Some designs would be impossible to produce via traditional manufacturing processes. In some cases, they’d be too expensive or difficult to manufacture. In other cases, the necessary technology doesn’t exist. Due to the unique layered process of additive manufacturing, many of these “impossible” designs have become reality. This chapter discusses ten unique products that are best produced with an additive manufacturing process.
When Kirk created small whistles to give away at his daughter’s birthday party, each whistle included the recipient’s initials. Two girls showed up without RSVPs, but he was able to print personalized whistles for the latecomers while party games were being played outside. Even with the slow speed of desktop 3D printers, 3D printing is still one of the only viable ways to address a situation like this one. Even a trip to a shop can’t yield a customized gift in as short a time. Details such as serial numbers or a signature design (see Figure 18-1) can be included in the design file so that each printed object is created with its own identity.
Unlike traditional implants, which use standard rods and other adjustable components, 3D-printed ...