“Support-free volume printing by multi-axis motion” by Dai, Wang, Wu, Lefebvre, Fang, et al. …

  • ©Chengkai Dai, Charlie C. L. Wang, Chenming Wu, Sylvain Lefebvre, Guoxin Fang, and Yong-Jin Liu



Entry Number: 134

Session Title:

    New Additions (and Subtractions) to Fabrication


    Support-free volume printing by multi-axis motion




    This paper presents a new method to fabricate 3D models on a robotic printing system equipped with multi-axis motion. Materials are accumulated inside the volume along curved tool-paths so that the need of supporting structures can be tremendously reduced – if not completely abandoned – on all models. Our strategy to tackle the challenge of tool-path planning for multi-axis 3D printing is to perform two successive decompositions, first volume-to-surfaces and then surfaces-to-curves. The volume-to-surfaces decomposition is achieved by optimizing a scalar field within the volume that represents the fabrication sequence. The field is constrained such that its iso-values represent curved layers that are supported from below, and present a convex surface affording for collision-free navigation of the printer head. After extracting all curved layers, the surfaces-to-curves decomposition covers them with tool-paths while taking into account constraints from the robotic printing system. Our method successfully generates tool-paths for 3D printing models with large overhangs and high-genus topology. We fabricated several challenging cases on our robotic platform to verify and demonstrate its capabilities.


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