A new type of 3D printer with a moveable arm can now print on every surface and even on existing objects.
In collaboration with Dutch company Océ Technologies, the researchers at the TU Delft (Delft University of Technology) Robotics Institute in the Netherlands developed a working prototype of a novel 3D printer. The printer works by means of a robot arm with various degrees of freedom and utilizes a high-performance printer head from Océ.
The printer head used in current 3D printers is only able to move along straight lines, but the robot arm from TU Delft is able to print in all directions, which means that the arm can move the printer head along complex, curved surfaces. This new technology not only reduces the printing time but also improves the quality of the printed surface. In addition it is also possible to print on any existing objects.
The researchers carried out different tests to try out the prototype 3D printer. In the first test, the 3D printer made a large 2D print. Because the robot arm does not need to move linearly, the printing time is considerably shortened. For example, printing the Océ logo is twice as fast as the other printer.
The second test was to print on a curved surface. Using data from a laser scanner, the printer head can always be positioned perpendicular to and at the correct distance from the surface. In addition the robot arm can also print on other non-flat surfaces. This technology allows many potential applications, such as repairing tears, coating and restoration with 3D printers.
2D printer prints object on a single layer. But in a 3D world an object is built up by placing a number of 2D prints on top of each other. In order to get a better quality 3D print, researchers analyzed more possibilities for 3D printing with this robot arm. The robot arm is able to move in all directions, in principle it is possible to develop new and more complex building strategies. The researchers say that, further optimized, the device could be used for printing more complex objects with fast speed.
Posted in 3D Printers
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Dan wrote at 10/11/2013 3:22:12 AM:
Industrial robots possess for a long time exclusively good values of accuracy and repeatability of movements to serve as high-precision 3D-printers. The only lacks - the price which for the most inexpensive samples begins approximately from 50000.