Many think “bigger is better” and 3D printing is no exception. Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) will hit this fall. The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has partnered separately with two companies, Cincinnati Incorporated and Lockheed Martin, to commercialize large-scale 3D printers.
Cincinnati's efforts are focused on creating "a 3D printer that is 200-500 times faster and capable of printing polymer components 10 times larger." The printer is expected to be ready by early fall when Cincinnati will introduce a 3D printed "vehicle at the International Manufacturing Technology Show" (Beth McKenna).
The Lockheed Martin project is more focused on size. Imagine parts as large as 60-100 feet!
McKenna correctly questions whether either partnership can resolve the warping issue that plagues parts with non-uniform thicknesses but says that Lockheed will rely on carbon-fiber reinforced plastics to address this problem.