3D printing processes are being increasingly used in the world right now. In combination with industrial robots, 3D printing technology is an excellent option for those seeking to design products on a large scale with smart manufacturing.
Some time ago two designers Petr Novikov and Sasa Jokic, from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, in collaboration with designer Joris Laarman created an anti-gravity 3D printer-robot. During their internship at the Joris Laarman Laboratory, where students receive a platform to experiment with new digital fabrication methods, they worked on a project called Mataerial.
This project that aimed to design “anti-gravity object modeling” allows the creation of 3D objects on any work surface regardless of its angle and texture.
The ABB robot creates three-dimensional objects on any type of surface through a material that dries instantly with the use of a heater. The materials on which it usually prints are stainless steel, aluminum, bronze or copper.
The 3D printer uses a type of polymer that hardens quickly. This allows you to create shapes from any surface without the need for structures or support. You can even print custom curves as soon as the polymer comes out of the nozzle. The two factors that you need to keep in mind while customizing your designs are the width of the material to be printed, and the speed exerted by the printer.
This method gives us flexibility to create truly natural objects by making 3D curves instead of 2D layers. Unlike 2D layers that ignore the structure of the object, 3D curves can follow exact stress lines in a custom way.
Petr Novikov and Sasa Jokic explained, “These robots can work simultaneously while fulfilling different tasks, and can create objects of virtually any scale, as long as the properties of the material allow it.”
It is an innovative extrusion technology that instantly creates thick three-dimensional bars, faster, allowing more flexibility in creating more natural objects.
This new manufacturing method also offers creative and productive opportunities, to make mass manufacturing sustainable and efficient.