Published in Financial Mail. With state-of-the-art 3D printer – the largest in the world – the CSIR plans to secure contracts with international aircraft makers.

The world’s largest 3D printer is right here in SA, and it is already at work turning powder into large metal components for the aerospace sector.

The printer — or more accurately, a metal additive manufacturing system — is housed at the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria. It is part of Aeroswift, a project funded by the science & innovation department to industrialise and commercialise the printer’s technology. It cost R100m to build.

The CSIR and Aerosud Innovation Centre — a subsidiary of aircraft manufacturer Aerospace Development Corp — saw the potential of this technology as far back as 2011, and have since designed, built and manufactured an advanced 3D printer — all in SA.

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