Engineers have developed a new method that uses light and robotics to improve 3D printing speed and precision, whilst providing the freedom to move, rotate or dilate each layer.
The speed of light has come to 3D printing. Northwestern University engineers have developed a new method that uses light to improve 3D printing speed and precision while also, in combination with a high-precision robot arm, providing the freedom to move, rotate or dilate each layer as the structure is being built.
Most conventional 3D printing processes rely on replicating a digital design model that is sliced into layers, with the layers printed and assembled upwards like a cake. The Northwestern method introduces the ability to manipulate the original design layer by layer and pivot the printing direction without recreating the model. This “on-the-fly” feature enables the printing of more complicated structures and significantly improves manufacturing flexibility. “The 3D printing process is no longer a way to merely make a replica of the designed model,” said Cheng Sun, Associate Professor of mechanical engineering […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...