Every artist knows that having one or more visions before they’ve even started the prototyping process is where the gold lies. When great ideas are combined with technology, the possibilities can take shape. Some companies have succeeded in harnessing the capabilities of 3D printing to solve the most critical challenges of the 21st century, from affordable and sustainable housing to reducing waste and even making travel to the moon easier.
The advantages of additive manufacturing or 3D printing are numerous, as it is cost effective, sustainable, accessible, efficient and guarantees a high quality result with minimal human intervention.
Australian 3D printing technology company Luyten was formed in 2020 with the aim of making construction easier and more sustainable in all industries – and it has caught the attention of businesses around the world.
Through Project Meeka, the company is focusing on working with researchers at the University of NSW to build a printer suitable for building a base on the moon. The ‘Platypus Galacticus’ foldable 3D printer will use lunar regolith (a substance on the moon’s surface) to create the settlement, which could happen as early as 2030. With advancements in technology, space transportation is becoming more affordable , and the printer is designed to reach the moon to facilitate human settlement.
âWhen we developed our revolutionary 3D concrete printers, we thought we were going to solve building and construction problems across the world – but with ongoing discussions with people in the space industry, we are now looking to solve construction and construction issues on the moon, âsays CEO Ahmed Mahil.
Mighty Buildings specializes in producing stylish and durable 3D printed homes ranging from 400 to 1,440 square feet. Guided by the vision to reinvent the building industry from factory to foundation, building its high quality modular homes involves less waste and fewer man hours by leveraging new technologies and automating up to 80% of the production process.
âThe future of cities will not only have cleaner transport, but also cleaner buildings. Ideas like Mighty Buildings are remarkable: 3D printed houses that do not use steel or cement and have a carbon footprint reduced by 50%, âsays investor Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures.
Using its award-winning Light Stone material provides an energy efficient, near zero waste solution that has caught the attention of leading publications including Forbes and Business Insider.
Upprinting Food stands out in the food printing industry because it aims to reduce food waste by printing leftovers (bread, vegetables and fruits), which become new gourmet creations to be enjoyed.
Founder Elzelinde van Doleweerd predicts that 3D printing may well become the norm in the food industry. His company works with high-end restaurants to reuse their waste creatively using Natural Machines’ Foodini 3D printer.
âIf you look at it from a simple perspective, a 3D printer just applies pressure to a syringe to extrude a mash. My theory was that if it works well with a normal piping bag, it should also work with a 3D printer, âsays Van Doleweerd.
The process involves mixing the ingredients to create a puree, which is then printed, cooked and dehydrated, giving it a crispy texture. At this point, the recipes are based on rice or bread, but the company is continually exploring the possibilities.
FormLabs was one of the first companies to enable 3D printing for the mass market and is a leader in innovation with materials, including new ceramic and grayscale resins. These resins are capable of producing impressions and have a wide range of applications in engineering, design, medicine and dental care.
With offices in Europe, the United States and Asia, FormLabs is recognized worldwide for its high performance materials and high quality 3D printing software, which have put digital manufacturing in the hands of anyone.
Founded in 2007, Organovo specializes in 3D bioprinting, having internally developed the NovoGen Bioprinter to enable automated manufacturing of multicellular tissues. Considered one of the most valuable companies in the industry, its models have a range of applications in the healthcare sector, making a significant contribution to the development of tissue models and therapeutic implants.
To date, its bio-printer technology is responsible for creating a range of tissues, including skeletal muscles, liver, eyes, kidneys, and skin.
The founder of Stratasys invented one of the first 3D printing technologies over 30 years ago, and since then the company has led the industry in turning complex problems into simple solutions. Worth US $ 1.68 billion, Stratasys automotive customers include Honda, Volvo and Ford.
Working with the best players in aerospace, automotive, technology and medical, Stratasys technologies allow these companies to stay ahead of the curve by working faster and with lower costs. With offices in 13 countries, the teams are dedicated to bringing ideas to life through new manufacturing possibilities and to constantly innovating.
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