Most of the 3D printed objects are created on regular or horizontal surfaces. But a new robotic 3D printer, Mataerial, could build solid objects in the air extending from any surface.
Their method, called Anti-gravity Object Modeling, prints object on any given working surface independently of its inclination and smoothness, and without a need of additional support structures.
This method allows designers to create natural objects in almost any size and shape by simply making 3D curves that can follow exact stress lines of a custom shape.
"One of the key innovations of anti-gravity object modelling is the use of thermosetting polymers instead of thermoplastics that are used in existing 3D printers." said the designers.
Because of a chemical reaction between two source components with certain proportion of extrusion and movement speeds, the material is cured and comes solid out of the nozzle.
Designers first create a shape in CAD software and then transformed it into 3d curves describing the shape which are then converted into movement paths for the robotic arm. "The thickness of the printed curve can be scaled down to less than a millimeter and can be adjusted during the printing process, by changing the speed of the movement. Colors can be injected in the nozzle in CMYK mode that allows changing of the curve color throughout the printing process." explained the designers.
Saša Jokić was part of a team who launched 3D ceramic printing project FabClay in October 2012; and Petr Novikov, together with students from the IAAC built an on-site robotic 3D printer 'Stone Spray' that uses a jet spray system to deposit the mix of soil and liquid binder to construct architectural shapes.
The team's Anti-gravity Object Modeling is patent-pending and they hope Mataerial 3D printer can be applied in furniture and architecture manufacturing, or desktop and space 3D printing.
Posted in 3D Printers
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Suti wrote at 5/31/2013 5:30:37 PM:
While it seems cool, this invention is actually not that usefull as it seems. A major advantage of 3d printing is that it builds things in layers. This means the tools used for printing are never in the way of the build object. With this solution the print head doenst print in layers - It moves between layers. Consequently, each pass the head makes in vertical direction will need to avoid previously printed material. This has large consequences for form freedom. I'll pass.
CornGolem wrote at 5/17/2013 10:57:39 PM: