When the Makerbot 2 was introduced the company proudly announced a larger build chamber of 28.5 x 15.3 x 15.5 cm. That's still quite small. In similar vane Ultimaker boasts an "extremely large build chamber" of 21 x 21 x 20.5 cm.
What if you need larger? Well, there's the PRotos X400 designed by a RepRap group in Germany. It still only manages 40 x 40 x 35 cm. What if you need larger?
In another story of large 3D printed objects, engineers at Stratasys and Autodesk showed an enormous colored model (with moving parts) of an entire aircraft engine - full scale. While the industrial printer employed was much larger than a Makerbot or an Ultimaker, even they could not print the engine as a a single object. Once again, the team 'cheated' and it was assembled from parts. Perhaps assembly is not so much of a problem?
Large prints have always been a requirement in additive manufacturing process. Suppose you wanted to produce the accurate contour of a car body. In a process called mammoth stereolithography a single part can realized up to 4 meters in length.
CAD/CAM designers know all too well how to model parts that can later be assembled. It's quite an art. For the rest of us, could software come to the rescue? Could a software tool take a single 3D model - designed as such - and then post process it into parts that could be individually printed, and later assembled?
More info on Chopper here
Chopper really is remarkable. Until the day such software is commonplace, we'll need larger and larger 3D printers in order to print out the humongous objects of our imagination. So its comforting to know that Objet have announced the Objet1000 printer.
So if you need to print a single object up to 1000 x 800 x 500 mm in volume, and with multiple materials (color, rigid/soft, opaque/clear), and with moving parts and in one operation, there really isn't anywhere else to go. Take a look at this marketing video: