The Australian company “Titomic” has completed mounting and commissioning of experimental large-format 3D printer of its own design. According to representatives of the enterprise, this is the world’s largest additive plant that prints with metals.
The Majority of existing 3D printers for printing with metals and alloys rely on sintering or melting materials using lasers or electron beams. Without any doubt such approach is viable but capacity is relatively low and there may be some undesirable side effects, for example, hot cracks. Titomic also relied on well-known technology of cold gas-dynamic spraying, developed in the mid-1980s by specialists from Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics SB RAS of the USSR.
Large-format 3D-printer Titomic is designed for printing parts from scratch. The printing of titanium bicycle frame takes only about 35 minutes, and experimental design area is 9x3x1.5 meters – terrific volume by standards of modern 3D printing, especially with metals. The productivity reaches 45 kg/h, while average laser 3D printer reaches about one kilogram per day. At the same time the plant is able to work with a wide variety of materials. Nevertheless the main emphasis is on titanium.