Le­banon Builds the MENA’S Big­gest 3D Printer

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories -

Big Voxel is the first 3D printer de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in the Mid­dle East, oc­cu­py­ing the full space of a small stand­alone store in Beirut (wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceil­ing). The printer was de­vel­oped by ar­chi­tect Guil­laume Cré­doz and engi­neer Nareg Karaogh­la­nian, pri­mar­ily to build large fur­ni­ture pieces or ma­chine com­po­nents. It uses an ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing process that re­lies on Fused De­po­si­tion Mod­el­ing (FDM). It de­posits a layer of soft­ened or melted ma­te­ri­als (like ther­mo­plas­tics) made from acry­loni­trile bu­ta­di­ene styrene (ABS), a re­sis­tant ma­te­rial com­monly used in many con­sumer prod­ucts (phones, TV back cov­ers) and read­ily re­cu­per­ated/avail­able lo­cally. Big Voxel was built with the sup­port of small in­vestors and pri­vate funds. The In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity of Le­banon (IDAL) also pro­vided sup­port by re­duc­ing taxes on im­ported parts. The first ma­chine will be a work­ing pro­to­type and will be used to test fur­ther im­prove­ments. It can cur­rently print com­plex, solid ob­jects of 2.1 x 1.9 x 1.2 m. Big Voxel will also ben­e­fit from the In­sure & Match Cap­i­tal fund (IM Cap­i­tal) through Kafalat. Start­ing 2016, Cré­doz and Karaogh­la­nian will look for fund­ing to make Big Voxel com­mer­cially avail­able (at around $40,000 per unit) for en­ter­prises, with po­ten­tial clients and in­vestors al­ready lined up. The pair is also de­vel­op­ing an app ( Voxel World) to al­low users to de­sign 3D mod­els by tap­ping and drag­ging their fin­gers on their screen, then con­vert these de­sign into 3D data ready for print­ing.

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