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How Long it Would Take to 3D Print These Famous Landmarks?

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Mar 2, 2017

Could we recreate the world’s most famous landmarks using a single 3D printer? And what would it cost? Get ready for some big numbers. 

If you’re a maker, you’re likely to know how much it costs you to print out your required smaller pieces. But have you ever wondered how much it would cost to 3D print a life size Eiffel Tower? Your questions have been answered by printer supplier Toner Giant.

Toner Giant did some math. They came up with the figures of how much time and money you’d have to spend creating some of the world’s most famous landmarks. They based their calculations on having just one 3D printer which prints at $0.03 per cm³ at a speed of 5cm per hour.

You’ll have to have some suspension of disbelief because this experiment is based on you doing all the hard work yourself with just one 3D printer. Which printer do you choose? You’ll also need to image that you’re extremely rich and can live right up until the print is finished. Ready, set, get printing and this is what you could come up with… oh, and please don’t use up all that pink filament.

3D Printed Landmark #1: Big Ben

Big Ben is found in London, England and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It is 4,650m³ and was opened in 1859. Amazingly, throughout its long life, the huge clock has rarely stopped. Even after a bomb destroyed the surrounding area in World War II, it still chimed. However, if for some reason it did pack up, how long would it take to 3D print?

Using the above calculations, Toner Giant estimate the build time would be 11 years, which doesn’t seem terrible for such an iconic landmark. However, the cost is an eye-watering $171.3 million. This price also doesn’t take into account the huge bell tucked away inside either. Perhaps good old brick and mortar would suffice?

3D Printed Landmark #2: Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is arguably one of the most important landmarks in the world. In 1887, the structure cost 8 million francs to build (or, in today’s money, a whopping $34 million) It’s estimated that there are over 6.9 million visitors to the iconic tower each year. But, would it be worth rebuilding with a 3D printer?

The answer, amazingly, is yes. To build the 930m³ Eiffel Tower with a 3D printer would take just 2.1 years. It would also cost just $34.3 million, saving France an extra $86.1 million. Perhaps the country should start building a spare, just in case.

3D Printed Landmark #3: The Great Pyramid of Giza

Using one of the wonders of the modern world (3D printing, obviously) to rebuild one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World could be an interesting feat. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the three pyramids in Giza’s pyramid complex. It is also the only pyramid which remains in good form. However, if this old wonder started crumbling, could we use 3D printing to create a replica?

The answer is a definite no. In fact, it would take much longer to print than it has been around for. The pyramid is 2,583,283m³, and it would take 5,897 years to print – 1,323 years longer than its lifetime. To print this humongous pyramid would also cost $95.2 billion.

3D Printed Landmark #4: Hogwarts

Although a fictional place, Hogwarts is arguably one of the most loved landmarks of the fictional world. JK Rowling didn’t have to spend any money building this magnificent, magical school but how much would it cost to 3D print a real-life version?

The huge school for wizards is 4,140,000m³ which makes sense considering it’s one of the only schools for wizards in the EU. However, to 3D print it (without magic) would take 8,679 years, which is a lot more time than the fictional school itself has supposedly been around for. It would also cost $152 billion. Luckily, it’s likely that wizards will have some other way of building their schools.

3D Printed Landmark #5:Starship Enterprise NCC-1701

The Starship Enterprise took 13 years to build in 2351. However, can 3D printing be an alternative way to: “explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before”?

Definitely not. With a size of 5,800,000m³, the printing cost of this colossal ship would be $214 billion. In terms of time, it would take 10,421 years meaning starting printing in 2017 would still not see the ship ready for use by the required year of 2351.

3D Printed Landmark #6: The Death Star

Have you always wanted your own Death Star to rival the Empire’s ultimate weapon? Although it only took around 20 years in the Star Wars universe to create, you’re likely to find that 3D printing your own space station wouldn’t be as quick.

Toner Giant estimate that 3D printing a moon-size Death Star would take 34,045 years. This famous space station would cost you $648 quintillion to build, winning the award for the most expensive print on the list, not that we’re surprised. If you could also print the capability to destroy a whole other planet too, we’d be extremely impressed.

Work out how much time and money it would take to 3D print your favorite world landmark, and we’ll add it to the list. Or, if you’ve got two years to spare and still want to print an Eiffel Tower, check out All3DP’s price comparison service for 3D printable objects to find out who can give you the cheapest option.

Source: Techspective/Tonergiant

License: The text of "How Long it Would Take to 3D Print These Famous Landmarks?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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