At last year's International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, attendees got a glimpse of several of the most innovative, emerging technologies. Out of 2,407 exhibitors, Stratasys caught all eyes and ears with the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator and Infinite Build 3D Demonstrator. In part 1 of our two-part blog, we explore what the 3D printing robot has to offer the manufacturing technology industry.
What is the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator?
The Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is a robot that uses a combination of technology for additive manufacturing. While traditional 3D printing provides a layer-by-layer build from bottom up, the Stratasys Composite 3D Demonstrator builds from the inside out.
What technology is involved?
Stratasys worked diligently with Siemens to make all of the components and integartions of this 3D printing composite system come together. With tool pathing and motion control from Siemens and advanced extrusion control from Stratasys, the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator combines the best of manufacturing and additive technology, including Multi-Axis Additive Manufacturing, eliminating support material and collaborative effort.
Multi-Axis Additive Manufacturing
According to Clint Newell, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies at Stratasys, this is a huge advantage when designing and printing parts with complex geometries and angles because of the freedom of movement when placing the carbon fiber materials. This approach is known as Multi-Axis Additive Manufacturing and has extreme advantages over other 3D printing technology.
Eliminating Support Material
With this new approach to a motion platform, fibers can be exdruded in different directions and orientations. As a result, the Robotic Composite Arm can reinforce from any direction, without the use of support material. Eliminating support structures reduces build-time and materials that traditional 3D printing still relies on.
Siemens and Stratasys collaborated to seemlessly bring together industry-leading motion controls software with FDM technology. As a result of this collaborative effort, the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator can help automate the workflow.
In addition to enhancing the 3D printing capabilities, the integration between printer and software help bypass file conversions, transfers and translations. This CAD direct to print methodology is crucial to simplifying the system.
Did you notice that the robot features several Stratasys 3D printed parts? Stratasys' Director of Manufacturing Platform Development, Scott Sevcik says "If we can print it, we print it. It's usually faster and usually less expensive for us to do so." To make their production process more efficient, Stratasys takes pride in using their own 3D printed parts, anywhere from the head of the machine to smaller parts to jigs and fixtures.
Stratasys is constantly coming out with new technology that offers competitive engineering solutions. Learn more about the PolyJet and FDM 3D printing technologies they offer and request a quote today!