The computer system optimizes the performance of the 3D printer according to the task

When most people think of 3D printing, they think of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), in which an object is constructed in successive layers of molten thermoplastic. A new computer system is able to modify this process in order to create structurally stronger elements.

One of the problems with existing FDM technology is that when a new layer of molten plastic is extruded from the print nozzle, it is significantly hotter than the previously extruded layer on which it is deposited, which has had some time to cool.

If there is too much temperature difference between the two layers, they may not fuse properly. This faulty seam between the layers will form a weak point in the finished product.

In order to solve this problem, a team from the German Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK) developed the experimental software.

Taking into account the intended shape and size of the object and the type of plastic, the system automatically adjusts parameters such as print speed and nozzle temperature, depending on the part of the article. being printed. In areas where resistance is particularly important, for example, this will ensure that the temperatures of adjacent layers are as close as possible.

Laboratory tests, microscopic imaging showed that an object printed using the new system was structurally stronger than an otherwise identical object printed conventionally.

“The goal of our technology is to exploit the properties of materials in an optimal way,” said TUK researcher Alexander Schlicher. “Similar processes do not yet exist.”

Source: Technical University of Kaiserslautern

Gordon K. Morehouse