Quebec City, Canada -- The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Laval University in Quebec City has created a 3D print version of Canada’s 7th Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, using PU foam as the main agent.
The 7ft model, printed in three sections, took 38 hours from start to finish. Accuracies of around 1cm were achieved, researchers said, with 275 litres of polyurethane and about 23 litres of shaving cream used.
“The objective of this project is to create automated robot-driven fabrication technology capable of producing large-scale architectural prototypes,” said Eric Barnett, of the university’s Robotics Laboratory.
The team set out to 3D print a large statue of, not from thermoplastic, clay, or even metal, but out of standard polyurethane foam. Moving things even more outside the box, they didn’t use a typical Cartesian or Delta-based 3D printer, instead opting for a cable-suspended robotic printer.
“The printer workspace is approximately 1m cubed, but could be expanded relatively easily —this is one of the main advantages of using a cable-suspended system,” Barnett said.
“The printer is currently capable of approximately 1cm resolution, with deposited paths being 1cm high and 12mm wide.” he added.
The project was funded by Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the process is available to view on YouTube.