Wednesday, June 24, 2009

World's Largest 3D Printer

Radiolaria represents a micro-architecture experiment developed by Andrea Morgante of Shiro Studio in association with D-Shape. In 2008 D-Shape successfully developed the very first 3D mega printer that allows seamless and free-form construction of monolithic structures on a large scale. CAD-CAM software operates the plotter during the printing process. The external lattice structure holds the printer head, which represents the real core of this new technology. Despite its large size, the structure is very light and it can be easily transported, assembled and dismantled in a few hours by two workmen. The process begins from the 3D data: the computer design obtained is converted into an STL file and is imported into the software that controls D-Shape’s printer head. The printing process takes place in a continuous work session: during the printing of each section a ‘structural ink’ is deposited by the printer’s nozzles on the sand. The solidification process takes 24 hours to complete. The printing starts from the bottom of the construction and rises up in sections of 5-10mm each: upon contact the solidification process starts and a new layer is added. Read more...

Friday, May 15, 2009

3D Printing Ceramics

About five years ago, Mark Ganter, a UW mechanical engineering professor and longtime practitioner of 3-D printing, became frustrated with the high cost of commercial materials and began experimenting with his own formulas. He and his students gradually developed a home-brew approach, replacing a proprietary mix with artists' ceramic powder blended with sugar and maltodextrin, a nutritional supplement. Ganter also gives his recipes for printing slips. Read more at Science Daily.