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This Record-Breaking 3D Printer Could Be the Future of Manufacturing

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This specialized 3D printer just received a record-breaking throughput for modern 3D printing It can create structures the size of a human adult in just a few hours

That’s printing about 7 millimeters per minute With this device, the team may have just cracked the code on how to utilize the technology as an efficient manufacturing tool This means we will finally have the fast, precise and versatile 3D printing device we have all been waiting for It just took a little bit of thermostatic control to get there Let’s rewind a bit

Firstly, this particular 3D printing process is called Stereolithography or SLA SLA printing is considered one of the higher-end 3D printing technologies because the objects can have smooth detailed features, with obvious precision, and can be made with a variety of materials They work by using a light-reactive thermoset resin, which, when exposed to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light, polymerizes So layer by layer, the object is solidified while pulled out vertically from a vat of resin As awesome as these printers are, researchers have had trouble making the machines larger and faster

CHAD MIRKIN: So here's the interesting thing when you go fast and you go large, you can really change the way we think about manufacturing If you really want to be able to make inroads, you want to be able to make large batches and large parts in addition to small parts That's what this printer allows you to do Their machine is known as HARP—short for high-area rapid printing Its success hinges on its innovative design, one that’s capable of thermostatic control of the giant vat of liquid

CHAD MIRKIN: We have a liquid, think of it as liquid Teflon, that basically flows over the glass window, that the light is shining through to generate the part that nonstick liquid is keeping the part from adhering to the window, allowing you to continuously print, which gives you speed, and it is removing the heat, as it's generated So we're almost unlimited in terms of size, and in principle With HARP’s fluorinated oil, it can do it with at least three different kinds: hard plastic, elastic rubber, or ceramic CHAD MIRKIN: We can make all sorts of materials that are important in the medical industry, we're talking about the dental industry to tennis shoes soles to car parts to airplane parts We can make construction parts, really almost anything that you can imagine and make out of polymer precursors and that's a lot of materials

” And its special features don’t stop there HARP is also able to print both large and small items, which is unprecedented in the 3D printing world Usually the size of the printer determines the tasks that it can handle and it varies from waiting for hours to days for a final product All together, HARP is reportedly said to be the largest and highest throughput printer in its class So, where do we go from here? CHAD MIRKIN: The amazing thing about this technology is the pace at which it's being developed

We're going to have commercial printers within 18 months We are now on a Gen three printer that actually prints even higher quality structures than what we have in the science paper Pretty exciting and really rapid development Up until this point, 3D printing has been restricted practically, while remaining powerful in its conception With a printer like this, the team could be spearheading a future without limitations

If you liked this episode, check out our other one about a light printer that instead of printing layer-by-layer, it does it all at once using nothing but a projector and some high performance resin Make sure to subscribe, thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you next time

Source: Youtube

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