Combining innovation and creativity with a 3D printer has produced some fascinating and surprising results. 3D printing traditionally makes it possible to make anything from plastic, but it’s now heading into areas that use different blends of materials to create non-plastics too. Read on to discover both plastic based and non-plastic 3D printed products that may surprise you.

A model of your unborn child

Expectant parents enjoy taking home an image of the scan of their child as it develops ready to join the world. Things have been taken one step further by Japanese company Fasotec who uses an MRI scan to produce a 3D model of the new family addition. Called ‘Shape of the Angel’, software is used to create a dimensional shape and the model is created with white resin to produce a 90mm x 60mm x 40mm model of your child that costs in the region of $1,000.


Foodini, a 3D food printer from Natural Machines is a touchscreen device that uses fresh ingredients to produce items such as burgers, pizzas, cookies and pasta dishes. The theory behind the machine is to enable the saving of time whilst using fresh food as opposed to pre-packaged food that can be preservative laden.

3d printed products

Personalised adult toys

Consumers who are looking for some personal action are now in the position to drop the worry of their parcel being delivered to a neighbour. It’s now possible to download designs from MakerLove to customise and print on your own home 3D printer.

3D identikits of criminals

It’s not always easy for victims of crime to remember what their aggressors looked like and this presents a risk of sending the wrong suspect to jail. However, this could soon become a thing of the past as Pennsylvania State University is developing a solution. After collecting 3D images and DNA from hundreds of volunteers, they have been able to design software that will match genes with race, gender and facial features. With only 20 genes that have 24 variants, this approach has potential for solving some crimes.


Using a blend of wood, glue and sawdust, a traditional canal house is currently being 3D printed in Amsterdam by Dus Architects. The blocks can be sawn and glued together. During production, two nozzles are sometimes used to create a concrete blocks for insulation alongside a plastic façade.

What 3D printed products have you come across that you found surprisingly innovative?