Two Students in Zurich have developed a marvel of Additive Manufacturing. Oliver Tolar and Denis Herrmann developed a Six Axis 3D printer. The additional axes allow the machine to tilt the print bed. The machine is on display at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Even though the machine is in the prototype stage, it has immense possibility.
What Makes it So Special?
The additional axes allow the printer to create more elaborate objects. Especially when it comes to models with odd curvatures and overhangs. By tilting the bed, the printer manages to pull off difficult geometric shapes. In essence, the printer has 3 axes that control the print head, while the other 3 move the bed to aid in areas that require the shape to be contorted.
While other FFF / FDM 3D printers only work with right angles, this one adds to the range of motion to solve this issue. Since the printer has no need to utilize support structures, this means that there is much less post-processing needed and also less waste material. Incidentally, that also means the printer works faster since it can by-pass the need for support structures.
It bears reminding that the printer is not yet past the prototyping stage. The students are currently working on the next prototype. They hope to improve on the design in significant ways. The next obstacle is to get the the print bed to move in conjunction with the print head. This will enable the printer to perform a continuous print.
There is much cause to be excited by the future additions to this line of 3D printers. The printer presents an elegant solution to one of the major drawbacks of FFF printing. Adding to that, it also made the process faster and the outcome smoother. We’re looking forward to learn more about six axis 3D printing.