I”ve been doing a lot of blogging about the SculptCAD Rapid Artist Project lately, and that project involves artists creating digital sculpture using 3D modeling software and then printing the artwork with a 3D printer. These works were limited in size to something you could wrap your arms around.
This 3D printer is many orders of magnitude larger than any I’ve ever encountered. Very cool, and with very interesting potential uses.
From the second link:
An Italian inventor, Enrico Dini, chairman of the company Monolite UK Ltd, has developed a huge three-dimensional printer called D-Shape that can print entire buildings out of sand and an inorganic binder. The printer works by spraying a thin layer of sand followed by a layer of magnesium-based binder from hundreds of nozzles on its underside. The glue turns the sand to solid stone, which is built up layer by layer from the bottom up to form a sculpture, or a sandstone building.
The D-shape printer can create a building four times faster than it could be built by conventional means, and reduces the cost to half or less. There is little waste, which is better for the environment, and it can easily “print” curved structures that are difficult and expensive to build by other means. Dini is proving the technology by creating a nine cubic meter pavilion for a roundabout in the town of Pontedera.
Hit the second link for video of a 3D printer in action.