World record for largest 3D printed object

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory has entered the Guinness record books with the successful printing of the world’s largest 3D printed object.

Made from carbon fiber and ABS thermoplastic composite materials, the new tool measures 17.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 ft (5.3 x 1.7 x 0.5 m) and weighs around 1,650 lb (748 kg). To meet the requirements of the record, the item needed to be one solid piece of 10.6 cubic ft (0.3 cubic m), which a Guinness World Records judge confirmed at a ceremony. “The recognition by Guinness World Records draws attention to the advances we’re making in large-scale additive manufacturing composites research,” says Vlastimil Kunc, leader of [Oak Ridge] team. “Using 3D printing, we could design the tool with less material and without compromising its function.”

Of course, the tool wasn’t designed just for world record glory: printable in just 30 hours, it’s an impressive time and cost saver, considering the existing metal version currently takes about three months to manufacture. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted text illustrates in one sentence why there is a push toward 3D printing. It is cheaper, faster, and will eventually provide much greater flexibility.

One comment

  • Localfluff

    I think one can add “higher quality” to the generic advantages with 3D printing, since there is (potential to) control the material of a solid object all through at a microscopic level. A melted metal poured risks acquiring internal defects from how it slushes, how it vibrates while cooling, how fast it cools from different directions, impurities. I bet this record won’t hold for many weeks.

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