Interesting 3D printing applications

3D printing information

Interesting 3D printing applications

3D printing is quickly evolving into an important tool in various fields. The ease of use and relative affordability of FDM 3D printing has meant many companies and institutions are capable of realizing their manufacturing and prototyping needs. The following are ten great examples of how 3D printing is being adopted in many different fields.

1. Personalized oral drug delivery device


A recent journal published explored the use of a 3D printed mouth guards as a delivery system for medication. 3D printing was used because it offers the promise of personalized treatment for many patients. The study covered how to effectively produce a mouth guard that uses a specialized mechanism to release medication dosages that are specifically tailored to the patient. This is a major issue in the medical field where dosing is a major cause of complications.  The study focused on using an FDM printer mainly due to its relative safety since it only requires solid filament coils which are easier to store and handle.

You can read more about the paper at Science Advances

2. Education

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In education, 3D printers are being used in a number of universities to explore the possible future applications. Many engineering courses have 3D printing labs to supplement the learning experience and to allow students to easily print concepts quickly. FDM 3D printing has a major advantage because it is the most affordable both in terms of the materials and the printer. Another benefit is it offers large print volumes meaning organizations can print relatively cheaply a multitude of 3D objects in a variety of materials. This is especially a major advantage for large departments that have large student bodies that require the use of a 3D printer.

A great example of this was our collaboration with Delft Univerisity in the production of long-range drones, which has a possible application in the medical field.

3. 3D printing assisting surgery

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3D printed Acetabular (hip socket) and 3D printed bone for study

3D printing is increasingly being adopted by hospitals globally for diagnoses. One example of this is at the Mackay hospital in Australia where doctors are using one of our 3D printers to help treat patients. The advantage of using 3D printing is that it allows doctors to practice complex surgeries before treatment. This is crucial due to its ability to offer personalized treatments for patients. Using advanced imaging techniques, a 3D model of a patient’s fractured bone can be created, then printed. Doctors can then test the optimal treatment plan and how best to approach the surgery. This method allows doctors to easily find solutions for their patients quickly at a fraction of the price of many other modern methods.

4. Construction in Eindhoven

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The municipality of Eindhoven, together with the Eindhoven University of Technology and four other companies are planning to build the first commercial livable 3D printed concrete houses in 2019. This is a very innovative project since the houses will be the first livable 3D printed houses in the world. The method can be called FDM on steroids. It utilizes a large extruder mechanism to layer the concrete similar to standard FDM printers. The goal is to improve the process which will allow the building of houses at a fraction of the time while minimizing costs.

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Tips about 3D printing for Architecture

5. Electric racing motorcycle


The team of Nova Electric Racing uses a Leapfrog 3D printer to build an electric racing motorcycle for the MotoE championship. The Bolt Pro 3D printer allowed to reduce the costs of using expensive CNC equipment. From that moment the team had something in their hands, without the long production time. Useful parts of the motorcycle were printed overnight. The 3D printer made it easier just to design and produce the desired object and see if it fits.


6. 3D Glasses

If you find it hard to find the perfect glasses shape, customize and create your own 3D glasses! These nylon glasses were 3D printed specially for eyewear collection created by Pekka Salokannel, a Finnish designer.


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7. Musical instruments

That may challenge conservative views on classical music, but 3D printing steps into the musical area. Eight 3D printed musical instruments coming to Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (Canada). 3D printed musical instruments make them cheaper, more accessible, customizable and modern.


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8. Prosthetics

Since each prosthetic is different yet they are made in large numbers, this is an ideal case for manufacturing using 3D printers. In addition, using a multi-material 3D printer such as the Leapfrog Bolt makes it possible to print soft padding on the areas where the patient’s bone touches the prosthetic, resulting in highly increased comfort and reduced impact and risk of injury.

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9. Shoes

Wooded or plastic - doesn't matter! Now you can just 3D print your own shoes or clogs. Clogs were a valuable part of the cultural heritage of the Dutch. 3D Printing wood filament is possible with our Leapfrog Creatr HS 3D Printers.

leapfrog 3d printed wood filament 03

10. Cars

The last but not least - 3D printed cars. We already mentioned the possibility of 3D printing some parts for racing motorcycles. Nowadays it is even possible to 3D print the whole car as one object from the ground up. Local Motors 3D printed a car in front of a live audience at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. Future is here!


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