Feb 19, 2016 | By Alec

With 3D printed art reaching new levels, forms and materials, you sometimes start to wonder what’s next. Remember how this 3D printed ceramic heart was beautifully combined with photography? While most of those projects are one-off events, Florida-based 3D printer developers Deltabots (the masterminds behind the Potterbot ceramic 3D printers) has found a very remarkable way to merge your favorite music with 3D printing again and again: a Pulse Driver that inserts the rhythms into the printbed’s movement to create unique systematic layering effects. While their Pulse Driver only works with thick materials like clay for now, it would be a fantastic addition to any desktop 3D printer in the future.

Deltabots, of course, is the manufacturer of one of the most impressive ranges of ceramic 3D printers out there. Their first machine was released back in early 2015, and already had some very interesting characteristics. Most importantly, they achieved a very high level of layer detail (which is rare for ceramic 3d printing), thanks to a constant flow RAM extruder – with the ability to print precise layers without variation on the 3D ceramic vessels. Although looking like a delta-style 3D printer, the stationary extruder made it perfect for consistent ceramic creations. Back in November, this was followed by four new ceramic 3D printers, all suitable for various applications.

But five 3D printers in one year clearly wasn’t enough, as the Deltabots team has since been working on combining their quality 3D printers with harmonic movement – all to create remarkable 3D sculptures. And that is, essentially, what the Pulse Driver does. Mounted on a print bed, it adds an extra musical touch to any print. “There are many different ways of importing impulses into the structure, including simple rhythmic sounds from either your favorite musical composition (as long as it has enough bass) or frequency generator,” they explain. “3D Potter Pulse driver is very similar to a Bone Conduction Transducer but it is not a modified speaker, this is a purpose-built driver for this application. All you need in addition to our Pulse driver is an amplifier capable of delivering enough power and bass to achieve your desired rhythmic designs and a frequency generator.”

This remarkable tool can be seen in action in the clip below, where it is used to add a whole new rhythmic dimension to the 3D print. But with tools like this, the sky is obviously the limit. “You are only limited by your imagination to the type of sculptures and designs you will be able to achieve,” they rightly say. Thanks to the dual band frequency generator in the driver, any signal can be taken and amplified to get the desired result. “By varying the print speed with the frequency and also the amplitude you can achieve just about any texture. We have also experimented with music  compositions as the driving force for the pulsation and this is going to be very interesting,” they proudly say.

But the real question is: can this be adapted for other 3D printers? Yes, it can. Though the Potterbot features a moving print bed, that isn’t necessary at all. “This driver can be mounted on basically any printer. So it does not have to have a traveling platform, it can be a stationary platform of the traditional 3D printer configuration,” they say. The driver itself is made from CNC milled aluminum. But it doesn’t just work with any material, unfortunately. The extruded material needs to be somewhat stiff (like clay), otherwise the material will just settle regardless. This means plastics probably won’t respond very well, but thick pastes will. The tool will thus be perfect for any type of ceramic 3D printer. If you happen to have a Potterbot (with their very high build capacities), it’s an absolutely perfect addition.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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icepickmethod wrote at 2/20/2016 10:52:04 PM:

Actually the aluminum frame rails are extruded as well!

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