HARDIN VALLEY—A tool made by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has set a world record for largest solid item manufactured on a 3D printer. Guinness World Records confirmed the tool’s measurements during a visit to ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Hardin Valley on Monday.
The trim-and-drill tool measures 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide, and 1.5 feet tall. It’s comparable in length to a large sport utility vehicle and weighs approximately 1,650 pounds.
It will be used to help make a wing part on the Boeing 777X airplane, a passenger jet. After ORNL completes some testing, Boeing will evaluate the tool in the company’s new production facility in St. Louis and then provide information to ORNL about its performance.
ORNL printed the trim-and-drill tool in only 30 hours on a 3D printer at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Hardin Valley using mostly ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) mixed with about 20 percent carbon fiber. ABS is the same material used to produce Legos, and it’s a tough, strong polymer, said Bill Peter, MDF director.
Judge Michael Empric said Guinness World Records had set a minimum measurement of 10.5 cubic feet for the new largest solid 3D printed item, which is a new category. The Boeing tool printed by ORNL measured much larger, 82.4 cubic feet, Empric said.
The original tool was printed in one piece and was larger, but it was trimmed down, Empric said. [Read more…]