One of the biggest advantages that 3D printing has to offer is rapid prototyping to industry and small scale makers alike by enabling them adjust the printed prototype as necessary. But the new printing system is all set to increase the pace of this already rapid process by giving these inventors the option of making necessary changes to the objects as they are being printed.
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A team of researchers from Cornell have come up with this new printing system which they dubbed “On-the-Fly Print System” which gives you the option of pausing in the middle to measure and test the object to add any physical changes while the object is inside the printer. The new system is different from the current printer because it uses a modified “WirePrint” which allows it to create a wire frame skeleton of the object instead of printing the entire solid object on a single take.
The printer is equipped with a cutter to remove material and its nozzle can rotate to any side of an object to add surface. This extended nozzle makes it possible to reach ahead of the wire frame handle of an object and change it from within. Furthermore a pair of mist cooling nozzles spray the expelled material as it prints so that the hardening process can be made quicker. But most important is the detachable base of the system which lets you remove an object for testing and measurement and then lets you replace it so that printing can commence.
The CAD software plugin acts as a companion to allow the user to work on the design and alter the object while its printing, all at the same time. The video blow shows how the system works and uses a model of a toy airplane as an example. The first step is to print the fuselage of the place while the wings are still under the design process in the CAD program.
After completion of the design the wing is added to the printable area. After the wing is finished printing the user removes it to check on the design and subsequently puts it back in the printer and moves on to designing the cockpit while the second wing is being printed and this continues until the whole plane has been printed. Cornell student Huaishu Peng had the following to say about the new system as he described it in a paper presented at the 2016 ACM Conference for Human Computer Interaction, “We believe that this approach has the potential to improve the overall quality of the design process.”
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