3D printing is here to stay. Every day we see articles that show us the latest accomplishment using 3D printers. From bridges printed entirely in 3D to 3D replicas of lost architecture or for something silly machines that print pizzas. We are fascinated and impressed by everything they can do, but still, regard them as something without real life application. In the field of architecture we see it as the next revolution that will save us the time spent on making models, but ... why limit it to only that?
Sliperiet, Umeå Arts Campus has developed a new type of 3D printer that features increased printing flexibility at a lower cost. Called Hangprinter. The system is suspended by a series of thin fishing lines, it does not require a frame or rails, but rather, it can be attached to any stable surface, for instance, a ceiling.
As a part of the +Project innovation initiative, the Hangprinter is in the process of making a “Tower of Babel,” a project that currently measures almost three-and-a-half meters tall, making it the tallest object the system has made, as well as “much taller than the scope of any commercially available large format printer.”
Invented by Torbjørn Ludvigsen, who began the project while a student at Umeå University, the Hangprinter’s design was originally formulated to reduce costs. “The frame or box was almost half the cost of the final 3D printer, and I thought I could do without it,” said Ludvigsen. Hangprinter can be put together for about 200 Euros.
A team of engineers at Autodesk have been pushing the limitations of conventional 3D printing -- not by redesigning the machines themselves, but by creating a network to harness their collective power. Autodesk's "Project Escher" is a new printing system that utilizes the power of several 3D printers at once to fabricate complex parts in unison, reports FastCoDesign. The new system can increase production speed by up to 90%.