Massivit to Demo Massive 3D Printer at drupa 2016
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on May 04, 2016 |
The large-scale Massivit 1800 3D printer will officially launch at drupa 2016.

When it comes to large-scale 3D printing, plastic extrusion the likes of BigRep or enormous concrete 3D printers come to mind. But one Israeli company has a unique approach to printing large objects. And, for the first time yet, they'll be showing their technology in public, as Massivit 3D plans to demonstrate their Massivit 1800 3D printer at drupa 2016 this coming May and June.

The Massivit 1800 uses proprietary GDP technology to 3D print large objects very quickly. (Image courtesy of Massivit 3D.)
The Massivit 1800 uses proprietary GDP technology to 3D print large objects very quickly. (Image courtesy of Massivit 3D.)
 The Massivit 1800 3D printer is capable of producing objects up to 1.5 x 1.2 x 1.8 m (4 x 5 x 6 ft) in size at impressive speeds of 1,000 mm (39 in) per sec on the x- and y-axes and 35 cm (1 ft) per hour on the z-axis. And it accomplishes this all without support structures. The system can pull this off thanks to the company’s proprietary gel-dispensing printing (GDP) technology, which deposits a cold photoreactive gel that is instantly hardened by a UV light located on the print head.

Because the system doesn't have to wait for the heating and cooling of plastic material, as occurs with fused deposition modeling, it is able to move much more quickly. Another benefit this process brings is strong interlayer adhesion, brought about by the fact the layers are cured together, reducing the porosity of the printed object. The minimization of support structures also ensures smoother prints, without wasting material. The use of dual printheads also allows for the fabrication of two large objects within the same print area. With a cost of $100 per kilogram, the printing material is relatively inexpensive as well. 3D printing layers 3 mm thick, the Massivit 1800 may produce noticeable layering, which can be coated in paint to minimize visibility.

One other drawback to the GDP technique is that the material used is not robust for most functional applications. Therefore, Massivit has been targeting the signage and advertising markets, hence the debut of the machine at the world’s largest 2D printing fair. So far, this effort has paid off, seeing Massivit partner with Carisma, responsible for large-scale advertisements on the sides of double-decker buses, along with other large-format agencies like PriscoDigital and ES Digital. The benefit for these businesses would be the ability to 3D print enormous marketing displays.

Word about Massivit’s technology has spread in the 3D printing community, particularly since Stratasys, one of the leading players in the industry, invested an undisclosed amount in the company. Now, however, it will be possible to see the printer in person for the first time at drupa in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 31 to June 10.

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