group

Authors' Class Standing

Matthew Caixeiro, Sophomore Scott Kent, Sophomore Alexander Seifans, Sophomore Garveen Sindhu, Sophomore

Lead Presenter's Name

Alexander Seifans

Faculty Mentor Name

Mike Potash

Abstract

Advancements in technology have made 3D printing easily accessible to a large audience while maintaining the ability to create highly detailed products. Capitalizing on this, research was done into the possibility of automating a 3D printer and operating it in a public setting. It was discovered that in order to combat the main problems a 3D printer experiences throughout its lifetime research would be focused onto two primary research subjects, minimizing human interaction and enacting proactive measures to prevent future errors. From there many systems within the vending machine were analyzed to find ways to reduce human interaction and design a cost effective solution for that problem. As a prototype design was finalized, it was determined that focusing on lowering regular maintenance with some automation is more efficient than completely automating the system. As a result, the current design includes linear actuators for part transfer into and out of storage, a storage carousel to hold finished prints until pick-up, and a live-feed camera to monitor the status of the printer. Looking forward, the current plan is to investigate to what degree the 3D printer can be automated beyond the necessary mechanism and streamline the process of public printing via the use of digital tools.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes

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Problems of Automating a 3D Printer for Public Vending – Problem Analysis and Research

Advancements in technology have made 3D printing easily accessible to a large audience while maintaining the ability to create highly detailed products. Capitalizing on this, research was done into the possibility of automating a 3D printer and operating it in a public setting. It was discovered that in order to combat the main problems a 3D printer experiences throughout its lifetime research would be focused onto two primary research subjects, minimizing human interaction and enacting proactive measures to prevent future errors. From there many systems within the vending machine were analyzed to find ways to reduce human interaction and design a cost effective solution for that problem. As a prototype design was finalized, it was determined that focusing on lowering regular maintenance with some automation is more efficient than completely automating the system. As a result, the current design includes linear actuators for part transfer into and out of storage, a storage carousel to hold finished prints until pick-up, and a live-feed camera to monitor the status of the printer. Looking forward, the current plan is to investigate to what degree the 3D printer can be automated beyond the necessary mechanism and streamline the process of public printing via the use of digital tools.

 

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