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The Shipping News

Millebot is a Huge 3D Printer Built Inside a Shipping Container

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Jan 10, 2017

Millebot is a massive 3D printer built into a shipping container, providing a robust solution for mobile additive manufacturing.

Wouldn’t it be great if large scale 3D printing could be made accessible from anywhere in the world? That’s the idea behind the Millebot, an industrial 3D printer that’s been built into a shipping container to make it mobile.

The Millebot was recently showcased at the Maker Faire Orlando, where the portable manufacturing system was on display in the middle of the event. Naturally, it caught a lot of attention.

Marcos Cruz, mechanical designer at Millebot Inc, says on the company’s website that “a machine designed to create art must be art itself.”

As well as being a work of art, Millebot also has a functional purpose. The machine is specifically designed to be shipped to any location where it can be used to print and mill as soon as it arrives. It even uses local materials.

Millebot already has all the servo motors and electronics built right into the shipping container. This means it can 3D print and then mill items on a greater than average scale. 

Check out the video below to see Millebot can do:

Millebot Creates Precise Parts from Locally Sourced Materials

In terms of how it works, the Millebot is designed to be servo controlled. The entire gantry can also mount to a single wall in the shipping container. The benefits are that it reduces how much recalibration is required after a move.

In order to print, Mille extrudes a paste. This material is a mix of locally sourced materials and a proprietary binding agent. 

The paste doesn’t offer a high-resolution print, as you can see in the video. However, once it has hardened at 200 degrees, it is then milled. The milling head can refine the design and create precise parts made from locally sourced materials. The idea could certainly be useful in a crisis.

Although the design is not quite complete, it’s an interesting concept. The team hope to have the printing and milling quality up to a higher standard by early this year. Once this is complete, Millebot will be ready to take on the world.

Source: Laughing Squid



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