Creating artificial body parts and microscopic robots might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but this is exactly what today’s 3D printers are doing. From movie props and sculptures to industrial tools and even food, 3D printing is revolutionizing the way we create and think about objects. The technology is still progressing rapidly, but 3D printing is already responsible for some of the most exciting developments of the 21st century. Check out these 12 incredible facts about 3D printing to see what this technology can do and where it’s heading.
1. 3D Printing Can Print with Many Different Materials
3D printers don’t just print out plastics. These sophisticated devices can actually produce a huge range of materials, including metals, ceramics, glass and even food. From stainless steel, aluminum and titanium to cheese and chocolate, modern 3D printers are getting closer and closer to sci-fi technology like Star Trek’s replicators. 3D printers can also fuse material into polymers, combining plastics with other materials such metal and wood. The range of printable materials makes 3D printers useful in many fields, including the arts, where sculptors have taken to the printers to create unique new works.