It took 9 days to 3D print this record-breaking, full-sized camper van

3d printed camper van 20180301 150055

Planning a road trip this summer? Why not 3D print your very own camper van to go in? That is what a team of enthusiasts from Canada just demonstrated. Created over the course of nine days, and requiring hundreds of feet of plastic 3D-printing filament, their world record-breaking 3D printed camper has a volume of 507 cubic feet, and measures in at 13 feet by 6.5 feet with a height of 6 feet. That is more than three times bigger than the previous world record and easily big enough to sleep in.

Making it more impressive is the fact that it was printed in one piece. This was achieved through the team’s use of a custom-built ErectorBot 3D printer, measuring a massive 28 feet by 8 feet by 7 feet. The big printer is nicknamed “Printron,” and enables large-scale prints such as this one.

3d printed camper van 20180213 105728
A scale mock-up of the camper.

“For this project we used PETG plastic which is the same plastic as pop bottles,” Dustin Maki, CEO and founder of Create Cafe 3D Printing Solutions in Saskatoon, Canada, told Digital Trends. “The main difference between this printer and smaller machines is that, instead of feeding a string of plastic in as the material, Printron uses a pellet extruder. Traditional desktop machines use a spool of filament which is made from pellets. The custom ErectorBot uses a extrusion system that goes straight from pellets enabling us to extrude plastic at a higher rate. The high flow rate is what enabled the team at Create Cafe to complete the print in under 10 days, making the process cost effective.”

With the print finished, Maki said the plan next is for the camper to be post-processed and kitted out with appliances and protective insulation coating. They also need to add windows, which can’t be 3D printed, before showing off the finished model around the country. After that, project originator Randy Janes — one of Create Cafe’s business partners — plans to open up a large format 3D- printing facility to create units for retail purposes. A buyer of one of the 3D-printed campers could have complete control over everything from layout and window placement to table and seating heights to the unit’s exterior color.

“Create Cafe is a professional services cafe,” Maki said. “We roast and serve our own coffee, while offering a full suite of 3D solutions.The cafe is used to host classes, 3D-printing events, and provide a creative environment for the public. Behind the cafe, we work closely with inventors and industry to provide prototypes, design, batch production parts, or one-off pieces to their desired specifications.”

In other words, it’s totally somewhere every “maker” in the area needs to be aware of!

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Toyota shoots for the moon with its new lunar rover concept

Toyota announced it will be teaming up with the Japanese space agency to design and built a lunar rover. The two organizations aim to collaborate to create a manned, pressurized rover that would be suitable for mobility on the moon.
Smart Home

Switzerland’s 3D-printed, robot-built DFAB House is open for research

The DFAB House at ETH Zurich university is using digital construction, 3D printing, and robot assembly units to transform how homes are built, test new building technologies, and make construction smarter and more sustainable.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

It’s not time travel, but scientists can turn back clock on a quantum computer

Physicists have demonstrated that they can wind back the clock on a quantum computer a fraction of a second. Don't get too excited about the prospect of human time travel any time soon, though.
Emerging Tech

This very talented robotic leg learned to walk all by itself

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a robotic limb capable of walking without preprogrammed knowledge of the task. It’s an impressive feat that could help future robots navigate the world independently.
Emerging Tech

Opportunity’s final image is a haunting panorama of the Martian surface

The Opportunity mission to Mars may be no more, but the rover's legacy lives on. Now NASA has released the final image captured by Opportunity, and it's a stunning panorama of the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

A lunar time capsule: 50-year-old moon rock samples to be opened for study

Nearly 50 years after the Apollo missions to the Moon, NASA is breaking open samples of Moon rock for the first time. Samples collected from Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17 have been preserved and never before exposed to Earth's atmosphere.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous image of the Cosmic Bat nebula leaves us starry-eyed

The "Cosmic Bat" nebula has been captured in beautiful detail by the European Southern Observatory. Formally known as NGC 1788, the nebula is two thousand light-years away in a dark corner of the Orion constellation.
Emerging Tech

Super telescope captures supermassive black holes forming billions of years ago

The Subaru Telescope in Hawaii has captured evidence of supermassive black holes forming in the ancient universe. Astronomers discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes from billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Mind-bending model shows Venus isn’t our nearest neighbor — it’s Mercury

Every textbook and table on the internet agrees -- the closest planet to Earth is Venus. But a new mathematical model shows that this is wrong. In fact, the planet closest to us on average is Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.