Research Papers

Development of a Low-Cost Parallel Kinematic Machine for Multidirectional Additive Manufacturing

[+] Author and Article Information
Xuan Song

Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial
and Systems Engineering,
University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Yayue Pan

Department of Mechanical
and Industrial Engineering,
University of Illinois at Chicago,
Chicago, IL 60607

Yong Chen

Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial
and Systems Engineering,
University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089
e-mail: yongchen@usc.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 15, 2014; final manuscript received October 14, 2014; published online December 12, 2014. Assoc. Editor: David L. Bourell.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 137(2), 021005 (Apr 01, 2015) (13 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1201; doi: 10.1115/1.4028897 History: Received April 15, 2014; Revised October 14, 2014; Online December 12, 2014

Most additive manufacturing (AM) processes are layer-based with three linear motions in the X, Y, and Z axes. However, there are drawbacks associated with such limited motions, e.g., nonconformal material properties, stair-stepping effect, and limitations on building-around-inserts. Such drawbacks will limit AM to be used in more general applications. To enable 6-axis motions between a tool and a work piece, we investigated a Stewart mechanism and the feasibility of developing a low-cost 3D printer for the multidirectional fused deposition modeling (FDM) process. The technical challenges in developing such an AM system are discussed including the hardware design, motion planning and modeling, platform constraint checking, tool motion simulation, and platform calibration. Several test cases are performed to illustrate the capability of the developed multidirectional AM system. A discussion of future development on multidirectional AM systems is also given.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Fig. 1

A schematic illustration of layer-based and multidirectional AM processes

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Fig. 2

Some low-cost 3D printers on market for the layer-based material deposition

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Fig. 3

Alternative mechanisms to achieve multi-axis extrusion

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Fig. 4

A schematic illustration of a Stewart mechanism and the CAD design of our parallel kinematic machine

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Fig. 5

An illustration of the coordinate systems and the main parameters of the prototyping system

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Fig. 6

Tool path planning for curve surface and build-around-inserts

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Fig. 7

An illustration of initial deposition gap control. (a) Adjusted starting point for tool path and (b) a laser-camera system to achieve initial deposition gap.

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Fig. 8

Different gap distances versus pixel positions of the laser dot in the captured images

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Fig. 9

Workspaces at different tool orientations: (a) workspace when rotation angle is 0 deg and (b) workspace when rotating 10 deg around the X axis

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Fig. 10

Software systems developed for the parallel kinematic machine. (a) The simulation software system and (b) the motion control software system.

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Fig. 11

An illustration of the platform pose measurement using two cameras

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Fig. 12

Data processing pipeline of the multidirectional AM system using the parallel kinematic machine

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Fig. 13

The prototype system for the multidirectional FDM process

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Fig. 14

A 3D spiral curve drawn by the multi-axis FDM system

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Fig. 15

A model with a slanted surface to be built. (a) Different surface normals and related building directions and (b) planned tool path for the 3D surfaces.

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Fig. 16

Test results. (a) Part fabrication by the FDM extrusion in a tilted angle and (b) built part.

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Fig. 17

Test results of 3D parts with improved surface finish. (a) A curved surface and planned tool paths; (b) built parts using two different approaches; (c) a magnified surface fabricated by the unidirectional AM approach; and (d) a magnified surface fabricated by the multidirectional AM approach.

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Fig. 18

Test results of building-around-inserts. (a) Problem with the vertical building on a slanted plane and (b) built characters on the plane.

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Fig. 19

Test results of building-around-inserts. (a) FDM nozzle at different positions and (b) built result on the curved surface.

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Fig. 20

Point retrieval by calculating the closing point between two camera lines



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