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Title: Architecting the Cooperative 3D Printing System

Cooperative 3D printing (C3DP) is a novel approach to additive manufacturing, where multiple mobile 3D printing robots work together cooperatively to print the desired part. At the core of C3DP lies the chunk-based printing strategy. This strategy splits the desired part into smaller chunks, and then the chunks are assigned and scheduled to be printed by individual printing robots. In our previous work, we presented various hardware and software components of C3DP, such as mobile 3D printers, chunk-based slicing, scheduling, and simulation. In this study, we present a fully integrated and functional C3DP platform with all necessary components, including chunker, slicer, scheduler, printing robots, build floor, and outline how they work in unison from a system-level perspective. To realize C3DP, new developments of both hardware and software are presented, including new chunking approaches, scalable scheduler for multiple robots, SCARA-based printing robots, a mobile platform for transporting printing robots, modular floor tiles, and a charging station for the mobile platform. Finally, we demonstrate the capability of the system using two case studies. In these demonstrations, a CAD model of a part is fed to the chunker, divided into smaller chunks, passed to the scheduler, and assigned and scheduled to be more » printed by the scheduler with a given number of robots. The slicer generates G-code for each of the chunks and combines G-code into one file for each robot. The simulator then uses the G-code generated by the slicer to generate animations for visualization purposes.

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40th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (CIE)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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