CADzilla, Australia's Largest 3D Printer?
An operation in Australia claims to have Australia’s largest 3D printer, and we think they are right.
If they don’t, the CADzilla is certainly a very large 3D printer, with a massive volume of 2600 x 2600 x 3600 mm. (For Americans, this is 8.5 x 8.5 x 11.8 feet!) I am aware there may be some devices that are larger outside of Australia, most notably the voxeljet VX4000, with its 4000 x 2000 x 1000 build volume. Wait a moment, CADzilla actually has a larger build volume than the VX4000 - almost 3X as large!
The image of CADzilla at top is a bit misleading. That image shows only the doorway into the build chamber. The entire machine is shown here:
CADzilla, made by Australia-based Studio Kite, is perhaps one of the largest extrusion-based systems we’ve heard of, rivaled only by concrete construction-focused 3D printers that by definition must be building sized.
CADzilla can 3D print a number of common 3D printing materials, including ABS, PE, PP, PLA, and PVC. It can do so because it has a completely enclosed build chamber that can be heated by multiple inboard heaters to prevent warping during printing.
For materials, CADzilla normally uses pellets as input, rather than filament. However, we understand they have installed an option to allow for 3mm input filament, should a client have a peculiar type of material to be used.
The pellet approach is quite appropriate for a device of this size, as this method of material input can allow for faster print speeds. This is indeed the case for the CADzilla, which can apparently reach speeds of 24m per minute. That’s 24 meters of extrusion each minute. At that speeds you can 3D print large objects rather quickly, which is enormously beneficial for this large print volume.
Extrusion occurs through a custom-made 1.75mm nozzle, far larger than the typical 0.4mm nozzle found on most 3D printers. This nozzle provides almost 20X the volume on an extrusion. Typically the CADzilla will extrude layers as small as 0.4mm, but also up to a staggering 6mm.
Layers of this size might be quite frightening for smaller 3D prints, as the 6mm layer size would certainly result in fantastically layered objects. However, for prints meters in size, a 6mm layer size is almost invisible.
And it doesn’t really matter anyway, because the prints coming off CADzilla are typically coated with a toughening surface anyway. Studio Kite explains:
“Parts can be finished with a water based acrylic modified cement material which is weather proof and tough. Also, epoxy, polyester filler or acrylic spray putty will bond to the printed material.
Glass fibre can be added to the plastic to reduce shrinkage and improve stiffness. This is especially helpful if high quality gloss paint finishes are required.”
What does Studio Kite do with this machine? It turns out they use it to produce large-scale models, for advertising, exhibition or video productions. This is similar to Massivit’s business model, but on a larger build volume.
As far as we can tell, CADzilla is a one of a kind, as there surely cannot be a large enough market to require more than one of these devices worldwide. Don’t expect to see them on sale any time soon.
If you require an incredibly large 3D print, you might want to check out Studio Kite.