3D printing huge objects will impact the world economy not small hobbyist crap

China is investing heavily in 3D printing, just like those in the U.S. and Europe.

In June, China announced a gigantic 3D printer, which they claimed was the world’s largest at the time, with a 1.8 meter build diameter. Basically the thing could print out a nice sized bathroom vanity if you wanted it to.

Southern Fan Co. (As Translated from Chinese), is completing a printer this month which will be able to print out metal objects approximately 6 meters, or 18 feet in diameter and 10 meters long (33 feet). The metal parts can weigh up to 300 tons.

The company will be able to print out the entire frame of just about any four wheeled automobile on Earth.

There is a 3D printer in China for large titanium parts. They are fabbing the titanium main frame of the windshield of a domestically made C919 passenger aircraft. A Huaming team used 3D printing technology to make the part. It only took 55 days and cost less than $ 200,000. Normally they would order from Europe and it would cost $ 2,000,000 for production by die forging and delivery would take up to two years.

There are already several large scale industrial 3D printers in China, including the one in the image above, in which a team at Beihang University has been able to print out several complex titanium alloy structures. This includes parts used in satellites, rockets, and nuclear power plants. These are actual parts, and not prototypes for parts. Also larger parts such as titanium alloy landing gear for jets, as well as large main force bearing frames of air crafts have been, and continue to be produce by this printer.

Airbus in Europe has a project to develop fabrication of large passenger plane wings. They are needing to develop new materials.

Carbon nanotube reinforced polymers are being developed.

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