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6 3D Printable Things to Help Change the World

3d printed yoda head We’ve shown you how 3D printing has gone from small scale to the industrial scale and how a 3D printer found a new home on the International Space Station. We’ve shown you amazing inventions created using 3D printers.

We truly believe in the potential of 3D printing to change the world for the better. Rapid prototyping and distributed manufacturing is becoming easier, cheaper, and more accessible than ever. And just in case you thought you couldn’t get enough about 3D printers, here are six more inventions made by 3D printers that are sure to change the world!

  • The E—Nable Prosthetic Hand: What E—Nable has accomplished for young children with disabilities is nothing short of astounding. They have produced files for a number of hands that you can 3D print at a fraction of the cost of traditional prosthetics. They may not be as fancy as the ones that we’ve shown you in the past, but they can be produced for around $100 and completely change someone’s life.
  • Stethoscopes—Helping Doctors Diagnose Patients: A Palestinian-Canadian doctor, Dr. Tarek Loubani, has created a low cost stethoscope that can be made using a desktop 3D printer and a few components you can source locally pretty much anywhere. These can be made at a fraction of the cost of traditional stethoscopes, and some doctors say they work just as well as the real ones!
  • Doggie Wheelchairs: Because our furry friends deserve to have their lives changed, too! By 3D printing the individual components for a customizable wheelchair, you really can create a device specifically for your pet.
  • A Micro-Wind Turbine: Being from Nebraska, it’s hard not to notice all the giant wind turbines generating electricity across this state. But did you know that you could 3D print a miniature version of these turbines for your own power supply? A search on Thingiverse reveals quite a number of different designs for wind turbines. These vary in size, shape, efficiency, and how they create energy through either a generator or gravity storage. The impressive part about this is you can build one at home, and create a mobile power station wherever you go. These could also be used as tools after a disaster has struck to provide power to hard hit areas that have lost all access to power!
  • Drones—Because Everything’s Better with More Drones: Drones can obviously be used for many different things. And now, the ability to 3D print many of the components allows you to source parts locally to build your own, and you can design it in such a way to fit certain needs of camera equipment or small cargo medical supplies.
  • Hydroponics—For Growing Food: There are many different ways to grow your food—even in space! Hydroponics is one way among many which can deliver great results. The incredible team at 3D Ponics has created an open source system which can be created with mostly recycled pop bottles and 3D printed components. Now you can grow your plants and/or food by using recycled and locally sourced parts, at a far lower cost than traditional systems.

3D printing has the potential to create a real difference, and by having the power to produce them on your kitchen table, these are projects that even the biggest critics have to be impressed with. What’s going to drive 3D printing to the next level is when we apply real world applications to our inventions and move beyond the cool desk ornaments. We’re seeing that again and again these days and we couldn’t be more excited!

Photo credit: Gizmodo

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