Boing introduces levitating 3D printing

floating 3d printing boingBoeing published a patent which introduces an even more futuristic element in 3D printing: levitation. With this method, the object prints while floating in midair thanks to magnets or acoustic waves. A “nugget” or base gets printed first out into space, and then a cadre of 3D printers add more and more of the printing material.

The levitating object can be manipulated and turned more so than an object stuck to a platform can be, and using many printheads at the same time would ostensibly speed up the process.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing is important to the aerospace industry and one estimate from 2015 suggests that Boeing itself is using 20,000 3D-printed parts. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the future factories will be filled with floating in-progress plane parts. As TechCrunch warns, the real-life version of this method may not exactly match what the patent lays out.

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