Robotic technologies for 3D printing
Date of Issue2018
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
3D printing has become an integral part of the manufacturing industry in recent years. With the growing demand of commodities and industrial products, 3D printing has become a powerful precursor to successful industrial manufacturing. Many attempts have been made and are going on to accomplish the construction of huge structures like roads, bridges etc. with the help of 3D printing technologies. Recently, the construction of an entire bridge purely made out of iron was carried out using 3D printing technologies. The chassis as well as the interior of an entire car has been 3D printed out of plastic. Instead of going through an assembly line, the entire car was 3D printed after which it became the first ever fully 3D printed car. Due to low space requirement as well as low production costs, 3D printing has a huge potential to spark a revolution in the field of manufacturing. The fact that anything can be built using any material with the help of 3D printing technologies, it creates for itself, a huge scope of application where it can be applied to any field from manufacturing industries, food processing to medicine, healthcare and prototyping. As it can be seen from the trend, 3D printing has got a really bright future in years to come. Although 3D printing technology has started taking shape in almost every area of application, it clearly lags behind in terms of printing feasibility as well as flexibility. The technology is still being considered very new considering the amount of Research and Development carried out in this arena. Currently, whatever research that is going on in the field of 3D printing typically focuses on the material science behind it. That is, the research that is going on only to search for the forms of material suitable for 3D printing. There is hardly any research being done on exploring the feasibility of 3D printing to different surfaces as well as the modifications to be done in order to accomplish 3D printing of a surface with unique topographical features. Due to limited technology available, companies usually develop their own ‘recipe’ while relying on very basic printer technologies. As a result, 3D printing is often performed via a layer-by-layer approach with highly anisotropic mechanical properties, e.g. weakness along the vertical direction, even in the case of fibre-reinforced materials. Robotic technologies can radically change the way objects are 3D printed, exploiting a combination of rotations and translations, e.g. printing along oblique planes as well. This project will cover 3D printing of convex surfaces (surfaces with oblique planes) with an open surface curvature by incorporating robotic technologies into the standard 3D printing setup. Specifically, this project aims at developing a 3D rotational stage which, coupled with standard 3D translational stages present in most 3D printers, will lead to complete control of translations and orientations of the extruder with respect to the object. Besides the development and control of the 3D rotational stage, the project is also aimed to generate the 3D G-code to properly drive the standard translational stage in compliance with the new orientation of the object.
DRNTU::Engineering::Electrical and electronic engineering