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Print perfect: Mastering motion control design for 3D printing

30 June 2023

When developing a 3D printing machine for additive manufacturing, achieving highly accurate and coordinated motion control is essential. Trio Motion Technology’s Ed Novak explores motion system design considerations to ensure high quality and productivity in 3D printing.

Of the various types of additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, the most common is fused filament fabrication, also called fused deposition modelling. The construction material is melted into a malleable state and then extruded through a nozzle. This extrusion, or ‘printing’, takes place in a pre-set pattern, with each layer built up in three dimensions to form an object.

3D-printed objects could include intricate machine components and edible items, and as a result, the additive material could range from powdered metals to chocolate. Whatever the material and shape required, functionally, the 3D printing technique is the same. 

3D printing has traditionally provided fast, low-cost prototype production. 3D printing enables manufacture without the need for tooling development, and the technique also allows much faster changes to update designs. 

However, 3D printing is also beginning to be used in serial production – especially where traditional techniques might not be as effective. For example, if you’re making a unique component that’s too intricate to be machined, a 3D printer could potentially do the job. 

Read the full article in DPA's July issue

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