CTVNews.ca Staff Published Friday, February 23, 2018 10:46PM EST Last Updated Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:38AM EST
He’s been planning it for the past two years, but Randy Janes of Saskatoon finally has the camper of his dreams.
Janes developed a 3D-printed camper in what has been billed as not only the world’s largest 3D-printed camper, but also one of the largest indoor 3D-printed objects ever.
The print took nine-and-a-half days with North America’s biggest 3D printer. James and his printing team now have a functioning prototype of the camper.
“It’s kind of surreal,” James told CTV Saskatoon. “I had the thought of walking into it when I designed it on my kitchen table and I got it to work.”
The camper stands at four metres tall and 272 kilograms. It is essentially one large piece of plastic, which Janes says solves a lot of issues in the RV industry.
“(RV owners) invest a lot of money into their RV and within five, 10, 15 years, three quarters of that investment is either rotted or molded away,” he said. “With my structure you wouldn’t get any of that.”
The camper is also fully customizable and can even include a hole for ice fishing. It will include a full kitchen and bathroom.
Janes expects the camper to hit the market by the end of the year.
A collaborative effort in Beijing, China is hoping to realize what could eventually be the world’s largest 3D printed structure. The structure, called the Rise Pavilion, is still currently in progress and is up against Beijing’s own 3D printed Vulcan Pavilion, the current holder of the Guinness World Record for world’s largest 3D printed structure.
Various groups, including Chinese RISE Education Group, Edelman, DeFacto, and Beijing uCRobotics Technology have been working together to create this 3D printed structure using FDM 3D printing technologies and biodegradable PLA filament. So far, the impressive structure, which resembles a flower from above, has used 1.8 tons of filament (the equivalent of about 600,000 meters), and measures 3.4 meters in height and spans over 100 square meters.
Beijing based uCRobotics, who took take of the 3D printing, reportedly took 45 days to complete the entire print job, which consisted of 3D printing individual hollow blocks, which were then assembled by teams of helpers. The 3D printed structure is made up of five main parts which resemble petals. Each petal, for its part, is made up of a number of blocks, colored black or white, and ranging in size from small, to medium, to large which are stacked on on top of the other. The final structure will be made up of 5370 blocks and is expected to take 6 days for full assembly.
For those interested in laying their eyes upon this large 3D printed structure, it will be unveiled and presented between August 21st and September 6th at the Longhu Era building in the Daxing District in Beijing. Of course, as the structure is only on display for such a short time, it has been constructed with modularity in mind and can be built and rebuilt by simply removing individual blocks.
Amazingly, to keep the project as eco-friendly as possible and not to let the hours of 3d printing and tons of filament go to waste, the organizers will be giving away blocks from the 3D printed structure to guests when the display is over. The hollow bricks can then be used by guests in their homes as flower vases, or even small lamps. This will not only turn the structure into something new but will get its guests, and especially the younger generations, to think about up-cycling, manufacturing cycles, the potentials of multi-functional goods, and decreasing overall consumption.
The project was initiated by RISE Education, which every year invites students from all over China to come together to think about the future of health, transportation, society, education, design, and more.
Belgian 3D printing specialists Materialise hardly need introduction. The largest provider of high quality 3D printing services in Europe, they are especially known for taking on the hardest and largest 3D printing challenges – such as this 3D printed medical grade replica of Ötzi the Ice Man. They are also experts when it comes to medical 3D printing innovations, which is perfectly illustrated by this life-saving 3D printed tracheal splint. But Materialise is now ready for the next phase in their career, and are about to start construction on Europe’s largest and most modern 3D printing factory. Built in the Polish village of Bielany Wrocławskie (near Wrocław), it will allow them to cope with 3D printing projects of a much larger scale.
It’s a huge project that will cost several million zlotys (or several hundred thousand dollars) to complete. Construction, which is set to begin later this year, is planned to end in mid-2017. Once open, this 3D printing factory will employ about fifty people. Aside from 3D printing, the factory will also house a state-of-the-art post-production facility, where all kinds of manufactured items will be perfected in-house – making this a truly comprehensive 3D printing factory.
But of course you might wonder: why is a Belgian 3D printing specialist building a factory in Eastern Europe? In part, it will allow Materialise to become a leading player in the Eastern European 3D printing market. But more importantly, it’s because they already have a strong presence in Wrocław. Two years ago, Materialise acquired e-Prototypy, the leading Polish 3D printing provider at the time, who was known for providing a very wide range of 3D services.
That move in 2014 was already seen as an attempt to establish a strong presence in Poland, after Materialise previously did the same in the Czech Republic. “We see a lot of opportunities for growth in the Polish market and by joining Materialise, the e-Prototypy team looks forward to helping even more people in the region realize the benefits of the services and solutions we have to offer,” e-Prototypy co-founder Grzegorz Sworobowicz said at the time. “As part of Materialise, our customers will be given access to even better service with a larger range of 3D Printing technologies and they can benefit from Materialise’s 23 years of experience in this industry.”
As a result, Wrocław is already home to sales, accounting, IT and research and development departments, making it a logical location for this expansion. But according to local Materialise branch leader Piotr Adamczewski the effects of this new factory will be felt far beyond Poland as well. “We are concerned with maintaining a leading position in the global industry,” he said. “We expect to benefit from offering attractive prices, allowing us to more strongly compete in international markets while we are simultaneously improving our own technological and digital solutions.”
This new factory is thus a perfect opportunity for Materialise to extend their presence in the automotive, aerospace and medical industries. Materialise is already working with Airbus on 3D printed aircraft parts, and a larger factory will only contribute to the development of similar innovations. It will doubtlessly also strengthen their foothold in the consumer and design sectors.
But according to Adamczewski, they are particularly focused on medical care as well. “We are helping to develop new life-saving medical care solutions, in close collaboration with the surgeons themselves. One example of what we already achieved is the production of cardiac models for two patients in India – thanks to the 3D printed models, hitherto impossible surgeries could be meticulously planned and executed.” A lot more medical tools, all adapted to the individual needs of the patients, can thus be expected. Materialise is about to enter the next phase of their 3D printing life.