People have made a lot of crazy things on 3D printers. From ball gowns to bicycles, the line between what can be printed or not is becoming smaller and smaller. 

Ball Gowns

Back in 2013, Dita Von Teese wore the first fully 3D printed ball gown at the Ace Hotel. The gown was designed by Michael Schmidt and 3D modeled by Francis Bitonti. The gown features over 13,000 Swarovski crystals and was custom-fitted to Dita Von Teese. It’s estimated that the dress cost over $100,000 to create and took hundreds of hours to design and print out. 


Musical Instruments

In 2016, Monad Studio hosted a series of 5 musical instruments that were all created on 3D printers. These instruments included the violin, bass guitar, monovioloncello, didgeridoo, and the hornucopian. These 3D-printed instruments are not just your run of the mill looking instruments, the framework in itself is incredibly detailed and frankly looks like something not of this world.


In 2012, Defense Distributed created the first 3D printed firearm called the “Liberator”. The following year, Defense Distributed created the first 3D printed lower receiver of an AR-15 and shared the CAD files for free online. The lower receiver of an AR-15 is considered the “firearm” part of the weapon, meaning it is part of the gun that has the serial number tracked by the federal government. Serial numbers, however, only apply to weapons that are sold from a manufacturer to an individual. Firearms created by individuals don’t have to have serial numbers, as long as the individual doesn’t plan to sell or gift these firearms to anyone else.


Lastly, in 2018, an Italian car-maker and a 3D printing company teamed up to create a 3D printed electric vehicle designed for city life. The LSEV is a 1000-lb car that can be printed out in 3 days. Its battery life is 90 miles and has an expected top speed of 43 mph. It’s small, compact, and yours for only $7500.


The ability to create food using 3D printers is also tremendously on the rise.  Lynette Kucsma, CEO of Natural Machines (manufacturer of the Foodini 3D food printer), made an interesting statement saying that any food bought from a supermarket is essentially 3D printed food because the food is going into a mold. So then that brings up the question of the point of even having a 3D printer? One of the reasons is because consumers get to now choose their ingredients. With the rising popularity of certain food restrictions like gluten- free, veganism, etc., the 3D printer will help. Also, if the consumer has any restrictions on food because of their medical standing, then a 3D printer can be very useful. For example, if an elderly person has problems with chewing, the 3D printer can assist in making a soup with a smoother consistency. 


Yes, 3D printers can now create ears. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is behind this incredible innovation. It’s all created by the Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System (ITOP) that allows the ears to have the necessary cells and correct structure. It also allows the nutrients and oxygen to go through the ear so that the system can stay alive to develop a structure of blood vessels. They tested this out on rats to see how effective their invention is, and it proved to work in their favor.