The world of 3D printing is well and truly here with printers in homes, online stores and even supermarkets offering 3D printing services. The result is all manner of weird and wonderful 3D printed objects.
In the home people can download or design files and print off objects in plastic. This can be helpful for cheap and easy replacements of parts about the house, quick toys and even furniture.
Then there are metal 3D printers as well as organic models. These are generally used by companies or universities and have created things like guns and even human organs. Food printers are also here making it possible to print sweets as well as proper meals.
3D printing is helping to make products appear on the market faster as cheaper and easier prototyping can be achieved. Cars have been 3D printed as well as basic houses. While they're still in the early stages of development it's possible that the future of large-scale production could be 3D printed.
We've rounded up a broad range of 3D printed products here right now.
The world's largest 3D printed boat
In October 2019, the University of Maine managed to set not one, not two, but three Guinness World Records for using the world's largest polymer 3D printer to print the largest boat ever printed.
The 25-foot, 5,000-pound 3D-printed boat known as 3Dirigo might not be the most exciting or interesting-looking 3D print on our list, but it's certainly an impressive feat. Even more so when you watch the timelapse of it being crafted.
The prototype printer itself is something special too. A beast of a machine that's able to print huge object as much as 100-feet long by 22-feet wide and 10-feet high. It's said that the printer will be used for rapid prototyping of civilian, defense and infrastructure applications.
Bio-printing replacement body parts
3D printing is a fairly exciting field, not just in creating new gadgets and gizmos, but also in the field of medicine. There have been various advancements in the bio-printing space over the last few years. These have included research into 3D printing for tissue repair and reconstruction, limb replacement, kidney transplants and even heart transplant.
Organovo has been pioneering this tech of late and was even involved in 3D printing liver and kidney tissue that could be used to treat failing human organs. An amazing life-saving tech that we can't wait to see future developments of.
A cast that helps you heal
Medical uses for 3D printing might well be our favourite use of this tech. In 2014, designer Deniz Karasahin created this brilliant concept of a new cast for broken limbs that not only looks awesome but also helps the healing process. The 3D printed cast included a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound system that was designed to help damaged bones to heal faster - as much as 38 per cent faster in fact.
A reconstructed Toucan beak
3D printing certainly has plenty of awesome potential uses. This brilliant snap shows just how much difference this printing tech can make, not only to human lives but also to the animals that inhabit our world as well. Here, a Toucan has had its beak reconstructed with the power of a 3D printer.
3D printed artwork for the blind
3D printed objects are changing lives all over the world in wonderfully different ways.
This brilliant use sees classic paintings and artwork being transformed into 3D printed sculptures. In this form, it is hoped that the visually impaired will have a chance to experience and appreciate the art in new and awesome ways like they couldn't before.
A 3D printed electric violin
With humble beginnings in 2013, the 3Dvarius soon made a move to Kickstarter with the promise of an awesome looking 3D printed violin that was designed to create a symbiosis between itself and the musician. Precise machining, an innovative design and an eye-for-detail saw the 3Dvarius turn from a concept into a fully functioning musical instrument that really stands out from the crowd.
The Rapid Racer
The Rapid Racer was 3D printed with 3,600 layers and is powered by a standard 18V drill by Hawk University.
Mobility for a puppy
This photo is proof from Reddit that 3D printed prosthetics and mobility aids aren't just for humans. This poor little dog has unfortunately lost the use of his legs, but now has some 3D printed wheels to help him zip about the place.
A full-sized kayak
This amazing kayak was 3D printed from a home printer section by section over 42 days. It was lovingly crafted by Jim Smith, a 3D Systems engineer, who made the craft from around $500 worth of materials. Those materials included ABS plastic, machine screws, brass inserts and a healthy dose of silicone caulk to keep the canoe watertight. It took around 1,012 hours to print but it works!
When one Redditor's wheel bound brother was due to start a job at Google they took to the 3D printer to make them something awesome to act as a desk buddy. A lot of thought went into this little printing as well. Not only does the Droid's head move (and come off) but it also has magnets built into its posterior to keep it in the wheelchair.
In 2015, 3D Systems announced the ChefJet Pro 3D. A 3D printing device that was able to 3D print sweets and candy treats. The result is some fairly awesome edible creations with flavours ranging from chocolate to vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon.
Full-sized 3D printed Iron Man suit
A cosplayer going by the name Jayluvll really takes their hobby seriously. Employing a healthy dose of patience, over six months of effort and a multitude of 3D printed parts, they managed to craft this awesome looking full-sized Iron Man suit. Impressive!
The paper aeroplane gun
Looking to up your paper aeroplane game? Then this 3D printed monster may be the device you need. The 3D printed A6 V10 Paper Airplane gun can fire planes automatically and in large quantities.
It might not be much to look at, but one version of this 3D printed gun, known as the PFM-A5 V2 was capable of holding up to 200 sheets of A5 paper and firing 120 paper planes a minute.
Hodor door stop
Game of Thrones fans will either chortle quietly or shed a single sad tear over this one. A 3D printed door stop crafted to show the word Hodor.
Porsche Cayman S
In 2013, Porsche released a free 3D printable file for its Cayman S. Fans of the car maker could then print their own vehicle and even colour it whichever way they wanted. Sure it's not as cool as the real thing, but it is considerably cheaper and official too.
A little help for a furball
Instagrammer Kittenxlady posted this image in 2017 showing her favourite little kitten rocking some fairly awesome custom 3D printed wheels. The purrrrrrrrrfect little setup to help the little furball get about despite health problems.
The world's first 3D printed house
Back in the hazy days of 2014, a private Chinese company known as WinSun crafted the first ever 3D printed house. Four large 3D printers were put to work to spray concrete layer-by-layer to construct the walls.
This 3D printing method was said to be incredibly cheap and the lack of manpower involved meant costs could be kept even lower. At the time it was suggested that a house could be printed for less than $5,000.
Another house and plans for space
Since the first 3D printed house was churned out, other companies have been working on creating new constructions using similar techniques. This house, built by Apis Cor, was constructed in under 24-hours and cost just over $10,000 to print. Interestingly, the 400 square foot domicile is predicted to be durable enough to last up to 175 years. Other endeavours by the company include research into the possibilities of using 3D printing technology to construct habitats on other planets.
An accurate brain
Not an actual brain nor a replacement for a human brain that's been 3D printed (though that would be fairly awesome), this is instead an accurate printing of a brain created from an MRI scan. Reddit user ST314 created it after their son went through the scanner. Theyexplained how it happened:
"I extracted the data from his MRI using a script written by user miykael on github, prepared the shape in Blender, bisecting the brain on the horizontal plane so there would be two stable flat surfaces, and then ran it through the Qidi software to create a gcode file from the stl. The printer is a Qidi X-pro. I used 3D Solutech PLA filament (because they had decent iZombie brain coloured material). Total print time was about 20 hours for both hemispheres. Data prep of the polygons was about the same amount of time."
A 3D printed pinhole camera
Pinhole is a camera that can be 3D printed and loads 35mm film for shots. This device originally started life on Kickstarter before becoming a reality. It's designed to bring old-school photography to the modern age. The end result is pretty cool too as the 3D printed camera is strong, robust and durable - much more than modern digital cameras that could easily break if dropped.
If you love this idea, you can even print your own camera by following these instructions.
Darth Vader pen holder
While many of the 3D printings on this list might be useful, practical or helpful in one way or another, some are just awesome. This little 3D printed version of Darth Vader is a fantastic example. The dark overlord has been turned into a humble pen holder, bowing the knee to his owner.
3D printed pizza
Foodini is a 3D food printer capable of printing an entire pizza in one. This printer, designed by Natural Machines doesn't just produce pizzas, it can manage other foodstuffs as well - burgers, spaghetti and more. Of course, a device like this is fairly high-end and in 2016 one of these printers would set you back around $2,000. But perhaps this sort of thing is a taste of the future?
A printed belt
If you're always having trouble with your trousers falling down or just find it impossible to find a belt that actually fits, then perhaps 3D printing your own is the solution. Imagine the possibilities of setting your own fashion trend with 3D printed clothing that's surely unique if nothing else.
The Down Up Tap
The Down Up Tap makes drinking from a tap easier, should you feel the need to. This 3D printed tap is essentially a dual-nozzled water dispenser for your sink that combines the standard functionally of a normal tap with a drinking fountain. No need to dirty up your glasses, just drink and go.
First ever 3D printed football boots
In 2013, Nike showed off its new design of Vapour Laser Talon football boots. These were the first ever 3D printed football boots that were designed to help athletes perform at their best thanks to a lightweight design and powerful traction grips.
3D printed modular laptop
The Pi-Top is a 3D printed modular laptop that's designed to teach users how to print circuitry, learn to code and create awesome devices for the future. This quirky (and surprisingly cheap) device was created to encourage users to invent new gadgets, gizmos and interesting creations for the future.
A 3D printed tortoise shell
Say hello to Cleopatra, a tortoise with a 3D-printed prosthesis. She suffers from pyramiding due to poor nutrition, meaning her real shell has holes and broken parts that could get infected, but Roger Henry, a student from Colorado Technical University, designed her a new 3D-printed shell made of biodegradable corn-based plastic. She's also being properly fed by the Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue HQ in Colorado, and her new 3D-printed shell is expected to protect her until her actual shell heals in a few years.
3D on the rocks
A Japanese advertising agency called TBWA/Hakuhodo created ice pieces called "3D on the rocks" to advertise Suntory Whisky, but it used Autodesk 123D, 3D designs, and a CNC router to carve the designs out of an ice block. The whole process is quite similar to 3D printing. The image above is just one of the many ice pieces the agency made.
The last series of Game of Thrones might well have had fans of the series divided on whether it was any good or not, but there's no denying the dragons were awesome. Making the most of the love for the winged mythical creatures, one Etsy seller has taken to crafting awesome 3D printed dragon lamps, complete with burning hell fire.
3D printing is still a fair expensive undertaking, so perhaps this design is essential for anyone looking to get into it. A 3D printed piggy bank for storing your spare change for your next printing project.
A tiny Tokyo
iJet took to Kickstarter in 2016 with this brilliant project that saw Tokyo being recreated in tiny three-dimensional 3D printed maps. An awesome highly-detailed and painstaking project with fantastic results. The massive city certainly looks pretty special in this tiny format.
3D printed rocket parts
Even NASA has been at it. In 2013 the space organisation experimented with 3D printing techniques to create new parts for its space rockets. Obviously, these are some heavy-duty bits of kit as they needed to be able to withstand temperatures of up to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Goes to show the potential future uses of this tech though.
Ever fancied your very own castle, complete with foreboding moat and unsurmountable cliff face? Now you can, at least in tiny form anyway, thanks to this 3D printable model by Jukka Seppänen. This model is also awesomely designed to hold a small candle in the middle to add a brilliant glowing ambience to it at night.
3D printers are so versatile. They can be used to print everything from replacement limbs to simple little models to show your love for fairy tales. These instructions by Steve Solomon let you print your very own grinning Cheshire cat. These felines are no longer confined to Wonderland.
This brilliant vision of Godzilla was created by Mark Rhodes taking inspiration from the original model by ChaosCoreTech and adding in a cool dose of angry waters below his feet and a brilliant system that used vape tech to blow smoke out of his mouth.
Animated series Batman
We bet a modern Bruce Wayne would have a few 3D printers in his house. He'd probably also approve of his animated likeness being recreated in this form. 3D printing hobbyist Fotis Mint has created this fantastic looking model of the dark knight for people to print themselves.
One of the things we love about 3D printing is the way it can not only be used to create beautiful things, but useful things as well. Here Joe Prints has crafted a really colourful mushroom that also doubles as a nifty little lamp.
This is an incredibly detailed 3D printed model of Judge Dredd, complete with his iconic scowl and massive shoulder pads. This model was crafted by grafitomi based on David Östman's printing instructions. We think it's fantastic and you can even view it in its full glory in video form on Instagram.
From the classic Monkey Island, comes our favourite pirate-based character Guybrush Threepwood. Brilliantly recreated here by Fotis Mint. If this floats your boat, you'll be happy to know, he's also got the specs for scurvy seadog, Captain LeChuck.
This bust of a Stormtrooper helmet seems to be the perfect model for geeks everywhere. We'd imagine if you own a 3D printer, you're probably a Star Wars fan. Most people are anyway, aren't they? Even if you aren't you can still appreciate the level of detail and the presence of this one. Another classic David Östman creation, it's certainly popular.
Whether this mask reminds you of Guy Fawkes, the 2005 film V for Vendetta or the hacker group Anonymous, it's certainly striking. If you've always thought it was pretty cool, like we have, then you'll be happy to know you can now print your own thanks to Fabio Bautista.
Based on Valve's awesome sci-fi puzzle games, this 3D printing features an awesome looking portal gun. Alas, it won't actually be able to blast teleportation portals for you to travel through, but you will be able to impress your friends, use it for Cosplay or just show off your geeky style with it on a shelf in your home. Kirby Downey's creation also includes cavity housing for LED lights so you can make it glow.
Captain America's shield
For all you MCU fans, this one is bound to be a crowd-pleaser. The original instructions are for a small version of the shield, scaled to be around 10-inches. But because it's 3D printed, you can also go large and this image shows one user who did just that and made a real-life sized shield. See a video of the original here to get a taste of how awesome it is.
Seems rather fitting to include Medusa on this list - the mythical snake-haired woman whose mere gaze could turn men to stone. This 3D printing is one of many different ones by Scan The World. Scan The World is an ambitious project to scan and recreate objects of cultural significance like this on. Making our past more accessible to everyone around the world, even to those who are unable to travel.
The Brandenburg Gate
It might be tiny, but it's also an awesome piece of history that you can hold in your hands. This 3D printing was created to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall but also works a brilliant tribute to history.
Moai Head on Easter Island
Another creation from the Scan the World project is a 3D printing of the Moai Head from Easter Island. This is a modern recreation of one of the mysterious statues from the island and a fantastic work of art.
Many of these 3D printed items are awesome to both look and marvel at, but they don't necessarily do anything other than please the eye. This one does though, with a little extra effort, you can make a working tractor which is bound to get your wheels turning.
SNES Mini Raspberry Pi
The SNES Mini is an awesome classic console. But if you're a creative sort of person, then you might like to build your own rather than buy one. Duke Doks created this guide for printing your own SNES Mini housing for your Raspberry Pi to make it look more authentic.
The second cutest character from Guardian's of the Galaxy (our favourite is Rocket) is certainly unmistakable. If you love Groot too, then you're bound to approve of this 3D print. You can even print Groot sitting, standing and waving. So plenty to choose from. We just like that the lines of the 3D printing process help accentuate the wooden creases of Groot's skin.
Wallace and Gromit
The most famous animated man and dog combo? Certainly one of the most entertaining to grace our televisions. Wallace and Gromit have filled us with joy over the years. We love this 3D printed model of the pair. It's amusing and a great likeness to the original too.