Laser 3D Printing Breakthrough in China
The Chinese Dalian Municipal Government reports that a team at the Dalian University of Technology have developed a trial version of a new type of 3D printer: with an industrial scale output of some 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.8 meters! The 3D Printer uses laser technology, a furnace, and processes good old-fashioned sand…
Professor Yao Shan of the university team has said that this technology utilizes a process of casting moulds for large, complex, industrial prototypes. With its unique technique of “contour scanning” the team claims that processing times are shortened by 35% relative to volumetric output, thus reducing manufacturing costs by some 40% compared with other types of additive laser technologies.
Put another way, the processing time of this 3D printing method is proportional to the unit of surface area of the part, whilst the processing time of traditional 3D printing is proportional to the volume of the part.
This new twist on large-scale 3D printing holds two national invention patents in China. The material for this 3D printer is common coated sand for industrial use, which costs less than 1,000 Yuan (USD$163) per ton.