Tessa’s Weekly Picks – Large Scale 3D Printing


Tessa Blokland  


3D printing is a great technique for small detailed parts and objects, I have seen 3D printed metal parts that are unbelievably detailed. But what about large scale 3D printed parts? How large is large and what are the possibilities? Here are a few examples.

The part in the photo is a 4 meter-long 3D printed tool for the aerospace industry. By making this part, Thermwood and Boeing show that 3D printing makes it possible to manufacture large scale parts as well as save production costs, time and assembly costs.

This excavator is entirely 3D printed! Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator) started as ‘a prototype to demonstrate what’s possible in terms of large-scale additive materials technologies, and proved without a doubt that it is feasible to 3D print with metal alloys.’

Another example of full-size 3d printed metal objects are the 3d printed ships propellers (also top image), produced by RAMLAB (Rotterdam Additive Manufacturing LAB). During the tests, the WAAMpellers, as the propellers were called, displayed the same behavior as a conventional casted propeller, proving that 3D printing is a relevant technique for the maritime industry as well.

Featured here in the past, is the 3d printed metal bridge, designed by Joris Laarman and produced by MX3D. With this project, Laarman and MX3D wanted to prove that it is possible to 3D print on location. The digital model also proved to be safe and solid as calculated.

The last 3D printed large scale project was done by Sciaky for Lockheed Martin. The size of the titanium domes is 1.2 meters wide and 10 centimeters thick. ‘The domes are reportedly the most complicated part of the tank to produce, with conventional techniques wasting more than 80 percent of the material used’. Thanks to 3D printing there is an enormous reduction in the use of material, costs and time of production.

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_Large Scale 3D Printing

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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