To coincide with the launch of their new 2016 Q7, Audi has launched a “Map of Greatness“. The interactive site displays a spinning globe dotted with unique innovators working on their own amazing technologies, as an attempt to lump the Audio Q7 with the greatness seen all over the world at the moment. Dispersed throughout the auto manufacturer’s Map are: Tom Kristensen, nine-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race; underwater explorer Bill Stone; the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of blue LED light, Shuji Nakamura, and Enrico Dini, the inventor of D-Shape, what may be the first 3D printer of large scale structures.
As an innovator of house 3D printing, Dini has sacrificed a lot in his life in the pursuit of a sustainable, large-scale 3D printer. The resulting D-Shape printer has a 6m by 6m aluminum frame with 300 nozzles used to bind a mixture of sand and magnesium oxide into a solid shape, layer by layer. This printing process is purported to be a sustainable method for building large structures, as it can rely on naturally occurring materials like sand found in the immediate environment of a construction site. In 2009, the D-Shape system was used to fabricate the world’s largest 3D printed sculpture, at that time: a 3m x 3m x 3m tall pavilion called Radiolaria.
More interesting that what Dino and D-Shape have achieved is what they might achieve. Around this time two years ago, D-Shape had begun experiments with the European Space Agency to test the feasibility of 3D printing structures on the moon using regolith, aka moon dust. The company performed a test print on simulation regolith, proving that printing with the material was possible.
For the invention of large-scale 3D printing, Dini belongs to be on Audi’s Map of Greatness and a whole lot more. For now, though, you can watch Audi’s interview with him below: