Up Close With the WASP 3 MT

The huge WASP 3 MT multi-tool making machine

The huge WASP 3 MT multi-tool making machine

Days ago I wrote about the massive WASP 3 MT massive multi-tool making machine. Now I’ve seen this item in person and it is totally amazing. 

It’s huge, as you can see in the top image. But what you might not see is its multi-function capability. This machine can do three things:

The WASP 3 MT printing plastic

The WASP 3 MT printing plastic

It can 3D print in plastic. 

A sample concrete 3D print from the WASP 3 MT

A sample concrete 3D print from the WASP 3 MT

It can 3D print in concrete or cold extrudable materials.

The WASP 3 MT's milling head attached - but not running for safety purposes!

The WASP 3 MT's milling head attached - but not running for safety purposes!

It can CNC mill objects. 

I’ve seen small versions of these “multi-tool” devices before, but none were nearly as large as the WASP 3 MT. 

Priced starting at a surprisingly inexpensive (for the size)  €18,000 (USD$19,800), the WASP 3 MT is a powerful device. 

There’s one other very interesting characteristic of this machine: it uses pellets as input for plastic 3D printing. 

The plastic pellet hopper at the top of the WASP 3 MT

The plastic pellet hopper at the top of the WASP 3 MT

Here we can see the hopper, hidden above the extruder. To operate, you merely keep the hopper filled with plastic pellets, which are far less expensive than 3D printer filament (which, by the way, is MADE FROM THE SAME KIND of pellets!) 

Sample plastic pellets used in the WASP 3 MT

Sample plastic pellets used in the WASP 3 MT

This is incredibly important for a 3D printer the size of the WASP 3 MT, as the prints will be very large. You will use a lot of plastic and you might as well lower the price of that plastic. 

Of course you must ensure you put the same kind of plastic pellets into the hopper during printing, otherwise the nozzle may clog. Imagine if you were 3D printing PLA plastic pellets at a temperature of +200C and then mixed in some ABS pellets, which melt at a much higher temperature. Instant clog! 

But what you can do is mix colors within the same plastic! By simply mixing a constant ratio of colors in a separate bucket, you can develop your own unique colors for a print. Just be sure to use the same ratio whenever you refill the hopper. 

A curious 3D printed vase from the WASP 3 MT that included rope in the materials hopper

A curious 3D printed vase from the WASP 3 MT that included rope in the materials hopper

But wait - there’s more you can do! There’s nothing stopping you from putting non-plastic items in the hopper alongside the normal plastic pellets. Here we see how the WASP team mixed in rope with the pellets to develop a unique textured vase. I suspect the possibilities with this approach are practically endless, so long as the added material fits through the nozzle easily and does not burn at extrusion temperatures. 

There’s one big problem with the WASP 3 MT, however: it’s so big it may not fit into many workshops! 

Via WASP

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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