3DP Applications

2012 – Top 5 3D Printing Applications by Rachel Park

This year has seen me traverse a rather topsy-turvy journey professionally, but it’s been a blast and I feel privileged and still very happy to have a minor role in what is one of the most exciting and addictive global sectors.  Today it is my turn to showcase my top five favourite 3D printing applications from 2012 — just to be clear, this is personal, there is no objectivity involved here whatsoever!

Probably no big surprises here for anyone that knows me, but these are my favourites from 12:

1.    My top spot has to go to Makielab

This is a 2011/2012 cross over but 2012 has proved to be a great success for the company and a highlight for the 3D printing sector as a whole. The company is made up of people that exude passion for what they do and why they do it, they are inclusive and all-embracing. What can I say – they’re amongst my very favourite 3D printing people and the Makies, without fail, make me smile whenever they make an appearance.

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2.    The 3D printed jaw bone.

This application made headline news across the globe earlier and the year. And it features here because although some of the images may make you avert your eyes, this is fundamental stuff. 3D printing is not just a novelty, it is an enabling technology that in the hands of experts can make a real difference in people’s lives — for the better. Like I said, fundamental. In this case for an elderly lady that regained the ability to eat and talk unaided.

Image credit: Layer Wise, Belgium

3.    Gold jewellery. 

Well, it just had to be in here somewhere, didn’t it? It’s gorgeous, it’s eye-catching and it demonstrates how far we have come with materials processing for 3D printing. It just pipped the shoes to the post!

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4.    Shoes.

‘Shock! Horror!!!’ I hear you gasp. But then, I did put together a gallery of 3D printed shoes a couple of months back, which you can view here. But my favourites?

These, by Janina Alleyne


One of my hopes for 2013 is that a 3D printed hat (preferably mine) will be on my Top 5 list next year!!

5.    Strandbeest.

This is just an incredible demonstration of the power of 3D Printing in the right hands — not to mention imagination and vision! The intricacy and complexity of this creation speaks volumes of the real capabilities of 3D printing tech. Love it.