The Financial Times reports on a recent development announced by the Australian company Titomic. Apparently, Titomic claims to have build the world’s largest 3D printer. Not only is it the world’s largest 3D printer – but it also prints in metal as well.
This printer is described as “bus-sized” and has the ability to 3D print “complex aircraft wing parts of up to nearly nine meters in length.” Additionally, this printer is capable of printing “metal bike frames in around 25 minutes.”
In today’s 3D printing industry, this advancement could be huge. Gartner, a research company, “predicts three-quarters of aircraft will fly with 3D printed components by 2021. Also, a fifth of the world’s top 100 consumer goods companies will use 3D printing to create custom products by then.”
Titomic’s Chief Executive Jeff Lang is ecstatic: “only a year ago people thought it would not be possible to use this type of printing process to make large-scale metal parts for industry. Now we are doing it larger and faster than anyone else…3D printing can provide an exponential increase in the speed of production lines. One of our 3D printers can do the work of 50 people. It could enable, for example, US bicycle manufacturers, which tend to manufacture in cheap-labor zones, to begin to bring back local production.”
Titomic was able to develop this technology with the help of Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Although Titomic claims their latest 3D printer is the largest, “it is possible the Chinese defense establishment has developed similar printers.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of The Financial Times