Near the end of the movie “Skyfall”, there’s a scene in which James Bond and M drive out of the city in a classic 1960 Aston Martin DB5, the distinctive silver Bond Car first used in Goldfinger in 1965. Later—and this is a slight spoiler—the car is shot full of holes with assault rifles and blown up with a helicopter.
If you’ve seen any movie in the past dozen years, you’ll know that this particular scene probably wasn’t hard for the filmmakers to film. All they needed to do was to digitally insert an explosion—or with that kind of budget, perhaps take one of the three hundred or so remaining DB5’s and blow up the real thing.
Instead, the filmmakers printed detailed 1:3 scale models of the Aston Martin on 3D printers, and blew them to absolute bits, saving the real cars for the museums. Remember Iron Man’s suit? Same process.
Here are ten ways people are using 3D printers for something functional—and sometimes changing the world in the process.