The Olympic flame for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games was extinguished during the Closing Ceremony on the evening of Feb. 20 at China’s National Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest,” in Beijing. The cauldron was produced using 3D printing techniques developed by a Chinese technology company.
The Olympic cauldron is lit at the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, Feb 4 2022. This is the main Olympic cauldron at the National Stadium in Beijing. (Photo/Xinhua)
While the development of the Olympic cauldron itself was led by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the inner ribbon, the outer ribbon, and the combustion system of the cauldron were produced using 3D printing techniques developed by HIT 3D Additive, a technology company based in east China’s Anhui Province. After the parts were printed, they were then polished and assembled to form the Olympic cauldron, introduced Liu Tong, an executive from the company.
The Olympic cauldron burned for a longer period of time and the materials used to make the cauldron through the application of 3D printing techniques required them to have superior properties. To realize this feat, the CASC, the Harbin Institute of Technology, and HIT 3D Additive joined hands to tackle all of the technological obstacles, having tried various types of materials, optimized the inner structure of the cauldron, and systemically verified and improved the printing techniques before eventually developing a hydrogen-fueled flame along with a combustion system for the cauldron.
The structure of the cauldron (Photo/HIT 3D Additive)
Liu disclosed that the relevant research and development tasks were assigned to them in September 2020, and it took them more than one year to eventually build the Olympic cauldron, which was completed in October 2021. In the end, the cauldron was able to play its part in the holding of a successful Games. He expressed that it was an honor of a lifetime for his company to have the chance to be a part of the research and development effort.
Nowadays, 3D printing technology, which is becoming increasingly more mature, is being applied in a multitude of different fields. In addition to being adopted to produce individual parts of industrial products, the technology has also been used to make artistic creations and sculptures.