When we think about 3d printing more often than not we are thinking about a small desktop printer, but not everything can be printed on these small printers. If we have to print larger models we have to slice it into smaller parts so that it can fit the build base of the printer. This is actually a crude stop gap solution to a problem at hand, but FDM 3d printing being extremely slow and the inability to control failed prints makes printing large objects a real task at hand. The Biggest 3d printer that we know of is the BigRep ONE.2 which has a 1M³ working volume, but it still inherits the shortcomings of the FDM printing technologies we discussed earlier. So is there a solution at sight? There certainly is and it’s coming from the promised lands of Israel.
MASSIVit is a startup from Israel which has not just made the biggest 3d printer till date; they have also developed a new 3d printing technology which makes it the fastest 3d printer ever. The printer they claim to be under development would have a build base of .5m x 1.2m x 1.8m (or 4ft x 5ft x 6ft). The Printer would use GDP 3D printing technology (short for Gel Dispensing Printing). The printer would not use the normal Filaments, instead it would use a UV sensitive material that hardness when exposed to UV light. Their printing method tries to use the best of FDM and SLA printing (Which uses a photo sensitive resin) techniques to get a faster printing speed.
The new printing process allows the MASSIVEit 3D printer to print accurately at the insane speed of 1m per second. This means a Full size human statue can be printed in less than 5 hours. The company claims this high speed, Mammoth 3d printer will be perfect solution of making larger objects like Machine casing, Furniture’s and much more. Talking about the UV sensitive raw material the printer uses, the company said ‘The material is non-flammable, and has good structural strength similar to ABS materials commonly used in 3D printing. The relatively low fluidity parameters of the gel create high advantages when building non-vertical walls, and Smart Support structures or printing ‘support-less’.
According to the Israel media, The Company has printed the Body of the world’s first 3d printed car ‘Strati’ which was made by Local Motors. The company could achieve this feat with a little help from Autodesk’s Spark design platform, which was used to design this version of the Strati. This 3D printed car would be at display at the EcoMotion event.
Lior Zeno, community manager of EcoMotion spoke to reporters present at the event and told that ‘Local Motors and the printed car is only one example of the opportunities that will be available in the near future. The collaboration between Local Motors and Autodesk shows the huge possibilities for the smart transportation community in Israel.’
MASSIVit 3D, does seem to have a promising future however the fate of it would largely depend on when the printer would be available to general public and what would be the cost of the printer and raw material is uses to print.