New Approach Makes 3D Printing Technique More Accessible


In this technology era, use of 3D printing technology is increasing daily. It takes place in various sectors like electronic devices, medical, transportation and daily needs at large scale. This 3D printing technology can create anything amazing as you want.

Previously, I have written about how this 3D printing technology has been used to develop a 3D-printed autonomous minibus. This 3D-printed minibus was developed on public transportation solution demand. Passengers can call it through their mobile app. This 3D-printed minibus can establish communication with its passengers through its interface.

Recently, a new approach has been developed to make 3D printing more accessible. This technology is created by Computer Science Professors Michael Jones and Kevin Seppi from Brigham Young University. They just removed the amount of skill required to design an object for 3D printing. Isn’t it so cool that this 3D printing technology allows ideas to develop faster than ever?

In this new method, scientists have used clay modeling to shape the desired object around “blocks” or “blanks”. These blanks represent the common buttons, knobs, or sliders which make the object functional. After detecting the complete clay modeling, the computer identifies each “blank” as a certain type of button. The computer detects each button, allowing for the accurate space for the real button to be installed after the object has been printed.

For decades, Scientists have been designing in clay, but this new approach integrates form with functionality.

Jones said, “Working in clay is awesome until you add all the circuitry in it. With this method, you can get the shape right by working with the clay. Even for people who are skilled in 3D modeling or even if you have years of experience designing models on a computer screen, making a shape that matches an opening in a specific context is pretty tough.”

Additionally, the computer also calculates the excellent method to cut the object in half to fix the circuitry inside. After testing, this method shows that it takes almost 30 minutes of human effort to sculpt a common prototype. However after scanning, it only takes a single button click to finish the 3D modeling process.

Last year, this idea of using placeholders in 3D printing had arisen in the form of stickers to represent where a button would be placed in an object. But, it was difficult to get the correct depth for the button in the printed model. To overcome this, Jones and Seppi’s updated the method by using clay modeling around blanks.

The algorithm used to detect the blanks in the clay model can also be used for further research in the future. Now, scientists plan to build upon their idea to design motion sensors for functionality.

Jones said, “We want to develop a circuit that not only senses acceleration and rotation but also can make sense of that motion. Whether it’s a sensor in a shoe or a cane, we hope to be able to write programs that interactively learn how to recognize a step or a cane drop accurately.”

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