5+ Innovative Ways to Use 3D Printing

The industry has gone a long way since most people asked, “what is 3D printing anyway?” Today, not only is the majority familiar with the technology, but many are using it. Homemade 3D printers are more accessible than ever, and you can use them to design a huge product range.

It’s impressive what you can do with this technology today. This guide will discuss the most innovative ways to use 3D printing. It will cover the current and potential future applications. Keep reading to discover the most advanced uses of this technology!

What is 3D Printing?

This approach allows making three-dimensional solid objects by using additive processes. Here’s a quick guide of the entire procedure:

1. A professional uses specific tools to create a digital file for the desired object.

2. You load the design into the device and execute the printing process.

3. Additive manufacturing puts successive material layers based on the file information.

4. Once the production process finishes, the product is ready.

It sounds simple, but it takes skills and effort. Being comfortable with 3D software and creating templates is only a start. You also need the right materials and devices that can deliver the desired product sizes. The versatility of 3D printed objects you can create makes this technology revolutionary. Here are some innovative methods of using it!

1. Medical Organs and Implants

Israeli scientists unveil world's first 3D-printed heart with human tissue  | The Times of Israel


Even if you know how a 3D printer works, its use in the healthcare industry will impress you. The reports reveal that Israeli scientists manage to print a 3D heart by using this device. They used bio-ink, which is a result of complex cell manipulation. While it’s a long way to go from actual use worldwide, it’s still a huge step forward in bioprinting.

A new generation of prosthetics made with 3D printing seems possible now. Some UK companies got medical certification for their products. A prosthetic bionic arm looks attractive. It has multi-grip functionality that sounds appealing to the patients. That particularly applies to children missing limbs. They might appreciate the fact they have a “cool robotic arm.” Another crucial benefit is that these bionic limbs could be affordable. The manufacturers look for a way to make them more accessible. They also need to ensure they are light and easy to maneuver.

2. Home and Building Construction

ICON Featured in Time Magazine Best Inventions of 2018 | ICON


Leveraging 3D technology to create entire structures has already proved a successful experiment. ICON designed a house that spans across 650 square feet. It went up in a day, and its total value was under $10K. The fact that families could get an entire property at this price is impressive.  

It’s hard to neglect the humanitarian potential. If natural disasters occur, people could have emergency shelters in less than a day. It also gives an affordable way to those affected to get their life back on track.

3. Creating Advanced Composite Materials

3D Printed Body Armor: An Upcoming Invention Of The U.S Army Research  Laboratory


An average 3D printer cost is low if you consider the value it offers. Military and other industries experiment with designing composite materials with new features. Information from the US Army revealed that it’s possible to print armor on the go. The project involves using an extrusion system. It adds various ceramics to deliver composite body protection. Not only is it fast to make, but it offers better performance than regular armors.

4. Plane, Drone, and Nautical Components

World's first 3D printed plane 'Thor' unveiled in Berlin by Airbus' | Daily  Mail Online


You can make replacement parts by using additive manufacturing. Apart from professionals, hobbyists work on improving the current components. DIY enthusiasts created drone parts that secure faster takeoff. That production requires minimal investment.

These components are strong but lighter than the parts manufactured so far. Airbus has already implemented 3D printing in designing fixtures. The manufacturers use titanium to print plane parts but also design the interior.

5. Eyeglasses and Jewelry

Behind the New Frames in the 3D-Printed Cabrio Collection: A Chat with  Eyewear Designer Bieke Hoet! | Material… | Eyewear design, Glasses print, 3d  printing fashion


Many companies already apply 3D technology to print specific eyeglass frames. It’s faster since there’s no time lost on painting them. It gives the manufacturer an option to offer designs upon request.

3D printing is useful for other accessories, including different types of jewelry. Combining additive manufacturing and recyclable plastic materials is a winning combination. It delivers eco-friendly and stunning jewelry pieces. The home-based accessory makers now have huge freedom. They can design unique items and offer them at affordable prices.

Other Exciting Uses of 3D Printing

This article only scratched the surface so far. Here are some other innovative applications of this technology:

  • 3D-printed food. Some creators use plant-based materials for meat. They managed to replicate poultry and beef texture. This is a sustainable and vegan option. It can also be an affordable way to help with hunger worldwide.
  • Casting molds. The main advantage is that you can design them at home. It saves months of time and a load of money that a manufacturer would take. In-house molds are cheaper, and you can make them with a wide material range.
  • Objects with specific capabilities. Experts are working on designing materials that have different features. Cooling bricks, foldable electronics, and heat-adjusting compounds are all possible with 3D printing.
  • Tooth implants. Restorative dentistry is already applying this technology. It allows making custom-fit implants in a single session. The results exceed the patients’ expectations in appearance, functionality, and durability. And they don’t even have to return for a follow-up exam.
  • Music instruments. It takes great dedication to create this product. You need perfection in each detail. But it’s possible to make anything from guitars to drums with a 3D printer. Furthermore, there are bands who play with these instruments.

The Importance of Sustainability

Is 3D printing a sustainable manufacturing method? - 3Dnatives

While it’s not a specific use, 3D printing can play an integral role in achieving sustainable goals. Companies and industries worldwide apply this technology. It pinpoints efforts to preserve the environment.

Here’s how 3D printing helps with sustainability:

  • Less plastic waste. The layering manufacturing method means that minimal or no trimming will be necessary. That minimizes the waste left by the production process.
  • Recycling plastic. 3D printing can use materials that would otherwise become waste. You’ll find plastic scrap in many products made with this technology.
  • Reducing carbon emissions. The idea is for the entire process to occur in a single facility. That means there’s no need to use planes or trucks to get different parts, which lowers carbon emissions. It also promotes efficiency since you can deliver templates for components via email.


You can also check our article on Types of 3D Printing Explained.

Final Thoughts

Even if you knew what 3D printing is, some of its innovative uses surprised you. Some objects could change how entire industries work. Others are handy house items that prove helpful. This technology puts the user in the power position. You can find 3D printers in reliable online stores and test this device in your home. This technology can serve hobbyists and professionals. Don’t hesitate to find a suitable 3D printer and get it for your needs!