Robotic 3D Scanning and Printing

3D printing robotic workstation uses a medium-sized industrial robot equipped with a positioner designed for multi-axis additive manufacturing (MAAM).

The positioner extends the possibilities of 3D printing, in particular offering support-free printing and manufacturing of complex design parts. The key component is the laser tracker, which has several uses. In particular, it can be used to ensure higher precision of the produced parts. Our solution is ready for a wide range of additive technologies and materials. For testing purposes, we currently work with a Prusa MK3 extruder, but the workplace can also be equipped with another type.

At the same time, the positioner enables the production of even structurally complex parts. Thanks to this, it is possible to save time during production, both during the printing of supports and during their subsequent removal. In addition, the programmer has more options for producing a given part, especially in the case of rotating or symmetrical parts. An important role in the developed solution is played by a laser tracker, which has several uses. It can be used to ensure higher accuracy of manufactured parts, but it can also be used with a special reflector on the robot to measure parts with a touch probe accurately.

More About the Demonstrator

Our secondary usage of the laser tracker is equipping the robot with the target with a touch probe which is used to precise measure manufactured parts. This type of quality control could replace expensive CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines) and could improve output capacity, for example when combining it with a conveyor. Our solution is already working and can be used with our custom-developed software or with existing metrology software. We also intend to use laser marker as a part of quality control.

We are now developing a MAAM process parameters prediction system based on AI working with the set process parameters and the measured data. This system can be imagined as autotuning of process parameters for additive manufacturing technologies. Predicted process parameters are then inserted into the digital twin model in CAM software, generating complete code for the robot. Using the digital twin model is easy, but it also offers a number of advanced features. Another advantage of the digital twin is the ability to verify and simulate the program for the robot, including checking for collisions and singularities during the manufacturing process.