3D printed Yoda highlights potential of the technology
In recent weeks, there have been many news stories of unique, advanced applications for 3D printing technology. Earlier this month, a mechanical engineer used Objet 3D printers to create an extremely small car with functional components. Only 1.5 cm in length, the car features doors that open and close among other moving parts.
Developments such as this demonstrate the complexity and accuracy that 3D printing can deliver.
The same could be said of a YouTube video currently gaining attention on a number of technology-related websites.
An enlightening film
The YouTube video, uploaded by "BusyBotz," features time lapse photography documenting the 3D printing of an extremely detailed bust of the character Yoda, featured prominently in the Star Wars series of films. According to the video, the model is printed in layers of 0.1 mm thickness.
In approximately five hours, BusyBotz's personal 3D printer created an accurate, detailed sculpture of Yoda.
"It’s almost as if Yoda simply materialized from the surface of a desk," wrote Drew Bowling of WebProNews, discussing the time lapse video.
3D printing and toys
For some time now, 3D printing has been used for the production of toys such as action figures and dolls. In addition to the level of detail demonstrated in the YouTube video, perhaps the most notable advantage of 3D printing for this purpose is how well it allows customization. In traditional toy manufacturing, the cost of producing a limited number of a particular model is prohibitive. The only way for a business to earn a profit is to produce a large number of a given toy, limiting customization.
3D printing, on the other hand, does not have this issue. There is no price difference between producing a large and small batch, because the technology does not utilize injection molds.