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How 3D Printing And Robotics Can Work Together

by Tyron Denson

Robotics is a branch in the field of engineering. It can also get referred to as an interdisciplinary branch of science. The area of robotics includes such activities as mechanical engineering and computer science. It can get broken down into the designing, construction, operation, and application of robots and computer systems. But note, these computer systems are used to control the perception, sensory feedback, and levels of information processing in the robots. As a field, robotics is primarily aimed at creating intelligent machines that can be used to improve the day to day lives of man. Since it’s establishment, robotics industry has had a lot of advancements made in attempts to achieve its goal. Some of these advancements include the applications of 3D technology in robotics.With that said, 3D robotics has become a popular term in the sector.

How 3D printing and Robotics works

Individually, the 3D printing industry and the robotics sector are significant phenomenons with a lot of benefits. The combination of these two technologies could mean a lot of changes in how human beings live. For instance, combinations of the works of industrial robots and 3D printing would significantly impact the manufacturing industry. However, the issue that practitioners have found in meshing the two technologies is how exactly to implement this novel idea.

How to combine robotics and 3D printing technology

  • Equipping robotic arms with a head for material deposition

This is the perfect way of meshing the two technologies together. Companies like Stratasys have been able to achieve this with their composite 3D demonstrator machine. This machine was unveiled back in 2016. The robotic arm of the device is fitted with an extrusion head whose design is based on FDM 3D printing technology. The main advantage of this novel technology is that it has led to significant advancements in production. This means that it has led to ease in the manufacture of large, tighter, and intricate parts.

  • Use of the industrial robots in 3D printing

Another mode of meshing these two technologies together is applying industrial robots to assist in 3D printing. This can be done in various stages. This means that the robots do not have to be used in all phases of printing but where necessary. For instance, the robots can be used to replace filaments in the 3D printer as the printing process continues. Companies can also opt to use a robot or robotic arm to remove the final print from the printing bed. This application would help to make the 3Dprinting process more autonomous. Also, the robots can be used to replace the printing plates and correct errors during the printing process. Several 3D printing companies are currently applying robotics in the printing process.

Conclusion

Robots can also be applied in the procession or assembling of 3D printed parts. Using robots helps to improve the quality of products that are made in 3D printing when used in different phases. Practitioners both in the 3D printing and robotics sector agree that the two aspects mesh significantly. Therefore, a lot of research is underway trying to determine how to apply the two technologies to each other.

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