Achieving high throughput and meeting resolution requirements is key to large area extrusion-based 3D printing of thermoplastics and their composites, for printing multiple small parts or fewer large parts.
Rutgers researchers have created a multiplexed 3D printing (M3DP) approach to transform how well these needs are met. State-of-the-art combines printing of large lines to increase printing speed with machining to achieve high resolution. The machining needs 2-3X more time than printing which results in reduced throughput, in addition to greater cost and material wastage. M3DP achieves 2.5-4X lesser machining time and material waste by increasing as-printed resolution, but without losing printing speed. If machining is unavailable or impossible then state-of-the-art prints smaller lines to meet resolution goals, at the cost of throughput. In such cases, M3DP can reduce printing time by 10X or more by concurrently printing multiple regions of a large part or multiple smaller parts.
M3DP uses multiple extruders mounted on one gantry, with each extruder concurrently printing a different section of a large part or printing multiple small parts (Fig. A). A novel AI-driven toolpath planning technique creates complex non-periodic and fully 3D geometries without needing multiple gantries or multiple robots (Fig. B).
- Aerospace industry
- Automotive industry
- Wind/Solar energy
- Higher overall throughput at high resolution with lesser machining.
- Part strength/stiffness ≈ 80-90% of material.
- Large & small parts are printed concurrently on the same machine with the above advantages.
- Retrofitting existing printers to M3DP is possible by using commercial extruders.
- Quick introduction of new materials via AI.
Intellectual Property & Development Status:
Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.
TTO Home Page: https://techfinder.rutgers.edu
Name: Shu Wang
Title: Sr. Licensing Manager
Department: Innovation Ventures