Jun 26, 2015 | By Alec

Generally speaking, 3D printers come in all shapes and sizes, though some stand out more than others. After all, not all 3D printers are large enough to build gigantic cement structures, but most that are are unique experimental models not yet ready for marketing. However, one Israeli startup called MASSIVit is working hard on a 3D printer that could bring large scale 3D printing to the massive. And as their name suggests, their machine is truly huge. With a build space of .5m x 1.2m x 1.8m (or 4ft x 5ft x 6ft), they can actually 3D print life-sized human statues. Envisioning a wide variety of applications, the Israeli developers have just emphasized its potential by 3D printing an entire car body in a single piece.

This startup MASSIVit has only been around since 2013, but has been founded by a group of industry veterans with years and years of experience in the 3D printing industry. Having convinced numerous investors about their plans, they are aiming for the top and have three excellent prototype machines to help them get there. Key in that entire process is the MASSIVit system, what they call the largest, fastest and most advanced large format 3D printing solution.

And that claim is not just an ambitious statement, as the Israeli engineers have actually developed a unique 3D printing technology. Called GDP 3D printing (short for Gel Dispensing Printing), they believe their upcoming 3D printers are capable of igniting a market explosion in the 3D printing industry and beyond it. And by the face of it, that could really happen. ‘At the heart of the GDP process is Massivit’s unique printing gel & smart support. It may seem like the technology is the same as used in other filament-based 3D printing systems, but it is completely different. The GDP utilizes movement similar to what is used in FDM systems, while working with a UV sensitive material that hardness when exposed to UV light,’ they explain on their website. And as you can see in the clip below, that is essentially what GDP printing is all about; functioning as a Cartesian 3D printer, it just combines the advantages of resin 3D printing with FDM techniques.

This allows them to acquire a delicate balance between movement speed, curing, and the material properties of their ‘filament’. ‘All of these together enable the printing of relatively thick layers with linear movement of the dispensing and curing engine at up to 1m per second,’ they say, which is of course an insane speed. It opens the way to 3D printing much larger objects, from machine casings, to furniture and much more. Combined with that large build volume, these MASSIVEit machine will be a huge hit indeed. ‘As an example it would take ONLY 5 hours to print a simple sculpture of a standing human being (‘Adam’) in full size, and the printer can be utilized at the same time to also print another object – Perhaps printing Eve?,’ they speculate.

The material at the center of this new approach to 3D printing is MASSIVEit gel, a UV sensitive polymer. ‘The material is non-flammable, and has good structural strength similar to ABS materials commonly used in 3D printing. The relatively low fluidity parameters of the gel create high advantages when building non-vertical walls, and Smart Support structures or printing ‘support-less’, they explain. And that latter option is very interesting indeed, as it saves a lot of material. The entire system is patented.

This obviously opens the way to some serious large scale 3D printing, as the Israeli engineers emphasize by 3D printing the body of a car. As reported in Israeli media, they 3D printed the body of a Strati car by Local Motors, with a bit of help from design specialists from Autodesk. Autodesk’s Spark design platform was used for this version of the Strati, which will be on display at EcoMotion, a gathering of people from the Smart Transportation industry.

Lior Zeno, community manager of EcoMotion, told reporters that innovations like this are exactly what can lead to the next generation of creative design. ‘Local Motors and the printed car is only one example of the opportunities that will be available in the near future. The collaboration between Local Motors and Autodesk shows the huge possibilities for the smart transportation community in Israel.’ But let’s just first focus on getting this fantastic 3D printing technology to the public.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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Julio wrote at 6/26/2015 11:41:38 PM:

Concerned citizen, Please refrain from making those comments here. This is not a political blog. Besides that, it seems you know very little of history and you are very prone to marketing.

concerned citizen wrote at 6/26/2015 4:53:29 PM:

Just a shame that such a development will ultimatly assist in genocide ( via tax revenues collected by the Israeli state)

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