Apr 18, 2016 | By Andre

The evolution of 3D printing on a large scale is ongoing and there are several approaches being developed along the way. Some feel it’s more practical to print in segments and then piece it all together like a puzzle similar to what Emerging Objects did with their coment pavilion. Then there are others that feel the only way to go big is to make a really big 3D printer (check out our recent Top 20 Biggest 3D Printers List for more examples).

It appears Italian 3D printer startup WASP is continuing down its already charted path that a big printer is the way to go (they're at number 4 on the above list) with their new DeltaWASP Pellet 3D printer. Unlike their gargantuan 3D printer, this upcoming Delta 3D printer is getting prepped for commercial release with all the important characteristics of good 3D printing in mind.

Massimo Morettie of WASP writes that, “since the beginning WASP has been interested in self production of relief goods. So WASP’s development and innovation have been proceed in that direction. A good printer, accurate and speedy, able to print a product rendering is an interesting result for the Industrial field and Design World, but a printer that could make directly the final product could be utilized in digital handcraft and other jobs. These are the bases of what we named Maker Economy.”

Considerations of accuracy, speed and cost are important when dealing with a product that is designed for real-world use (and not just a proof-of-concept device like some of the massive 3D printers out there today). By using a delta 3D printer design at its core, the team avoids the vibration and speed limitations present had they gone with the more traditional FDM 3D printer style. For the DeltaWASP Pellet 3D printer, they focused on the ability to produce objects up to 1 meter tall with a nozzle between 4 and 10 mm in diameter.

Material cost reduction considerations were also implemented in that instead of sourcing custom filament for their machine they use the less expensive PLA pellets. The savings from this approach are apparent right away when you consider a 1KG spool of filament will run you around $35 while the equivalent in pellets is less than $4 for the same amount. And considering the machine can consume up to 10kg of PLA plastic in a span of 8 hours, the savings add up really fast.

So what on earth does one print with a mega-sized 3D printer anyway? Well, the team behind the DeltaWASP Pellet 3D printer started by working with furniture designers with a particular focus on chairs. And as you can see in the line of chairs already produced by the machine, you can see this printer shows promise in what its designed for.

Massimo Moretti is excited about what they’ve been able to accomplish so far by saying that “we are very proud of our results and we expect further evolution. We’re materializing a new model of development based on common knowledge.”

In the short term, their 3D printer is scheduled for release online in the near future. This is a step in the right direction for the Maker community that’s for sure. As being able to create large scale items at a low cost only pushes the evolution of 3D printing forward another tick. And if previous innovations in 3D printing by the WASP team is any indication, they'll likely be making more and more of these steps as time goes on.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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