Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level



Mechanical Engineering


Wenchao Zhou

Committee Member/Reader

David Huitink


3D printing currently offers robust and cheap rapid prototyping solutions. While standard 3D printing remains at the periphery of mass production, the technology serves as a starting point for the development of swarm manufacturing. Since swarm manufacturing is predicated upon autonomy, swarm technology companies such as AMBOTS are seeking to minimize human involvement in the swarm’s functions. At present, the 3D printing swarm consists of the printers, a transporter which can take them between job sites, and the floor tiles which provide power and support the build surfaces. To add to this ecosystem, this project is focused on the design and construction of a station which automatically refills filament for the swarm printers. This was done using materials and mechanisms already common to the swarm. As of the publishing date, the station exists as a functional first-iteration prototype which proves the viability of the concept and serves as a basis for future development.


additive manufacturing, 3D printing, swarm manufacturing, robotics, material resupply, AMBOTS