X

3D-printed marvels blow your mind in futuristic photo gallery

Our photos of 3D-printed items have been hand-selected to drop your jaw and make you think about a plastic-printed future.

luke-westaway-edit.jpg
luke-westaway-edit.jpg

Luke Westaway

See full bio
3d-print-show-house-concept-2.jpg
1 of 28

CNET UK trotted along to the 3D Print Show in London last week -- click through the photos above to examine some of the marvellous items crafted using this fast-advancing technology, and hit play on the video below for an investigation into the future of 3D printing.

3D printing involves sending a virtual object -- designed in 3D modelling software -- to a printer, which then builds the item layer by layer out of gloopy plastic or another material.

Although still a relatively new technology, the art of building bits and pieces out of plastic has come a long way in a short space of time. You can use 3D printers to build extremely detailed objects, and if you print several items that are designed to slot together, you can produce things that have moving parts.

At the show I got a glimpse of the plastic-printed future, from exotic shoes and buttons to elegantly designed prosthetic limbs -- scanned and virtually sculpted for an ideal fit.

The most fascinating element of the show for me, however, was checking out 3D-printed objects that had been designed by a computer algorithm. The first picture above shows a concept house, which a computer decided was the ideal shape for a human domicile. Oddly enough, it looks bizarrely organic.

The model is to scale of course, but I was told that the eventual plan is to design a home that can be printed out at full size, in sections. Best of all, to get the plans for a new house, lamp or musical instrument, you'd only have to download a file and send it to your printer.

Exciting stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. Peruse the photos above, check out the video and tell me what you'd like to see printed in plastic in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

3d-print-show--guitar-2.jpg
2 of 28
Why not 3D print yourself a guitar, eh?
3d-print-show-bits-and-bobs.jpg
3 of 28
Check out these 3D-printed bits and bobs. Not bad, but brace yourself -- this tech has come a long way.
3d-print-show-boot.jpg
4 of 28
3D-printed boots, anyone?
3d-print-show-guitar-1.jpg
5 of 28
That guitar a few slides back? Here's another.
3d-print-show-drum-stick.jpg
6 of 28
And a 3D-printed drumstick, just for good measure.
3d-print-show-buttons.jpg
7 of 28
Buttons. Y'know, for fashion.
3d-print-show-dragon-shoe.jpg
8 of 28
No more dragon your heels! (I'll get me coat.)
3d-print-show-chainmail.jpg
9 of 28
3D printing is bringing chainmail back at last!
3d-print-show-chandelier.jpg
10 of 28
We don't know what this is, but we know it's pretty cool, and that it's made of plastic.
3d-print-show-doll.jpg
11 of 28
Creepy 3D-printed dolls? No thanks.
3d-print-show-bikini.jpg
12 of 28
A 3D-printed bikini, which doesn't look too comfortable.
3d-print-show-gloves.jpg
13 of 28
The curves on this printed hand are impressive...
3d-print-show-house-concept-1.jpg
14 of 28
This is a 3D-printed concept house that -- amazingly -- was designed by a computer algorithm. It's the house of the future, folks!
3d-print-show-houses.jpg
15 of 28
Our human-designed domiciles look a little rubbish by comparison.
3d-print-show-dragon.jpg
16 of 28
Or you could just use the technology to print toys.
3d-print-show-iron-man.jpg
17 of 28
This is Iron Man's mask and gauntlet. We wanted to put them on, but the people at the show didn't seem keen.
3d-print-show-monster.jpg
18 of 28
Eesh! This is called using technology for evil.
3d-print-show-octopus.jpg
19 of 28
This 3D-printed octopus rocks our socks.
3d-print-show-qr-code.jpg
20 of 28
Print yourself a QR code maybe?
3d-print-show-room-scanner.jpg
21 of 28
This room full of cameras takes a 3D photo of whoever's stood inside.
3d-print-show-body-scan.jpg
22 of 28
And here's the result! I was too tall, so the top of my head is missing.
3d-print-show-printer.jpg
23 of 28
We don't know exactly what's being printed here, but we like the futuristic blue glow.
3d-print-show-rubber-shoes.jpg
24 of 28
These shoes have a rubbery feel to them.
3d-print-show-scan.jpg
25 of 28
This 3D print comes from a scan...
3d-print-show-skull.jpg
26 of 28
...indeed, the medical possibilities of 3D printing are impressive. Prosthetics can be moulded for a precise fit.
3d-print-show-toys.jpg
27 of 28
Of course, we could also see progress in toy technology.
3d-print-show-star.jpg
28 of 28
Finally, here's a star! Thanks for reading folks, be sure to watch the video for more 3D-printed miracles.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

84 Photos
The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

36 Photos
2024 Chevy Silverado HD Debuts New Look, New Towing Tech

More Galleries

2024 Chevy Silverado HD Debuts New Look, New Towing Tech

28 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

More Galleries

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
VW Gen Travel Concept Is Electric, Autonomous and Really Freakin' Cool

More Galleries

VW Gen Travel Concept Is Electric, Autonomous and Really Freakin' Cool

26 Photos