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China Invests in Industrial 3D Printing


Last summer, “a team of Chinese researchers led by Professor Yao Shan unveiled the world’s largest 3D printer with a maximum processing size of 1.8 meters.”

The Voice of Russia reports Professor Yao’s printer “uses a ‘contour scanning’ technology that shortens processing time by 35% and reduces manufacturing costs by 40%.”

With traditional 3D printing, processing time is “proportional to the volume of a part, while in Professor Yao’s printer, processing time is proportional to the unit area of a part, speeding print efficiency to 5-15 times that of traditional 3D printers.  The material for this printer is common coated sand less than 1,000 yuan ($163) per ton.”

However, the Chinese government’s ambition is still higher.  Soon, the country plans to unveil the largest 3D printer yet, “capable of printing metal objects up to 6 m in diameter.  If it works as it is supposed to, China will be able to print out the frame of virtually any automobile.” 

For now, though, China’s government “has several industrial 3D printers, which it has been using successfully to manufacture titanium alloy landing gear for jets, bearing frames of aircraft as well as parts used in satellites, rockets, and power plants.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of the Voice of Russia

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