You want to print something REALLY tall? Now you can! Dutch inventor, artist and engineer Joris van Tubergen has developed an extension rail system that enables your Ultimaker to print as high as you can stack the rails. In theory this setup gives you unlimited z-axis height and you can print very tall prints. Since the printing device is Ultimaker turned upside down you are still limited with x and y area, however you can put as many machines as you want side by side and make anything in modules. Warping or various other deviations are highly likely unavoidable but it doesn’t really matter in such large dimensions and larger nozzle is prefered because you need huge mass of plastics. The object is held in place, supported and fixated by fibre spun over the print path which is then incorporated into the object, the excess support fiber can be removed when the object is finished. The system to power the rails and the control system are not described in detail yet.
Z-Unlimited technical summary:
- Add-on for Ultimaker original and original plus
- High quality prints like you are used to from your Ultimaker 3D printer
- Enlarge your print area without consuming extra space of your workspace
- Conversion in only 10 minutes
- Non-permanent conversion
- Including smart support system for high printed objects
- Including easy to install software and firmware update
- No change of workflow
- Open Source / Creative Commons (BY-NC).
Here is the time lapsed video of system in action:
Z-Unlimited is made to fit Ultimaker Original and Original + 3d printers, but since it is open source anyone can adapt it for any machine.
Here is the longer documentary showing the z-unlimited system and entire process of 3d printing a large elephant figure. The elephant was printed in Schiphol Airport as part of World Animal Protection‘s “Get Off the Elephant” campaign. The documentary was filmed by by filmmaker Klaas Arie Westland.