3D printing technology, also called additive manufacturing, has been significantly optimizing the production of large and small products in different fields.
3D printing is probably most useful for the rapid fabrication of small custom mechanical parts. However, the technology is also capable of making very large structures and objects. Below is a short list of some of the largest items you may not have realized were made by 3D printing.
1. Concrete Pedestrian Bridge in Shanghai
Designed by a team from Tsinghua University, a pedestrian bridge over a small canal in Shanghai was recently completed via additive manufacturing.
The bridge drew inspiration from the oldest bridge in China: the Zhaozhou Bridge, which was constructed between 589 and 618 AD. Rather than being made of limestone like the Zhaozhou Bridge, the new Shanghai bridge contains 3D-printed concrete. It also features embedded smart sensors to detect physical stress, foot traffic and stability.
2) An Office Building in Dubai
In 2016, Dubai’s Museum of the Future project announced the world’s first 3D-printed office building, a 2,700-square foot structure.
Put a special layer of cement in each layer, the 3D printing process takes 17 days to complete, at a cost of about $ 140,000. A person tracks 3D printers, while seven people handle the installation of printing components. Ten electricians and other commercial experts took care of various technical aspects. In general, the project shows savings of 50% compared to normal costs.
3) A Camper
Fabricated with the largest indoor 3D printer in North America, a 3D-printed camper called The Wave is nearly four meters in length and weighs more than 270 kg. When it was unveiled in 2018, the camper set the record for the biggest single item made by indoor 3D printing.
4) A Sofa
With a length of only 1.5 meters and weighing only 2.5 kg, the minimalist So Good Sofa is mostly made up of only 2.5 liters of plastic. It is covered with high gloss chrome and copper to make it more firm and aesthetic.
5) An Electric Car from Local Motors
Strati is a small electric car from Local Motors with a one-piece shell made from additive manufacturing. The company has refined its process since the inception of the first Strati, and the printing time is now only 45 hours.
Some components, such as engines, tires and suspension, cannot be printed, but most cars, from chassis to seats, are created by using thermoplastic reinforced with carbon fiber, but it has the same power as middle aluminum.
6) A Massive Fidget Spinner
Remember fidget spinners? In 2017, additive manufacturing companies All3DP and BigRep Gmbh collaborated to completely fabricate a one-square-meter fidget spinner using 3D printing and ball bearings. The large toy was created as a way to showcase the companies’ capabilities.
7) A Large Ship’s Propeller
WAAMpeller – propeller is manufactured using a unique accretion process involving the use of electric arc to melt metal wire. Close to the average person, this propeller is made up of nearly 300 layers of nickel aluminum alloy.
It is 1.3 m wide, weighs 180 kg and has no common reduced structure for many accretion parts, so it is difficult for the observer to distinguish it from any other ordinary propeller.
8) A Motorbike from Airbus
The first electric motorcycle was produced by 3D printing technology of Airbus with the name “The Light Rider” made from aluminum alloy particles with a volume of about 35kg. The Light Rider has a range of 60 km and a maximum speed of 80 km / h, it can reach speeds of 45 km / h in three seconds.
9) A Rocket Terran 1
The missile is called Terran – 1, created from Stargate 3D printer. According to Relativity Space, a rocket-making company founded by some former SpaceX and Blue Origin employees, the Terran-1 missile takes only 60 days to print. When completed, the rocket will be about 30m high and carry a maximum load of about 1,250kg into low Earth orbit. The US Air Force allowed the launch of the missile at the launch yard in Cape Canaveral, Florida before the end of 2020.
10) A Big Tool to Make Aircraft
In 2016, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States announced the creation of a huge 3D printed aerospace tool, which set the Guinness record for the largest object ever created through raft manufacturing. cover. Planned to support wing production for Boeing 777x, the descendant of the popular 777 jet Boeing, the kit is 5.3 meters long and weighs nearly 750 kg. It takes about 30 hours to create the tool.
Thermwood technology from LSAM was used to fabricate a 20% reinforced carbon fiber ABS part. This shows the feasible application of 3D polymer printing for large parts for aerospace, although in testing tools.
Resoures: AZOM Materials
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