Chinese company Qingdao Unique Products Develop Co. Ltd is quickly becoming one of the most excitingly innovative names in 3D printing.
After unveiling the world’s largest 3D printer, a device that can construct a house in a single print, and the Regenovo bio-printer that extrudes living tissue, this week the team from Qingdao have launched a device capable of printing a life sized human replica in wax.
While the modern wax sculptures found in tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds can take anything up to half a year and cost the best part of £95,000 to make, this machine offers a far more efficient process.
With 90 mm per second print speeds, a figure up to 2 metres high can be fired off in a little over a week. What’s more, the specially developed wax filament costs about £15 per kg, making for a cheaper wax model.
The preparation period is far quicker too. Subjects merely need to scan their body. The scan data is then sent to the 3D printer, which begins creating the 1:1 ratio replica. Qingdao’s wax material is available in a number of different colours.
While there are plenty of companies that already offer clients miniature 3D printed wax figurines of themselves or their friends, this is unquestionably the largest yet available, though Qingdao see its potential as going far beyond just personalised keepsakes, with potential uses that run right across the creative industries.
The next major project coming from Qingdao is a resin printer that creates full colour models that are soft and transparent.