Hyperloop Built in Under 24 Hours – The Future of 3D Printing

Co-founder of Tesla Motors & PayPal, Elon Musk, last week announced his revolutionary transportation idea, Hyperloop. The 760 mph tube system is said to be able to get people from LA to San Francisco in just over 30 minutes, a journey that currently takes around 6 hours. 

Utah based start-up, WhiteClouds, have actually gone ahead and made a (tiny) scale version of the Hyperloop using 3D printers. WhiteCloud have found themselves racking up almost 40,000 YouTube views in 5 days, a great bit of promotion for their new business. The model is said to have been created in under 24 hours.

hyperloop whiteclouds

Here's how WhiteCloud created the Hyperloop:

"The Connex 500 printed the pillars using Polyjet technology. The tubes are made of a clear UV-cured resin and printed with the ProJet 3500 HDMax. The ZPrinter 650 printed the station platform and the pods. They are full colour and made of the sandstone-like material. The team then assembled the parts to create the scale model of the Hyperloop."

As 3D printing becomes more advanced, the future becomes pretty exciting, and with government's investing heavily in research and development, the future could be closer than you think.

Here is what the experts think we could see being 3D printed in the next 20 years:

  1. Weapons - a recent BBC article highlighted the worlds first 3D weapon. The gun was created using a 3D printer bought from eBay for $5,000. Following on from the creation of the firearm, the blueprints were made available for download before quickly being taken down again following pressure from authorities.
  2. Food - the ability to print out food through a 3D printer could soon become a reality. It is thought that with the use of healthy powders, food could soon be produced with a shelf life of up to 15 years.
  3. Clothing - it is becoming increasingly common for fashion designers to showcase their talents through 3D printing. The ability to print out a piece of clothing in your own home would certainly change the worlds shopping habits, taking online shopping to the next level.
  4. A Moon Base - Architecture firm Foster + Partners have joined up with The European Space Agency to investigate the possibility of a 3D printed moon base. The material used in the printing process would be moon dust and soil that would be layered to form a building block, not unlike concrete. This method would save us from the challenge of transporting building materials. 
  5. Meat & Leather - US start-up Modern Meadow is working on creating meat and leather products — without harming animals. Founder Andras Forgacs is quoted as saying 'Animal products are just collections of tissues. So what if instead of starting with animals, we started with cells?' Using a stem-cell sample taken from a biopsy, the cell is cultured until it’s multiplied. Following on from this, bio ink that contains hundreds of live cells is printed, and the cells form living tissue. Forgacs is starting with leather, then moving on to meat.


What sort of effect do you think 3D printed fire arms will have on crime levels? Alongside Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic plans, is it likely that we will be holidaying on the moon in years to come? 

We'd love to hear your views on the future of 3D printing in the comments section...


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