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  1. Delta 3D printers can significantly increase throughput in additive manufacturing by enabling faster and more precise motion compared to conventional serial-axis 3D printers. Further improvements in motion speed and part quality can be realized through model-based feedforward vibration control, as demonstrated on serial-axis 3D printers. However, delta machines have not benefited from model-based controllers because of the difficulty in accurately modeling their position-dependent, coupled nonlinear dynamics. In this paper, we propose an efficient framework to obtain accurate linear parameter-varying models of delta 3D printers at any position within their workspace from a few frequency response measurements. We decompose the dynamics into two sub-models–(1) an experimentally-identified sub-model containing decoupled vibration dynamics; and (2) an analytically-derived sub-model containing coupled dynamics–which are combined into one using receptance coupling. We generalize the framework by extending the analytical model of (2) to account for differing mass profiles and dynamic models of the printer’s end-effector. Experiments demonstrate reasonably accurate predictions of the position-dependent dynamics of a commercial delta printer, augmented with a direct drive extruder, at various positions in its workspace. Note to Practitioners—This work aims to equip high-speed 3D printers, like delta machines, with model-based controllers to complement their speed with high-accuracy. Due to the coupled kinematic chains of the delta, complex control methodologies, some of which require real-time state measurements, are often used to achieve satisfactory control performance. Our modeling approach provides an efficient methodology for obtaining accurate linear models without the need for real-time measurements, thus enabling practitioners to design linear model-based feedforward controllers to achieve the high throughput and accuracy desired in additive manufacturing (AM). The models we develop in this paper are intended for use with feedforward vibration compensation methods, which can be beneficial for both industrial-scale AM machines that have high-powered servo motors and feedback controllers, as well as consumer-grade AM machines which use stepper motors in feedforward control. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract There is growing interest in the use of the filtered basis functions (FBF) approach to track linear systems, especially nonminimum phase (NMP) plants, because of its distinct advantages compared to other tracking control methods in the literature. The FBF approach expresses the control input to the plant as a linear combination of basis functions with unknown coefficients. The basis functions are forward filtered through the plant dynamics, and the coefficients are selected such that tracking error is minimized. Similar to other feedforward control methods, the tracking accuracy of the FBF approach deteriorates in the presence of uncertainties. However, unlike other methods, the FBF approach presents flexibility in terms of the choice of the basis functions, which can be used to improve its accuracy. This paper analyzes the effect of the choice of the basis functions on the tracking accuracy of FBF, in the presence of uncertainties, using the Frobenius norm of the lifted system representation (LSR) of FBF's error dynamics. Based on the analysis, a methodology for optimal selection of basis functions to maximize robustness is proposed, together with an approach to avoid large control effort when it is applied to NMP systems. The basis functions resulting from this process are called robust basis functions. Applied experimentally to a desktop three-dimensional (3D) printer with uncertain NMP dynamics, up to 48% improvement in tracking accuracy is achieved using the proposed robust basis functions compared to B-splines, while utilizing much less control effort. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. A hybrid filtered basis function (FBF) approach is proposed in this paper for feedforward tracking control of linear systems with unmodeled nonlinear dynamics. Unlike most available tracking control techniques, the FBF approach is very versatile; it is applicable to any type of linear system, regardless of its underlying dynamics. The FBF approach expresses the control input to a system as a linear combination of basis functions with unknown coefficients. The basis functions are forward filtered through a linear model of the system's dynamics and the unknown coefficients are selected such that tracking error is minimized. The linear models used in existing implementations of the FBF approach are typically physics-based representations of the linear dynamics of a system. The proposed hybrid FBF approach expands the application of the FBF approach to systems with unmodeled nonlinearities by learning from data. A hybrid model is formulated by combining a physics-based model of the system's linear dynamics with a data-driven linear model that approximates the unmodeled nonlinear dynamics. The hybrid model is used online in receding horizon to compute optimal control commands that minimize tracking errors. The proposed hybrid FBF approach is shown in simulations on a model of a vibration-prone 3D printer to improve tracking accuracy by up to 65.4%, compared to an existing FBF approach that does not incorporate data. 
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