This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Amazing Things 3-D Printers Can (or Could) Make

Stocks in this article: SSYS DDD

Cars: Printing cars is far from mainstream, but the first car, the Urbee, shown at, rolled off the 3-D printer line two years ago (its exterior panels were made on a 3-D printer from Stratasys (SSYS)).

The Urbee

It worked! Urbee, designed by Canadian firm Kor Ecologic, has a one-cylinder engine and can zoom to 70 mph. The three-wheeled vehicle carries only two people, and drivers would definitely attract stares for its futuristic and aerodynamic design. But Urbee won't be hitting dealerships anytime soon. Funding hasn't materialized, according to Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine.

Airplanes: Airplanes are even further behind 3-D-printed cars on the road to commercial viability. But the niche is taking off. Students at the University of Virginia just built and tested an unmanned airplane that was printed on a 3-D printer. As part of a summer internship with the MITRE Corp., Steven Easter and Jonathan Turman built an unmanned plane with a 6.5-foot wingspan, made from parts printed on a 3-D printer. Hitting 45 mph, the plane made four successful test flights last month, according to the University of Virginia Web site.

Bicycles: A working, 3-D-printed bicycle was printed and tested last year by The EADS Group in Europe. Parts were printed on the machine and then assembled. A bit wobbly, yes, but the Airbike did the job. Today, bike manufacturers like Trek and Giant use 3-D printers during the design process for prototypes, according to That could change once 3-D printers are large enough to produce an entire bike frame.

Prosthetic Limb Cover: Bespoke Innovations uses 3-D printing to make "fairings," which are anatomically shaped covers for prosthetic limbs that can be decorated with different colors and graphics -- even tattoos. Co-founded by Scott Summit, an industrial designer, and Kenneth Trauner, an orthopedic surgeon, Bespoke uses digital photos of a customer's existing limb to create an anatomically unique cover for the artificial limb. The fairings can be printed within an hour. Bespoke was acquired by 3D Systems (DDD) in May 2012.

Acoustic Guitar: Scott Summit, the same guy who created the prosthetic limb covers, is obviously into 3-D design. His latest pet project started on vacation and resulted in a working 3-D-printed acoustic guitar that actually sounded "rich and full," Summit told Businessweek. You can make your own 3-D-printed electric guitar at Cubify.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs