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Inside SA’s giant 3D printer

Publish date: 08 August 2018
Issue Number: 1744
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
Category: Technology

SA’s biggest 3D printer is also the largest in the world, and could print a full-sized adult man using titanium powder. The printer, designed and built as part of a collaboration between Aerosud Innovation Centre and the CSIR’s National Laser Centre in Pretoria, uses titanium powder to build its custom-made products. It was funded by the Department of Science and Technology. A Business Insider report notes that the 3D printer is housed at the CSIR’s National Laser Centre in Pretoria. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, involves melting a single layer of metal or plastic together, and fusing it to a layer below. With this manufacturing technique, it is in theory possible to build very complex objects. Demand for 3D printing is high in industries like medical prosthetics and aviation, where clients need a small number of complex parts made out of high-value materials like titanium.

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