Undoubtedly one of the most inspiring 3D printing projects we have seen recently is the ‘Magic Arms’ designed by Nemours and Alfred I du Pont Hospital. A project that helps children suffering from musculoskeletal disabilities who need upper body support, something we highlighted in our recent ExpoTalk about the Designs of the Year 2013. Similarly targeted for children but, for more educational interaction purposes, the Free Universal Construction Kit aims to allow children to connect join their lego-esque toys together through 3d printed connecting pieces. The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob and is available open source from the internet. A fascinating proposal that allows for children to create and play using previously non-connecting pieces. The possibilities for a similar concept for car pieces or house tools are endless.
On a more speculative and playful tip, the Kiosk 2.0 by Unfold alludes to the possibility of 3d printing disposable and take-away items from a mobile stall. Resembling a New York-style hot dog street vender, the Kiosk 2.0 is equipped with a 3D scanner (from Polhemus) and a 3D printer (from Bits from Bytes) and offers services to passers by. The idea behind the kiosk was to highlight the possibilities of open sourcing technology, as with the Free Universal Construction Kit, and bringing that technology to communities who might not necessarily have access to it. All in all, two out of the box ideas with endless possibilities.