Giant 3D Printer Can Print Life-Sized Human Statues

We’ve seen a few makers 3D scan themselves, and use those to print their own action figures or statuettes. Some have gone so far as building life-sized statues composed of many 3D printed parts. [Ivan Miranda] is no regular maker though, and his custom 3D printer is big enough that he can print himself a life-sized statue in one go.

The printer is a gargantuan thing, using an aluminium frame and a familiar Cartesian layout. It boasts a build volume of 1110 mm x 1110 mm x 2005 mm, making it more than big enough to print human-sized statues. Dogs, cats, and some great apes may be possible, too.

Many of the components are 3D printed, including the various braces and adapters that hold the frame together. The build uses NEMA 23 stepper motors, with Duet3D hardware running the show. Notably, it uses V-wheels for the Z-axis, as linear rails would be prohibitively expensive at the sizes required.

[Ivan] shows off the printer by having it produce a statue of his body at 1:1 scale. It’s not a perfect print, with some layer shifts and an awkward moments where the filament supply was interrupted. It took 108 hours in total, with 76 hours of that being actual print time, and is made up of 4375 layers. Despite its flaws, its an incredibly impressive way to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine.

Eager to build such a printer for yourself? [Ivan] will sell you the design files for a reasonable fee.

[Ivan]’s giant printer was once a large tabletop affair; just look how far it’s come. He’s even come up with a system for using smaller printers to create large-scale construction kits, too. We can’t wait to see what mad project he comes up with next. Video after the break.

29 thoughts on “Giant 3D Printer Can Print Life-Sized Human Statues

    1. You’re comparing apples and oranges. “Cartesian” is the coordinate system (X, Y, Z). “CoreXY” is the belt configuration. These things are completely independent.

      There are multiple belt configurations that each allow for the same coordinate systems. As far as I’m aware, there is no belt configuration that would limit the number of possible coordinate systems because the two things are completely independent. If your belt configuration allows for Cartesian coordinates, you can easily choose polar coordinates as well with it.

      1. You’re being too literal. That’s like saying it’s not a printer because printers use ink, or that a Delta is not Delta but Cartesian because of its internal coordinate system that is used for triangulation. When Cartesian is used as a term for a 3D printer type it refers to the layout of the belts, as stated incorrectly in the article: “Cartesian layout” when it is really CoreXY.

    2. You’ll find that CoreXY printers are completely Cartesian in the sense that each motor provides for motion along an axis perpendicular to the other two. However, the resulting axes are 45 degrees offset from the printer frame, but with a simple linear transform, you can set that right.

        1. Such big machine for PPS, that would require redesign for thermal resistance for the in-chamber parts, as they will be subject to pretty high temperatures.

          Thought. Single-component chassis is nice but once it breaks you have problems. Divide it into sub-components, where you can replace the damaged ones. Though it may cause a weight penalty that may not be acceptable everywhere.

          Another thought. 5-axis (or even simple, for simpler designs) head on a robot arm for carbon/glass/kevlar prepreg tow winding, and the printout on a rotary table. Print the mandrel, wind up the rest, cure, then optionally dissolve or melt the mandrel.

  1. Seems he does the classic reduction of size of the head by 10% (otherwise we perceive it as ‘wrong’ experience tells us) but he kept the body the standard size.
    The HaD writer cleverly writes “statue of his body at 1:1 scale” and so by using the term ‘body’ avoids the accusation of misstating things.

    Anyway, this is all cute and well but who is going to finance all that filament?

    1. Objects of this scale deserve a pellet-fed extruder. Filaments are good but costlier. The cost-of-extruder vs cost-of-material pretty much dictates filaments for small machines. The equation result may look different for big machines.

  2. It may look like a simple scaleup of a desktop-class machine.
    However, such scaleups are rarely simple. The motion system can be pretty much the same, except it should be faster in order for the operator to not grow moss on his northern side before the head moves to the other side of the machine. General deposition speed should also be taken care about, for the same reason.
    Then there are the thermal issues, and the material shrinkage. Look at the difference between printing a small part from ABS (will work) and a big part (much more likely to peel and curl and misbehave). Now multiply this many times.
    From my side, the machine is fairly impressive.
    For more fun, the head could be swapped for a geopolymer extruder, for making concrete-like objects.

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