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2015

It's Christmas time! Time to get awesome gifts for your family and friends, which they would really love to receive. This time, why not get something unique and innovative for them, like 3D printed objects? With 3D printing technology being increasingly used to create a variety of things, you can find several 3D printed things that would make a great gift for Christmas. Whether your loved ones are fashionistas or tech geeks, you would certainly find some 3D printed gift to suit his/her taste.

 

Read on to know some of the most innovative and incredible 3D printed gifts you can give your family and friends:

 

1. Custom external hard drives and USB flash drives

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Gift digital storage space to a tech geek friend of yours this Christmas, in the form of custom 3D printed external hard drives and USB flash drives. These devices are fully customizable according to your liking, from their design to colors to text.

 

2. Constructionist bronze bracelet

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Based on geometrical structures and modern architecture, the Constructionist bronze bracelet is a 3D printed accessory. It would make a great gift for bold fashionistas.

 

3. RAWR dinosaur

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This is a cute 3D printed dino, which is far from being ferocious. Made from sandstone, the dino figurine would make a nice gift for kids, or one can place it on a desk or shelf to give the place a colorful touch.

 

4. Smartphone case

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Gift an awestrucking 3D printed smartphone case to a friend this Christmas. These cases give a great look to any smartphone.

 

5. Quin Christmas Tree Ornament

 

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A striking geometric 3D print, the 'Quin', has been designed by Bathsheba Grossman. You can find the 'Quin' in the form of a Christmas tree ornament, which is a fascinating gift for anyone.

 

6. 3D printed silver pendant

 

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Inspired by one of the fairy tales Loupgarou read during his childhood, he designed the 'Reach the Stars Pendant'. The pendant symbolizes the effort for reaching a star. You can find this beautiful design in 3D printed form, made of sterling silver along with high-gloss finish.

 

7. 3D printed frost jewelry

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Blueberries, a Czech jewelry brand, makes stunning 3D printed earrings, pendants  and rings. They introduced the “Frost” collection in 2015, which is inspired by winter and ice. This is another impressive gift you can give one of your fashionista friends, who loves to experiment with new accessories.

 

8. Clothoid.A lamp

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This lamp can serve as an appealing centerpiece in the design of any room. The shade of this lamp has been created through a mathematical formula, which lets you adjust it in different positions.

 

9. Eggbot

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Breakfast doesn't need to be boring. Here is a 3D printed Eggbot that adds a bit adventure to having soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. It may also act as a holder when one is cooking.

 

10. “Atom” guitar

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Olaf Diegel, a mechatronics professor in the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology of Massey University in New Zealand, built several incredible 3D printed guitars, which are fully playable. The “Atom” guitar- as well as the other models are wonderfully intricate.

 

These gift ideas would help you choose what to buy for your family and friends this Christmas. Choose one or more of these 3D printed gift items, and watch how your loved one gets surprised and impressed to get such an out-of-the-box gift. Merry Christmas!

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This vascular system model was created by Stratasys' 3D printer. Doctors are hoping 3D printed replicas of vascular systems can help treat brain aneurysms. (via Stratasys)

 

There's a reason why those in the medical field have to spend a long time in school; they need to know what they're doing especially when it comes to performing surgery. But there are some things that are difficult to train for, like vascular operation which is both unique to ones anatomy and tricky. One route is to use 3D printing. MakerBot and its parent company Stratasys are teaming up with physicians to create 3D printed copies of patients' vascular systems within 24 hours. These replicas will have doctors practice navigating through the vascular system before the actual surgery.

 

Stratasys, along with The Jacobs Institute, The Kaleida Health's Gates Vascular Institute, and biomedical engineers at the University at Buffalo, create life-sized models using flexible TangoPlus photopolymers, light-sensitive polymers, that recreate the feel of organic tissue. Since they can accurately reproduce the vascular system allows doctors to try out different approaches to treatment and decide which one will be the most effective. Sounds pretty good, right? There's even evidence that suggests this method is effective.

 

One of the first patients to take advantage of the treatment was Teresa Flint, a 47 year old mother of three. She had a potentially fatal aneurysm that's usually treated with a metallic basket delivered into the brain through a tiny tube. Instead, doctors took an image of the aneurysm based on her scans and created a copy of her brain vessel anatomy. “Our original plan was to treat her aneurysm with a metallic basket. After attempting the procedure on the 3D printed replica, we realized it just wasn't going to work," Dr. Adnan Siddiqui said. "Based on the Stratasys 3D printed model, our team was able to pre-empt potential complications and devise a much more optimal means of treating Teresa's aneurysm.”

 

If this method keeps seeing success this could be a great step forward to treating aneurysms, which are extremely risky. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, aneurysms cause around 500,00 deaths each year around the world. The disorder happens when a weakened area within the artery fills with blood and causes extreme pressure. Currently, about six million people live with the issue undetected. There's no universal method to treating brain aneurysms since no two cases are the same.

 

Using 3D printing to replicate organs is a continuing trend. Earlier this year, researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore used the technology to create a prototype outer ear. And the researchers at Bighamton University are working on a process that involved 3D printing that will allow them to build tissues and organs in a lab setting. 3D printing could potentially save thousands of patients who are kept waiting for donors to get the organs they need.


 

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