Author Topic: move extrusion head with robot  (Read 198 times)

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Offline irondesk40

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move extrusion head with robot
« on: August 14, 2018, 05:46:32 PM »
new to robots. experience is with automation such as plc, hmi, servo drives etc. and looking into using robots.
have a question. Is there a way to take a file such as a Cadd file etc. and load that into a robot and the robot then be used to use something like a extrusion head to apply material and the robot move the extrusion head in the same shape as the pattern in the Cadd file or file?
Thanks

Offline SkyeFire

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Re: move extrusion head with robot
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 01:36:08 PM »
You want to use a robot arm as a giant 3D printer.

Yes, this is technologically possible. 

However, you're looking at multiple technologies for which there is not currently any off-the-shelf package, as far as I know.  All the solutions in this space that I'm aware of are essentially home-brew "hacks," and required a lot of custom programming and hardware hacking at multiple levels to make it work.

Translating a CAD file into a robot program is extremely complex, much more so than for a (relatively) simple CNC machine, and all the existing systems on the market are, AFAIK, made for subtractive machining, not additive.  And even when used for their intended purposes, those software packages are expensive, complex, and take a lot of hand-tweaking to really get things right.

Then there's the extruder.  You would have to create a hardware system for it, and then create a hardware&software combination to connect it to your robot.  You'll probably need to have the realtime TCP velocity control the extruder, since the robot has its own accel and inertia control, which won't mesh cleanly with the extruder speed, unlike in a typical 3D printer where all the motors are operated in seamless concert by the same "brain."  You essentially be re-creating a chunk of Marlin firmware from scratch.

And whatever you do would be unique to a specific brand of robot -- change brands, you'd have to start over almost from scratch, due to the differences between brands.

Offline irondesk40

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Re: move extrusion head with robot
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 05:56:19 PM »
Thanks