Unique Moving Supports Reduce 3D Printing Waste by 35%

  • Unique Moving Supports Reduce 3D Printing Waste by 35%

    updated 2 weeks, 1 day ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Anonymous

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    April 7, 2021 at 10:19 AM
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    While additive manufacturing (AM) may save substantial amounts in terms of material waste compared to subtractive techniques, AM is not without its own subtractive procedures, namely in the post-processing of prints. Depending on the specific 3D printing method used, there may be significant support structures that need to be removed from a print. Researchers at USC Viterbi’s Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering have come up with a novel way to reduce this in fused filament fabrication (FFF).

    In an article for Additive Manufacturing, Yong Chen, professor of industrial and systems engineering, and PhD student Yang Xu, describe their method for a dynamically-controlled 3D printing substrate. Inspired by pin impression toys, the team created a print bed made up of a series of square washers connected to rods controlled by a single stepper motor. The rods and washers move to the necessary heights to support the object in various locations.

    The team first demonstrated their technique for an arbitrary CAD model, completely replacing the need for printed support structures. For more complex geometries, printed supports were still needed. The metal squares would raise to a point and the remainder of the required support would be printed

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