New Software Reduces FDM 3D Printer Vibration Without Losing Speed

Imagine some kind of software that can allow your FDM 3D printer to maintain high printing speed while keeping a decent level of precision. The University of Michigan invented a solution following this exact idea. In 2017, we presented the first results of the 3D printing algorithm developed by Chinedum Okwudire. A few years later, this idea began to take shape through the Ulendo company and was officially presented at the RAPID + TCT show, which took place last week in Detroit, USA. The product would reduce the vibration during the printing process and thus avoid any deformation of the part.

Desktop FDM 3D printers emit vibrations when in motion, which can cause problems during production. This can be a problem when creating a part, as it directly affects the quality of the object to be printed, especially on smaller and lighter machines. One way to avoid this is to reduce the speed of the machine, but again this can be a hindrance as the process isn’t exactly known for its speed. Chinedum Okwudire, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan and founder of Ulendo, explains“If you want to reduce the vibrations of a moving object, in most cases you can do so by slowing down the speed. But since 3D printing is already very slow, this solution poses another problem. Our solution allows you to print quickly without sacrificing quality.

Failed to print a Capitol replica on a double-speed 3D printer (Photo Credit: Evan Dougherty/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing)

It is from this observation that the Filtered B Splines (FBS) software was developed. It is based on a compensation algorithm that anticipates and reduces vibrations before they occur. The algorithm is based on a model of a printer’s behavior and adjusts its movements. The software then acts as a translator between how the machine behaves in a perfect world and how the printer should compensate for vibration in the real world.

Chinedum Okwudire adds: “Suppose you want a 3D printer to move in a straight line, but due to vibration, the movement increases. The FBS algorithm tricks a car into telling it to get off, and when it tries to go down that path, it goes straight.

The software can be applied to almost any 3D printer, although the value of such a solution lies more in small desktop machines which lack robustness and tend to move during the printing process. However, some industrial machinery manufacturers have also contacted the company to test the software. In addition, the teams want to go further and offer a solution for CNC machines, laser engravers or robotic arms.

Successfully printed the same replica on the same machine at the same speed, this time using the FBS algorithm (photo credits: Evan Dougherty/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing)

Ulendo CEO Brenda Jones adds: “Members of the 3D printing industry have the same jaw-dropping reaction I had when I first heard about how this technology makes a printer work twice the velocity and 10 times the acceleration.” You can find more information here.

What do you think of the new 3D printer algorithm? Let us know in a comment below or on our Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

Comments are closed.