New Low-Cost Dynamically-Controlled Surface for 3D Printers Reduces Waste and Saves Time
Tech News

New Low-Cost Dynamically-Controlled Surface for 3D Printers Reduces Waste and Saves Time

A brand new dynamically-controlled base for 3-D printing (left) will cut back the necessity for printed helps (middle), slicing wastage and saving time. Credit score: Yong Chen

3-D printing has the potential to revolutionize product design and manufacturing in an enormous vary of fields—from customized elements for client merchandise, to 3-D printed dental merchandise and bone and medical implants that would save lives. Nonetheless, the method additionally creates a considerable amount of costly and unsustainable waste and takes a very long time, making it tough for 3-D printing to be carried out on a large scale.

Every time a 3-D printer produces customized objects, particularly unusually-shaped merchandise, it additionally must print helps­–printed stands that stability the thing because the printer creates layer by layer, serving to keep its form integrity. Nonetheless, these helps should be manually eliminated after printing, which requires ending by hand and can lead to form inaccuracies or floor roughness. The supplies the helps are comprised of usually can’t be re-used, and in order that they’re discarded, contributing to the rising downside of 3-D printed waste materials.

For the primary time, researchers in USC Viterbi’s Daniel J. Epstein Division of Industrial and Techniques Engineering have created a low-cost reusable assist methodology to scale back the necessity for 3-D printers to print these wasteful helps, vastly enhancing cost-effectiveness and sustainability for 3-D printing.

The work, led by Yong Chen, professor of commercial and methods engineering and PhD scholar Yang Xu, has been revealed in Additive Manufacturing.

Conventional 3-D printing utilizing the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) method, prints layer-by-layer, instantly onto a static metallic floor. The brand new prototype as an alternative makes use of a programmable, dynamically-controlled floor made from moveable metallic pins to switch the printed helps. The pins stand up because the printer progressively builds the product. Chen stated that testing of the brand new prototype has proven it saves round 35% in supplies used to print objects.

“I work with biomedical docs who 3-D print utilizing biomaterials to construct tissue or organs,” Chen stated. “A number of the fabric they use are very costly­–we’re speaking small bottles that price between $500 to $1000 every.”

“For traditional FDM printers, the supplies price is one thing like $50 per kilogram, however for bioprinting, it’s extra like $50 per gram. So if we are able to save 30% on materials that might have gone into printing these helps, that may be a enormous price saving for 3-D printing for biomedical functions,” Chen stated.

Along with the environmental and price impacts of fabric wastage, conventional 3-D printing processes utilizing helps can also be time-consuming, Chen stated.

“While you’re 3-D printing advanced shapes, half of the time you’re constructing the components that you simply want, the opposite half of the time you’re constructing the helps. So with this technique, we’re not constructing the helps. Due to this fact, when it comes to printing time, we have now a financial savings of about 40%.”

Chen stated that related prototypes developed prior to now relied on particular person motors to lift every of the mechanical helps, leading to extremely energy-intensive merchandise that had been additionally rather more costly to buy, and thus not cost-effective for 3-D printers.

“So if you happen to had 100 transferring pins and the price of each motor is round $10, the entire thing is $1,000, along with 25 management boards to regulate 100 completely different motors. The entire thing would price effectively over $10,000.”

The analysis workforce’s new prototype works by operating every of its particular person helps from a single motor that strikes a platform. The platform raises teams of metallic pins on the similar time, making it an economical answer. Based mostly on the product design, this system’s software program would inform the person the place they should add a sequence of metallic tubes into the bottom of the platform. The place of those tubes would then decide which pins would increase to outlined heights to finest assist the 3-D printed product, whereas additionally creating the least quantity of wastage from printed helps. On the finish of the method, the pins will be simply eliminated with out damaging the product.

Chen stated the system may be simply tailored for massive scale manufacturing, akin to within the automotive, aerospace and yacht industries.

“Persons are already constructing FDM printers for massive dimension automobile and ship our bodies, in addition to for client merchandise akin to furnishings. As you possibly can think about, their constructing occasions are actually lengthy—we’re speaking about an entire day,” Chen stated. “So if it can save you half of that, your manufacturing time could possibly be diminished to half a day. Utilizing our strategy might deliver loads of advantages for any such 3-D printing.”

Chen stated the workforce had additionally lately utilized for a patent for the brand new expertise. The analysis was co-authored by Ziqi Wang, beforehand a visiting scholar at USC, from the College of Laptop and Communication Sciences, EPFL Switzerland, and Siyu Gong from USC Viterbi.

Reference: “Reusable assist for additive manufacturing” by Yang Xu, Ziqi Wang, Siyu Gong and Yong Chen, 12 January 2021, Additive Manufacturing.

Related posts

Next Gen Favorites: Wattpad


Nvidia’s GeForce Now subscriptions now come with free Crysis Remastered for PC


Microsoft’s Classic Coke? HP says Windows 7 PCs are ‘back by popular demand’