24 July 2013

A visit to the man who prints houses

After meeting Mr. Enrico Dini about a year ago at the day of architecture in the Netherlands, I now had the rare opportunity to visit his Italian based 3D printing Valhalla.

 read on after the break.

First thing you notice as you drive up to this 3D printing factory are all of the nice big sculptures on the outside.
But then it sinks in: these are printed !!

You could park a car in this piece.

So before you even enter the "Factory" you have already spent 30 minutes on the outside with the only thing coming out of your mouth is ooh and aah.

And then you go inside.

2 massive machines, one 6x8 meters and one 6x6 meters.
The 6x6 machine is on, and because there is a "small" piece in the making, only 1/2 of the machine is operating (6x3 meters!!).

It works like an SLS machine, adding a layer of sand and then fusing the grains to each other with salt water and the "special sauce".
Each layer gets 5 runs of a beam with over 300 nozzles

here 2 runs have been done

Here as a clip of the 3rd

 And here all 5 have been done

As you can see there are some white stripes in there where a nozzle has been clogged.
The beauty of this system is that you can manually add some solvent to those places and complete the cycle.
On to the next layer!

The parts below were printed to use as coral growing places, and as wave breakers to put into the Italian sea.(those pallets are normal size)

Thanks for your time and showing me your workspace Enrico!