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How 3D printing is helping CERN scientists upgrade the world’s largest machine

How 3D printing is helping CERN scientists upgrade the world's largest machine

Written by David

January 20, 2021


For the past five years, Antonio Pellegrino has been working on a high-pressure job: the scientist is leading an upgrade to the largest and most powerful particle accelerator ever built, which sits one hundred meters beneath the Franco-Swiss border at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Commonly called the large hadron collider (LHC), the accelerator is a 27-kilometer-long ring in which particles such as protons and electrons are projected against one another at high speeds, recreating the conditions that existed one hundredth of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang – all for modern-day scientists to observe thanks to various high-precision detectors that sit inside the accelerator.


LHC was put on hold in 2015 for engineers and physicians to find ways to improve the accuracy of the accelerator’s detectors. The end-goal? Nothing short of understanding matter and getting better insights into the origins of the universe. To do exactly that, Pellegrino turned to a technology that is currently used to design products ranging from food and fashion to human cells : 3D printing. Thanks to a partnership with technology company 3D Systems, some parts of the LHC have been springing out of 3D printers, as part […]

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