As versatile as it is, 3D printing can be a dreadfully slow process, especially when it comes to printing large objects. Manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries don’t have hundreds of hours to wait around.
The software company Autodesk may have solved the problem with Project Escher, as Co.Design reports.
The project is a network of 3D printing bots. Each bot prints a portion of a large object until it is completed as one continuous piece. The Autodesk team says that Project Escher is 80% to 90% more efficient than standard 3D printing, and that a network of five bots can print something up to 4.5-times faster than a single printer.
"If you're in aerospace, automotive, or construction, no one has 100 hours to print out just one thing," Kimberley Losey, Project Escher’s product marketing lead, said to Co.Design. "At that scale, there's just tons of constraints for conventional additive manufacturing. So we thought, how can we solve that problem?"
Eventually, developers hope Project Escher will be able to print customized objects and be used in a automated assembly line.