first_imgStay on target You’d think years of writing and editing stories about 3D printing, as well as being surrounded by 3D printers and 3D-printed objects here in the office, would eventually make the tech less interesting. But that’s just not the case. Being able to upload a virtual object onto a computer and have that computer spit out a real version of that object is just so futuristic and cool. It’s so cool!The very idea and existence of 3D printing is inherently awesome. But beyond that, there are a bunch of specific examples of fun, funny, or fascinating 3D-printed objects. We’ve got stories about all of these on, but here, in a nice convenient list, are the coolest things to ever be 3D printed.Sgt. Adrian Willis with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepares to print a 3D model aboard the USS Wasp (via U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Bernadette Wildes)Combat Aircraft PartsYeah it kind of sucks that a big driver of technological innovation is “how efficiently can the military use it to kill things,” but there’s something undeniably cool about U.S. marines 3D printing replacement parts for combat aircraft.The Orion spacecraft will venture thousands of miles beyond the moon during Exploration Mission-1, its first mission atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket (via NASA)Orion Spacecraft Parts3D printing’s ability to conjure objects from dust gives it more than a passing resemblance to Star Trek’s replicator tech. So it’s only appropriate that 3D printed parts are now being used with next-generation spacecraft like the Orion.ColorFab items of different colors with activation areas (via MIT CSAIL)Color-Changing AccessoriesThe material you use to 3D print an object naturally will influence what that object is capable of it. So if you print some jewelry with this color-changing ink material, all of a sudden your wardrobe becomes much more dynamic, shifting its hue in response to different lighting.Chocolate!Chocolate makes everything better, even 3D printers. The Cocoa Press, created by University of Pennsylvania student Evan Weinstein, prints and cools melted chocolate into all sorts of delicious shapes. Edible tech is the best tech.What will you create? (via MIT CSAIL)RobogamiA bit like the recent Nintendo Labo, Interactive Robogami is a system of 3D printed objects anyone can fold up into little robots and program as an intro to robotics. The sizable library of custom pieces takes advantage of 3D printing’s open-source nature, and the Robogami creations themselves are just so cute.Moon HousesContinuing 3D printing’s deep sci-fi potential, eventually people are just going to screw up the Earth so bad we’re going to have to live elsewhere in space. So how about we live on the moon? How about we live in 3D-printed houses on the moon? MIT has developed a system for 3D printing whole buildings that may make this possible.A Tiny Map of Tokyo3D printing makes it much more practical to quickly construct lots of tiny intricate things. One of the coolest examples of that we’ve seen is this detailed, 100-piece 3D map of Tokyo that fits right in your hand. Make your Godzilla fan films even more accurate.3D Printer BackpackThis is less a “3D-printed object” and more a “crucial object for fans of 3D printers.” The tradeoff we currently have to accept for tech as awesome as 3D printing is that 3D printers themselves are big, complicated, fragile, cumbersome things. Fortunately, this 3D printer backpack from Ultimaker makes it much more feasible to carry the hardware around.Beer, Hemp, and Coffee!Anyone can enjoy some chocolate 3D printing. But if you’re a little more… grown up, you can also print 3D objects out of material derived from coffee, beer, and even hemp. “3D Hemp Printing” is maybe the most California concept that’s ever been conceived.A Dead Man’s FingerOn the more dystopian end of “cool,” there are cases of cops attempting to 3D print models of hands covered with the fingerprints of a suspect in order to bypass phone security. We haven’t heard of successful uses of this tactic, but this is something cops are thinking about. Cool!A Pokemon Go PokedexIt wasn’t that long ago when Pokemon Go took over the globe. But if you really wanted to stand out from the hordes of other folks trying to catch monsters on their phone, you needed to 3D print this slick Pokedex phone case for added authenticity.Deus Ex Prosthetic LimbsThe modern Deus Ex video game series is about the ethical implications of mechanical augmentation, a fancy way of saying “bolting robot limbs onto people.” But there are people in the real world who also could benefit from that kind of tech, and if you ask for this you can print Deus Ex prosthetics of your own.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. U.S. Scientists 3D Print Miniature Human HeartGeek Pick: Juku 3Doodler Create+ Is A 3D Printing Pen Set last_img

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