Dalian University of Technology has announced the development of the world’s largest 3D printer.

The massive laser sintering 3D printer has a build volume of 1.8m3 and can reduce print processing time by some 35%. In addition, the printer’s “contour scanning” printing technique can also reduce manufacturing costs by 40% when compared to other laser sintering machines.

According to Yao Shan, Professor at Dalian University, the key to the time and cost reductions is the fact that the printer only makes an outline of each layer rather than building out an entire solid surface. Once the model’s outline has been printed it is cured in an 180C furnace where it becomes solid.

One other notable benefit of Dalian’ new printer is its use of industrial grade sand as its print material. At a price of about $163 per ton, this new machine might not just be the largest printer in the world, it might have the cheapest print material to boot.

 

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