Date of Graduation

12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Advisor

Zhou, Wenchao

Reader

Patitz, Matthew

Second Reader

Thompson, Dale

Abstract

Cooperative 3D printing is an emerging technology that aims to increase the 3D printing speed and to overcome the size limit of the printable object by having multiple mobile 3D printers (printhead-carrying mobile robots) work together on a single print job on a factory floor. It differs from traditional layer-by-layer 3D printing due to requiring multiple mobile printers to work simultaneously without interfering with each other. Therefore, a new approach for slicing a digital model and generating commands for the mobile printers is needed, which has not been discussed in literature before. We propose a chunk-by-chunk based slicer that divides an object into chunks so that different mobile printers can print different chunks simultaneously without interfering with each other. In this paper, we first developed a slicer for cooperative 3D printing with two mobile fused deposition modeling (FDM) printers. To enable many more mobile printers working together, we then developed a framework for scaling to many mobile printers with high parallel efficiency. To validate our slicer for the cooperative 3D printing process, we have also developed a simulator environment, which can be a valuable tool in visualizing and optimizing a cooperative 3D printing strategy. This simulation environment was also developed to export the visualization in a generic format for use elsewhere. Results show that the developed slicer and simulator are working effectively.

Keywords

3D Printing, Scaling, Robotics, Cooperative, Manufacturing, Simulation

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