Here is a video of a 6-axis 3D Printer using Parallel Kinematics driven by KFLOP that Professor Yong Chen and his students Xuan Song and Yayue Pan created over at University of Southern California.
It still needs work, but very interesting to watch.
Most additive manufacturing processes are layer-based with only three-dimensional motions in the X, Y and Z axes. However, there are drawbacks associated with such limited motions, e.g. non-conformal material properties, stair-stepping effect, and limitations on building around inserts. Such drawbacks limit the applications of additive manufacturing in many areas. To enable 6-axis motions between a tool and a work piece, we investigated a Stewart mechanism and developed a low-cost prototype system for multi-directional additive manufacturing including the Fused Deposition Modeling and CNC accumulation processes. The technical challenges in our development are the hardware design, coordinate transformation, platform constraint checking, movement simulation, tool path generation, and part fabrication. Several test cases are also presented to illustrate the capability of multi-directional additive manufacturing processes.
Thanks to Yang for the tip!
Posted in 3D Printers
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Konrad wrote at 10/8/2013 2:59:54 AM:
For delta robot it's much easier to get extra DOFs this way http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzke8vYvwPk
Chris wrote at 10/7/2013 7:05:17 PM:
Looks like a nightmare to program, lol. Kinda feels a bit overdesigned for those 6 Degrees of freedom.
Dan wrote at 10/7/2013 12:52:29 AM:
This is really amazing thing! And the most intresting moment in this kind of additive manufacturing devices (in my opinion) is that they can be combined with substractive tool (small milling bits or polishing tool) and provide amazing quality of created parts, because substractive technics can be used for creating fine-finished surfaces and in combination with additive technology it can be used with much more efficiency, because additive tool will do most of work and substractive tool will need to make a very little amount of work in comparrison with pure substractive process (theoretically). The only problem is material properties - ABS is soft enougth for milling, but it is also yelding material under thin milling processing. But I think this problem also can be solved with studying different types of available in this case substractive methods of material processing. But even not looking at the possibility of combining additive and substractive technologies in one device the possibility to use additive technology with 6DOF (instead of standard 3DOF) as in most part of professional substractive tools now - this is really amazing thing. It definitely should extend current borders of additive technology. Of course algorythms of creating parts with 6DOF additive tool will be more complicated than ones for 3DOF additive technology, but this is normal price for extended possibilities. And it is simply excellent that scientists undertook this work! I sincerely wish that they were accompanied by good luck and success and they would lift additive technology on new level.