What Have we Seen This Year and What Can We Expect for 2020?
2019 has been a record year for 3D Printing. Although current numbers are not yet available for the year, we have seen some amazing feats in the additive manufacturing world. As we watch the dawning of a fresh new year in 2020, we look back at what 2019 has brought our way and where we are headed in the future.
3D Printed Sushi
3D Printed food is no longer a thing of dreams but has become a true reality. When we think of 3D Printed food, beautiful geometric images and one company comes to mind. Sushi Singularity, located in Tokyo, is turning the notion on its head. According to the model of Sushi Singularity, each customer is creating sushi based on the needs of each individual customer. Their specialised program analyzes saliva or urine to determine the nutritional needs of the individual. That information is then fed into the computer and a customised piece of sushi emerges from the 3D Printer as a nutritious meal. The concept may seem a bit out of the ordinary, but Sushi Singularity is set to open in 2020 as the inner workings of the restaurant is still fixing a few kinks in the system.
3D Printed sushi from Sushi Singularity
Pollution is an ongoing problem throughout the world, and it is our oceans that seem to suffer the worst from our inability to control and account for our own waste. Volvo and Reef Design Lab and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science are partnering to help this area alleviate much of the ongoing pollution. They have developed a living sea wall in the form of individual tiles. Each tile is 3D Printed so manufacturing costs are kept at a minimum. The tiles actually attract filter feeding organisms that will naturally dispose of some of the pollution. Although this notion is still in its experimental stage as of 2019, we can expect it to take hold and become an option for harbors and shorelines throughout the world. Sydney Harbor is currently the test location for Volvo’s innovative 3D Printed living seawall tiles.
3D Printed Living Seawall by Volvo and their conservation associates.
3D Printed Bridges
Construction is one area that 3D Printing has made a dramatic impact. We have seen a tremendous effort in many areas of the world where 3D Printed homes are being utilised to bring an end to drastic homelessness and alleviate the strain from disaster ridden countries. Today, however, 3D Printed construction is being embraced for far more than just homes. In Shanghai, they have successfully constructed a fully functioning, large scale 3D Printed pedestrian bridge.
Construction of the 3D Printed bridge was not an easy task. Although today it spans an impressive 26.3 meters with a width of 3.6 meters, initial testing involved building a replica of the bridge at ¼ its expected size. Once stress tests were completed, it took 2 robotic armed 3D Printers to complete the task and today, Shanghai is home to the largest 3D Printed bridge ever constructed. Only time will tell if their record will stand or be beaten in 2020.
3D Printed Pedestrian Bridge in Shanghai
Waste into Functional Chairs
There seems to be no end to our reliance on plastics in the world, but that is not always a bad thing if we understand the need to reimagine plastic waste into something new. The Waste Lab is a company that is turning plastic waste into something humans can use. Their zero waste mentality has allowed for regular old bottles, forks, and other plastic waste along our coasts to be turned into functional 3D Printed chairs. The Waste Lab is currently working on new designs for public spaces to alleviate the strain on the environment. So far, their projects have been well received in cities throughout the world.
Public spaces embrace 3D Printed chairs for the comfort of humans, animals, and for the betterment of the environment.
2020 is upon us, but now is not the time to forget about the achievements made by 3D Printed projects in 2019. Now is the time to take what we have learned and take it to the next level. 2020 will be an impressive year for 3D Printing artists and what they can do with their 3D Printers. Take some time and think of how your designs and 3D Prints might have a positive impact on the environment or your fellow man. We can all make the world a better place if each individual makes their own efforts.