Jan 19, 2016 | By Benedict
3D printing specialist Tecnica, Inc. has received a US patent for its innovative 3D printer bed leveling system. The additive manufacturing invention uses a unique alignment and leveling process, helping to reduce 3D printing time and eliminate the errors caused by bed leveling issues.
Incorrectly aligning the print-bed of a 3D printer is a common mistake made by rookie makers. To ensure an accurate print, it is essential to set the 3D printer nozzle at the correct distance from the print surface, and to make certain that the surface is completely level. If this alignment is performed incorrectly or not at all, the 3D printer in question could throw up some nasty surprises. Understandably, having to perform this calibration over and over again can be a cause of frustration for 3D printing enthusiasts, which is why Tecnica wanted to make the process as quick and simple as possible.
The company’s newly-patented build platform allows for quick and accurate alignment between the print surface and print head, reducing preparation time and increasing accuracy. Furthermore, the technology has been designed with maximum compatibility in mind. The leveling system can be incorporated into existing printers or licensed to 3D printer manufacturers so that they may reproduce the system themselves, so the newly-patented system could soon become a standard component.
Last year, with the patent still pending, the company explained the technical side of its leveling process in a news post: “The invention is based on transmitting light from the print head and analyzing the returned light from the print bed. A light source (infrared LED) mounted and surrounded by Light detectors (photo transistors) is mounted next to the print. The light source emits light which is reflected back from the print bed. The process is fully automated and takes less than a minute to complete.
“The surrounding photo detectors [measure] the light coming back (angle of incident). The invention is based on emission of infrared signals and reception of the deflecting signals from the opposite surface. The patent incorporates a tuneup algorithm and a leveling algorithm to control the leveling actuator.”
This latest patent expands the 3D printing company’s burgeoning portfolio of Intellectual Properties, which includes hardware, software and algorithms. Since its inception in 2013, the Great Neck, New York based Tecnica has tasked its team of electrical engineers, computer engineers, physicists and mechanical engineers with optimizing the 3D printing process to provide higher quality, better resolution 3D printers at a lower cost.
Posted in 3D Printer Accessories
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Deon H wrote at 1/20/2016 6:09:19 PM:
This is an automated bed leveling system that requires no human intervention. It speeds up the bed leveling process considerably that would otherwise take hours to do manually. The bed leveling entails the implementation of two unique algorithms developed in house. Bed leveling can also be done during the printing process. If manual bed leveling is used the printing process has to be stopped which results in the loss of time. Further it is not a matter of pure trigonometry but it also provides for a further unique algorithm for the calibration of the photo detectors. This is essential since each photo detector does not have the same response. Without the calibration algorithm, accurate bed leveling could not be accomplished. See US 9,233,507 patent.
jason wrote at 1/20/2016 4:10:37 PM:
This is an automatic leveling system with motors for automatic adjustment, unlike the 3d system one where you need to manually adjust 3 screws and repeat leveling process again and again untill it is leveled
akka69 wrote at 1/20/2016 3:33:31 PM:
This looks exactly like 3D systems "cube3" leveling system....
Scott wrote at 1/20/2016 1:04:47 PM:
How is that in any way new? I should get a patent on pouring coffee into a cup.
Grumpy Old Coot wrote at 1/20/2016 4:00:02 AM: