Gantry Robot used in 3D Printing: Control and Design
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Amir R. Ali
Eng. Malek Mahmoud
Ahmed Salah, B.Sc. (2016)
Brief description for the project:
This project is about designing and control of a 3D printer, as well as software development of the device. Also, it aims to study programming in real time (finite time) and its role in controlling a 3D printer that depends on a robotic arm movement, and compares it to conventional programming and robust control methods that require infinite time for the system to reach its equilibrium state.
The controlling of robotic arm is really challenging due to the involvement of various uncertainties such as- time varying payload, friction and disturbances. These challenges attract many researchers to develop advanced control strategies for robot arm.
The robot used in the 3D printer is the gantry robot, its design modified slightly. The software that is used to link between the Solidworks design and the real hardware of the robot is soft motion, and a Labview code is used to provide this link between the software and hardware, so that when the end effector is moved it reflects on both the hardware and the visible design in Solidworks.
This research also discusses the open and closed loop control of the stepper motors used to control the movement of the printer. It also talks about the advantages and drawbacks of using these types of control systems. It also discusses the different types of stepper motors and the advantages of each type, and why the stepper motor was ideal for this project.
Challenges of the project:
It is possible to have much higher speeds than we have today because of the wider motor choice and high acceleration while the control loop tries to reach its desired position.
More opportunities for cost reduction are provided since accuracy and precision are independently controlled in closed-loop systems.