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Coffee Shop Camper

[Update: They Did It!] World’s Largest 3D Printed Camper Trailer Will be Live-streamed

Picture of Matthew Mensley
by Matthew Mensley
Feb 28, 2018

After nine days of continuous 3D printing the Create Cafe team over in Saskatoon, Canada, has successfully completed the world’s largest indoor 3D print. Called the Wave, the camper trailer is an exciting project that highlights big and ambitious prints needn’t be confined to the factory floor.

Following approximately nine and a half nail-biting days of continuous 3D printing, Canadian makerspace and coffee house Create Cafe has successfully completed its Wave camper trailer. Printed using North America’s only room-size ErectorBot 3D printer, the project has set a new Guiness World Record for the largest indoor 3D print.

Superseding the previous record holders, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (who helped Create Cafe out for this print, checking the digital files for the camper), this Wave camper trailer occupies 503 cubic feet of space, and is the test bed for a planned commercial product.

With the windows cut out, trimmed and many a Sasktoon local having seen the Wave 3D printed camper trailer up close at Create Cafe, the print will now hit the road to camper trailer merchant TRX RV.

Top image credit: Ashley Field/CTC Saskatoon. Original article below, published 18:55PM CET February 6th, 2018.

Wave Create Cafe 3D printed camper
The Wave 3D print in progress (Image: Create Cafe, via Facebook)

A prototype 3D printed camper van, the Wave, will be fabricated live for all to see from Thursday, February 8th. The project, an in-house effort of Create Cafe with the help of Saskatchewan Polytechnic, will see a 28-foot long ErectorBot 3D printer do the heavy lifting, extruding some 600 lbs of PETG provided by a proprietary hopper.

The Wave is planned to become a commercial line of camper trailers available in three sizes — 13-, 16- and 19-feet — sold by Wave of the Future 3D. Founded by Randy Janes (who is also a member of the Create Cafe team), Janes is also the owner of the ErectorBot that will be housed in Create Cafe 3D for the duration of the print.

This exercise has been long in the making, with Janes approaching Create Cafe CEO Dustin Maki way back in 2016 with the premise of printing “the worlds first full-size camper”. Two years later the plan is coming to fruition, with Janes’ behemoth 3D printer installed in the cafe ready to undertake a 10-14 day print job in full view of Create Cafe’s coffee-swigging customers.

It’s well and good making bombastic claims to world-firstedness, but what exactly makes the Wave stand apart? What are the benefits of 3D printing a camper trailer?

Printron large-scale 3d printer
Janes’ ErectorBot, nicknamed “Printron” at Create Cafe ready to print the Wave camper

Creating the Custom Camper

For one, Wave of the Future and Create Cafe 3D claim a 100 year life expectancy from a PETG 3D printed camper. By printing a watertight single shell design, they plan to eliminate the primary cause of degradation in campers: water damage. No seams between sheet metal or wood like found on traditional campers means no way for water to seep inside and degrade the materials.

The material properties of PETG also contribute to such hardiness, with abrasion resistance the cited benefit here.

Given the large nature of the print job, any optimization is a welcome thing. To this, a partnership with Saskatchewan Polytechnic resulted in an applied research project provided high-flow printing nozzles, without which the collaboration claims it could not succeed.

The prototype Wave was designed in Fusion 360 and sliced in Simplify3D by Create Cafe’s Head of Design, Duncan Boyes.

Looking to whip up greater public interest in 3D printing in Canada, the printing of the Wave will be live-streamed on Create Cafe’s Facebook page on February 8th, 12pm CST (the company originally communicated February 5th for the stream, but a customs issue with the Wave’s PETG pellets has forced the project back).

Although if you’re in the neighborhood, you could always pop in for a coffee and check it out in person.

Wave Camper and custom nozzle
A tiny test model of the Wave camper trailer alongside nozzle and pellets.

License: The text of "[Update: They Did It!] World’s Largest 3D Printed Camper Trailer Will be Live-streamed" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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