A research team at Northwestern University has developed a record-breaking 3D printer that is bigger, faster, and more precise and it can print an object the size of an adult human in just a few hours. Using HARP (high-area rapid printing), the new technology allows for an unprecedented quantity of high-resolution manufacture products on-demand.
This 3D printer prototype is 13-feet tall with a 2.5 square-foot print bed. It can print about half a yard in an hour, which is record-breaking in the 3D printing world. In other words, this 3D printing beast can print single, large parts, or many different small parts at the same time.
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Using stereolithography, a type of 3D printing that converts liquid plastic into solid objects, it prints vertically and uses projected ultraviolet light to cure the liquid resins into hardened plastic. The result is hard, elastic, or ceramic pieces that are “mechanically robust” and can be used in the airplane and auto industries, dentistry, orthotics, and fashion.