3D mugshots from DNA
Analysis of crime scenes and witness reports can be more of an art than a science. One problem is that witnesses may not recall a face clearly, and investigators can run the risk of sending the wrong suspect behind bars if they rely too heavily on this kind of evidence. However, new technology promises to change that.
Mark Shriver and colleagues from Pennsylvania State University have spent months gathering 3D images and DNA of hundreds of volunteers. Over time, they managed to plot over 7,000 facial points of reference, which have been fed in to software that links similarities between facial features, DNA, race, and gender.
The team found that only 20 genes with 24 variants proved to be "reliable indicators" of facial shapes — and by using 3D printing, human heads with resemblance to the volunteers were created based on their DNA. In future, if there is DNA at a crime scene, it is possible that suspects faces can be printed from it, and witness reports may be less of a factor in proving a crime.
3D printed clothing
The N12 bikini is the first ready-to-wear garment produced purely through 3D printing technology. Designed by Continuum fashion, in cooperation with the Shapeways 3D Printing online printing store, the N-12 is composed of tiny nylon disks that hook together. Each component — including the strap, cups, and halter — are printed and sold separately, amounting to roughly $300 to own one for yourself once you snap each part together.
Make your own musical instruments
3D printing can supply us with medical devices, guns, and vehicle parts, but it can also include the musical realm. Two examples: One, the Dreaming Pipes project on Kickstarter, wants to allow 3D printing enthusiasts to create their own set of bagpipes at home. Considering the cost of traditional models, such a scheme could bring more pipe players into the fold. Secondly, the ATOM 3D printed guitar is on sale. Inspired by Les Paul, the bodies are fully printed from nylon, and each feature a wooden inner core. The guitars are dyed to order, and each one will cost you $3,500.
A food 3D printer
Natural Machines has launched the “Foodini 3D food printer” via a Kickstarter campaign. The Foodini Printer comes with empty capsules, which the user fills with whatever foods they wish. By using the printer's touchscreen display, you choose the shape and settings you want in order to create your dish. There are also pre-programmed recipes for dishes, including pumpkin gnocchi, pizza, burgers and cookies. The point of the invention is to remove the hassle of cooking, but encourage you to use fresh food rather than sticking to pre-packaged food.
3D printed meats
The future production of food is likely to be a problem as the human population expands and so do our meat requirements. Scientists are trying to create test-tube burger meat in labs to prepare for the potential crisis, and the Thiel Foundation has awarded Modern Meadow funds to try and create bio-printed meat to satisfy the human need for protein. Modern Meadow wants to use 3D printing to create synthetic meat in a less resource-hungry manner.