Programmable Filament: Multicolor & Multimaterial 3D Printing with No Upgrades

Most of us nonetheless get excited in regards to the alternative to solid apart single-color fused filament fabrication (FFF) and discover the potential of multi-colored, multi-material printing, usually reserved for greater finish binder jet and inkjet applied sciences. Whereas traditionally a tougher and sophisticated expertise, multi-color printing usually permits the person extra alternatives with add-on .

As all the time, accessibility and affordability are what actually enable new , software program, and supplies to catch on. With this in thoughts, a analysis staff from the Laptop Science and Engineering Division at Texas A&M College (working additionally with researchers from Japan) has developed an interactive system for 3D printing with a number of colours and a number of supplies utilizing a single printhead—and with none updates obligatory.

Programmable Filament works with current 3D printers, splicing a number of filament segments right into a single thread. The method begins by merely printing a brand new strand of filament made up of various current strands of filaments. This new multicolored, multi-material wire of filament can then be used to print a multicolored, multi-material object. The approach is supposed to work with inexpensive FDM single-nozzle 3D printers, and is “constructed upon computational evaluation and experiments,” as outlined in “Programmable Filament: Printed Filaments for Multi-material 3D Printing.”

Programmable Filament is a novel 3D printing approach that permits customers to 3D print an object with a number of supplies utilizing an FDM printer with none modification. (From left to proper) First, customers generate a filament that comprises a number of supplies, to feed into the extruder, then 3D print an object in full shade.

Whereas many might discover this harking back to the Palette expertise with open-source software program launched by Mosaic Manufacturing in 2018, right here the researchers defined that they had been impressed by DasMia, an Instructables person innovating with a skinny, wire-like filament:

“… we increase on the idea to manufacture a programmable filament connecting a number of segments of varied supplies right into a single filament based mostly on the person’s specs (known as printed filament). We exhibit that the printed filament can be utilized in the identical manner as a traditional filament, i.e., extruded by an ordinary nozzle, requiring no modification.”

Whereas DasMia targeted on producing a reasonably awesome-looking rainbow filament and Mosaic provides quite a lot of methods for customers to innovate after upgrading their methods and counting on Canvas Hub for help, Programmable Filament is supposed to streamline earlier challenges present in twin printing, reducing down on shifting and mixing of colours and supplies between segments. Their purpose can be to current extra choices to customers, overriding a number of the limiting components of earlier expertise and strategies. This additionally reverses extra frequent however much less efficient strategies specializing in post-processing with brushing and portray. With pre-processing of filament, the printer does the work within the fabrication of multi-faceted objects.

Programmable Filament: Multicolor & Multimaterial 3D Printing with No Upgrades 4

Printing process of a filament: (a) Printing begins with one shade, (b) it pauses upon completion of printing all segments, permitting the person to vary the fabric. (c-d) The 3D printer prints the remaining segments avoiding collision with prior segments, (e) then prints stitches to affix adjoining segments.

Upon splicing collectively segments to create one filament, an extended spiral is produced. The authors declare that this can be utilized similar to customary 3D printing filaments. As a programmable filament, nevertheless, the fabric could be fine-tuned for required traits like thickness, roundness, and extra. Customers are in a position to manipulate the printing path accordingly, establishing how a lot materials is required for printing segments, in addition to the size of the spiral.

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An exemplary printed filament and object printed utilizing it: The layers of (a) and (b) are printed in the identical phase size (200 mm), however seem with completely different layer counts.

Whereas this course of provides new alternative for customers, the implications for the way forward for filaments is huge when it comes to the power to supply on-demand supplies that may be programmed and customised in excessive element.

“On this future filament supply-chain, the shopper and producer can even carefully work collectively, empowering the potential for producers to grow to be conscious of the rising wants in producing new supplies for mass manufacturing,” defined the researchers.

This work has been accepted for the ACM UIST 20 convention, held from October 20-23, 2020. Discover out extra in regards to the HCI (human-computer interplay) digital occasion right here.

[Source / Images: “Programmable Filament: Printed Filaments for Multi-material 3D Printing”]

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