Increasing the Speed of 3D Printing: Manufacturing Industry Benefits

There have been a few major aspects of modern Additive Manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, which held it back from having a monumental impact on the manufacturing industry. Speed, variety of materials and quality have kept smaller manufacturers from investing in the technology. However, with a recent breakthrough from the University of Michigan has the potential to dramatically reduce the time in which it takes to print components without impacting quality.

The new algorithm takes into account the vibrations caused by the 3D printing process. Printers utilizing the algorithm can, in real-time, compensate for these vibrations and adjust accordingly. This newly developed capability allowed printers in the trial to run at twice the speed when compared to similar 3D printing models. Furthermore, the algorithm can be implemented into current 3D printers without the need for additional hardware. This offers manufacturers which have already invested into their own 3D printers to utilize the advancement without the need to pour additional resources into new equipment.

Researchers from the university focused on the vibrations which occur throughout the manufacturing process caused through the action of moving parts and realized that they are a leading cause of inaccuracy and deficiencies in quality. All of this movement affects the speed in which the printer can print while still remaining accurate.

Chinedum Okwudire, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan explained, “Armed with knowledge of the printer’s dynamic behavior, the program anticipates when the printer may vibrate excessively and adjust its motions accordingly.”

The video above offers additional insight into the issue which has pledged manufacturers excited about utilizing their 3D printers for high-volume orders. It goes on to explain how the new algorithm developed by these researchers can help increase the speed of nearly any 3D printer using their new software.

This is not the only breakthrough focused on increasing the speed of 3D printing. Named ‘FastFFF’, Professor John Hard and Jamison Go of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published an article explaining this new technology. Using a modernized printhead and a faster gantry system, it is able to manufacture objects around seven times faster than an average desktop 3D printer.

Between the developments coming from University of Michigan and MIT, the future of 3D printing continues to become more exciting. Manufacturers may finally be able to use their additive manufacturing services to its full potential. It’ll take some time before these technologies are made commercially available however it’s promising to see progress moving forward. 3D printing has already proven itself to be a valuable addition to the modern manufacturing facility and these advancements will make the technology much more justifiable in terms of ROI.

It has been exciting to watch 3D printing consistently advance and there’s no telling what the future has in store. Be sure to check back on for the latest manufacturing developments driving the industry forward.


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