Is there anything you can't 3D print nowadays? From drones and buildings and to organs and mini pizzas, it seems like anything is possible with a 3D printer and the right kind of filament. You can even print your own 3D printer. But the most logical use for a 3D printer is to bring your favorite sci-fi technologies to life, like portable sonic tractor beams.
According to Sophie Bushwick for Popular Science: "In the past, scientists have used sound waves to push and pull small objects around. However, they required setups that shot sound from multiple directions. Then, a little over a year ago, physicists from the University of Bristol and the University of Sussex published a Nature article demonstrating the first sonic tractor beam to use a single beam of sound waves. Instead of relying on interactions between multiple beams, the new device manipulated the sound waves' shapes—and object-trapping abilities—with a complex electronic array. It could trap small beads, and even a fly.
Unfortunately, that electronic array made the original design too expensive and complex for the average DIYer to build. So the study's lead author Asier Marzo, currently a research assistant at the University of Bristol, adapted the instrument so hobbyists could make their own. First, he changed the design to get rid of the electronics. Instead of modulating sound waves with electronic components, the new device uses its own physical structure."