May 30, 2014

A company in Sanya, China has announced the development of the nation's largest full color FDM 3D printer capable of printing large objects such as SUV, boat, sculptures etc.

This massive 3D printer has a build envelope of 3.8 x 2.4 ×1.8m (12'6″ X 7'10″ X 5'11″). Similar as other Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer, the printer extrudes and deposits molten thermoplastic or other material in layers to built parts from bottom up.

According to project leader Chen Min Qiao of Sanya Industrial Innovation Design Center, the team spent the last six months developing this giant 3D printer. It weighs 15 tons and its size is adjustable - the x axis of the printer can be expanded to 6m for making larger objects. It takes around 8 hours to print a ceramic vase of 1m (H) x 80cm (W). For higher resolution it might take 3 days to complete the process.

At present, China has several industrial 3D printers, capable of printing metal objects up to 6 m in diameter. This new printer is by far the largest FDM 3D printer in the country.

The advantage of a giant 3D printer is its ability to rapidly create large, industrial size models and 1:1 scale prototypes. One notable benefit of Sanya's new printer is its use of industrial grade material. "All industrial grade powder or polymeric materials in granular form that melt under 450 degree Celsius can be used as 'ink' for this printer," said Chen. That means a large variety of low cost printing material can be used to print full color 3D objects. Chen believes, this giant 3D printer can be used for mass production as well since it can use raw material, with the cheapest being about few dollars per kg.

Project leader Chen Min Qiao

The new 3D printer will officially launch in June, the retail price will be around 2M RMB (US$320K, EUR235K). Chen said the company is planning to develop some cheaper and smaller versions for small businesses or individuals. According to Chen, the price for printing sculptures using this giant printer is not cheap: it costs at least RMB50,000 ($8,000) per sqm. But compared to the traditional method, this price is still reasonable, Chen said.

Posted in 3D Printers


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lassi wrote at 6/19/2014 8:26:57 AM:

it uses pellets, it's implied in the story. (and possibly paste extruder too or maybe they just extrude it with the same type extruder.. since, why not? you could use it for making door panels etc. but claiming it to be full color is like saying that reprap darwin is full color because you could insert a full color filament into it. it's just simpler to get different color layer areas if you just dump the different color pellets into the feeder..

Randallo wrote at 6/3/2014 5:54:53 PM:

Not even close to Full Color. Full color means you can get photo-realism like the Mcor, Zcorp and almost the Connex.

MarcC wrote at 6/1/2014 6:18:36 PM:

Hope the paint finish does not reflect the quality of the rest of the machine?

Paucus wrote at 5/31/2014 9:47:03 PM:

How is full color? And if so, why show only pictures of objects made with a single extruder? It is not clear if it uses filament, pellets, bars or what as the build material. How big is the nozzle? Why does it need to weigh so much?

Anja wrote at 5/31/2014 2:39:31 AM:

@Julio: You are right, typo, it is tons.

Julio wrote at 5/30/2014 5:24:19 PM:

I believe the weight is some tonnes more than you said. You said 15Kg

we23 wrote at 5/30/2014 10:33:12 AM:

It is huge. But who and where need it? Anybody has an idea?

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