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Research on an automatic leveling method with a feedback mode for a parallel 3D printer

Yuezong Wang (Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China)
Zhaodong Wang (College of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Electronics Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China)
Mengfei Guo (Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China)
Xin Zhang (Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to propose an automatic leveling method for a printing platform based on a three-point coordinate feedback. The proposed method is used in fused deposition modeling additive manufacturing systems. The coordinate error of the leveled plane is constrained to within  ± 0.2 mm, which is less than the printed layer thickness.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the model of the forward and inverse solutions of the parallel arm is obtained based on the principles of vector algebra. Second, the automatic leveling mechanism for collecting the z-coordinate is designed. The best position of the virtual origin plane is obtained by comparing the z-coordinates of the test points. Finally, after making multiple adjustments through a closed-loop z-coordinate feedback, the parallelism of the printing plane and the virtual origin plane is limited to an effective range.

Findings

The experimental results show that after three leveling attempts, the z-coordinate of the test points can be constrained to within  ± 0.2 mm, which shows that this method can effectively achieve automatic leveling in a delta three-dimensional (3D) printer.

Originality/value

This study presents a novel and distinctive delta 3D printer leveling system by designing a leveling mechanism and a leveling algorithm. The method uses a closed-loop feedback mode to make the leveling process simple, convenient and efficient without requiring major changes to the printer. The error after leveling is less than the printed layer thickness, which fully guarantees the accuracy of the leveling process.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China through Grant Number 51675014 and Beijing Natural Science Foundation through Grant Number 3172005.

Citation

Wang, Y., Wang, Z., Guo, M. and Zhang, X. (2019), "Research on an automatic leveling method with a feedback mode for a parallel 3D printer", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1250-1265. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-03-2019-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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