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Ridgeback Takes 3D Printing to the Next Level

How can you print something larger than the printer itself? That’s the problem researchers Xu Zhang, Mingyang Li, Quang-Cuong Pham, and others set out to solve at the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Their solution: mounting the 3D printers on a pair of Ridgeback mobile robots , who work together to print different sections of the same part. Impressively, the robots work at the same time and in overlapping workspaces. In fact, the paper , published in August 2018, marks the first time a large concrete structure has ever been 3D-printed by multiple robots concurrently! 3D printers go mobile Most 3D printing systems lack scalability: Gantry-based systems—in which a cartesian robot moves inside a cage—are large and inefficient. To print a meter-long structure, for instance, you’d need a cage of at least 1 meter cubed. This massive […]

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