ORNL sets Guiness Record for the biggest 3D Printed object
The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has set a new world record for the largest 3D printing object that was ever made. Guinness World Records honored the organization for developing the largest trim-and-drill tool that would be used in the production of Boeing airplanes.
The tool takes the spotlight for the obvious reasons. Apart from being the largest 3D printed tool, it also has ceratin features that pop out. It Weighed about 1,650 lbs and printed in only 30 hours; The tool stands at 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide, and 1.5 feet tall.The materials needed to make this was low-cost carbon fiber and ABS thermoplastic composite materials.
The Boeing Company’s director of structures and materials, Mr.Leo Christodoulou said of ORNL’s latest development,
“The existing, more expensive metallic tooling option we currently use comes from a supplier and typically takes three months to manufacture using conventional techniques. Additively Manufactured tools, such as the 777X wing trim tool, will save energy, time, labor and production cost and are part of our overall strategy to apply 3D printing technology in key production areas.”
The laboratory’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine was used to build this tool with a precision that it has been awarded for. For the tool to qualify for the record, it had exceeded an area of about 10.6 cubic feet which it did with sheer ease.
Vlastimil Kunc, the leader of ORNL’s polymer materials development team, had this to say about the efficiency of 3D printing on its behalf.
“Using 3D printing, we could design the tool with less material and without compromising its function,”
The ORNL has to still verify the testing results after which the tool will be employed at their newest production facility in St. Louis, MO. Boeing’s 777X passenger jet will use this tool in it’s assembly. The tool will be used to secure the jet’s composite wing skin for drilling and machining before assembly.