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Turning a shipping container into a 3D printer

Built inside a 20-foot shipping container placed on its end, the Kamermaker – ” room maker” in Dutch – is one of the largest 3D printers we’ve ever seen. Able to print objects as big as 2 meter square and 3.5 meters high, the Kamermaker is designed to print huge objects including furniture, architectural elements, and even entire rooms.

The Kamermaker is a collaboration between Architectburo DUS and Utilimaker and the result of wanting to build the world’s largest 3D printer pavilion. Built inside a stainless steel-clad shipping container, the Kamermaker features a scaled-up version of the X, Y, and Z axes you’d find in any other 3D printer. The only change is a scaling up of current designs, allowing it to print small wind turbines covering its surface or, theoretically, a life-size TARDIS.

Because using traditional plastic filament would be prohibitively expensive, the Utilimaker team chose to extrude plastic pellets on the fly as it is used. There’s an excellent video of the filament extruder here along with a walk-through of the machine in operation after the break.

Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    I have always toyed with the idea of converting a garage into a huge MakerBot Replicator but this is even cooler. Transportation of the device is a possible feature on this one. Awesome!

    Andrew
    http://www.youtube.com/user/andrewupandabout/videos

  2. Matt says:

    That is cool but sooo sloooow.

    • Max says:

      Just what I was thinking. You can print enormous things, anywhere as long as you don’t mind that it would be quicker to just wait until you didn’t need them any more than to wait for them to finish printing.
      I wonder if you could print car body panels with it. If you had a kit car type vehicle you could print off different panels every now and then for a different look to your car. Might be kind of cool but would take quite a bit of work to smooth them back from the raw print.

    • daid303 says:

      I was there, it was on “slow speed” mode, because they are still testing. The actual final print speed will be a lot faster.
      Joris told me the mechanics can withstand up to 6m/s speeds. But the steppers cannot handle that.

    • aztraph says:

      it would probably go quicker if they could do multiple axis printing, engage about 4-5 printer heads simultaneously, but that’s a headache i don’t want to try on

  3. words says:

    Utilimaker -> Ultimaker?

  4. mur1010 says:

    Next step: make it a 4D (hyperspace, not space-time) printer, so we can build things that are bigger inside than outside (TARDIS)

  5. Hack Man says:

    Awesome – how is beam deflection at those scales?

    • daid303 says:

      They are using a specially designed CoreXY frame. Not sure how much real deflection there is, but the thing is sturdy as hell. So I would say “none”.

      It’s not something someone hacked together in there garage one weekend, they have had a long planning phase.

  6. Tron9000 says:

    when it comes up, go on the channel 4 webite (uk) and watch the second episode of series 8. House made out of wood, but the parts were CNC’d out of an on site printer in a shipping container. no need to wait for missing parts, just print your own!

  7. Zee says:

    Looks like it has massive warping issues but they could be mitigated by using hot spotlights.

    • daid303 says:

      Andrew from faberdashery was there, and he suggested some kind of foam addition to avoid the warping. But yes, warping was one of the major issues they are tackling right now.

  8. Polymath says:

    Holy crap. Don’t like your bathroom? Print a new one… whole.

  9. Polymath says:

    Don’t like your bathroom? Print a new one… whole.

  10. NateOcean says:

    When I see those people unknowingly lined up outside that shipping container, I can only think of the closing line from a famous movie nearly 40 years old:

    “Soylent Green is people!”

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