Indramat never made 3D printers, but that doesn’t mean that the two are unrelated. In fact, Indramat and 3D printers have more in common than you might think.
3D printers use servo motors to carry out functions, as do Indramat motion control systems (the two use very different types of servos, however). Indramat revolutionized the manufacturing industry with brushless servos in the 1970s, and 3D printers are poised to revolutionize the manufacturing industry today.
So while Indramat and additive manufacturing are apples and oranges, they’re both fruits. Here’s a look at five interesting things that are currently being made with 3D printers.
The Strati is the world’s first 3D-printed car. While printing a functioning vehicle is definitely cool, making a car by means of additive manufacturing is more than novel. The Strati is made from carbon fiber, which is strong, light, and versatile, and costs around $5,000 dollars. 3D printing also allows for extra safety features to be built into the design of the vehicle.
Homes, office buildings, and castles are all being printed these days. 3D printers can create structures faster and more affordably than any traditional construction company could hope to do. A private company in China developed a 3D printer capable of printing 10 houses in a single day.
There are a number of different companies printing all types of different garments. Big names like New Balance, adidas, and Nike are all marketing 3D-printed running shoes, and it’s only a matter of time before your entire wardrobe could be printed at home.
Scientist have been able to print Petri dish body parts for some time, but they are now able to 3D-print living body parts with bone, muscle, and cartilage that all function normally when implanted. This is more than just producing blobs of human tissue, and is a huge advancement in regenerative medicine.
Not only are these robots 3D-printed, they are also capable of self-assembly. Researchers at MIT have developed 3D-printed robots that assemble themselves when exposed to heat. And although these robots are more like Shrinky Dinks than Optimus Prime, they’re still pretty cool.