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What Is the Ideal Motion Platform for Additive Manufacturing?

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Conference Abstract: The initial choices surrounding Additive Manufacturing “AM” adoption have always been relatively complex due of the wide variety of the 7+ different families, or types, of AM. However, ongoing introduction of new system sizes and formats, even within the same family of AM, has made this choice even more complicated.

How can you choose between the many sizes and formats of AM systems? Most commonly, 3D printers use 3-axis motion platforms at desktop scale, as a continuation from early success in rapid prototyping applications. While this style of motion platform is appropriate for many applications, 3D printers are now available in much larger and stronger configurations. For example, many are now available hosted in robots, meter-scale gantries, and even highly dynamic machine tools.

This presentation shares a framework to help evaluate the relative advantages of different host motion platforms for 3D printing technologies. By focusing on the nature and quantity of the parts to be printed and your appetite for integrating post-processing steps, this decision path can become clear.

Whether you are contemplating your first steps into AM or considering adding another printing system, this presentation aims to equip you with a method to weigh the relative advantages of system print volume, dynamic precision, and complexity to help establish your lowest total cost of process ownership.