

      3dprintedhouse

        3D Printed House via Business Insider

        Entire buildings and structures are being printed in China. What this means is that homes will be printed in a matter of hours instead of being built by traditional methods which may take weeks or months.  A video by New China TV explains this process.

        Recently, ten structures to be used as office buildings were created from the ground up in only 24 hours using a 3D printer invented by Ma Yihe at WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Company. The walls are printed using a sustainable material made of construction waste and cement. Yihe hopes to print skyscrapers in the future.

        Featured photo credit: Maurizio Pesce Flickr via flickr.com

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        Robert Parmer

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        Last Updated on August 29, 2018

        5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

        5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

        Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

        Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

        Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

        1. 750words

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        750 words

          750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

          750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

          750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

          2. Ohlife

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          ohlife

            Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

            Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

            3. Oneword

            oneword

              OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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              Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

              4. Penzu

                Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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                5. Evernote

                Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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