New 3D Printer Lets You Make Changes “On-The-Fly”

Changed your mind? No problem—this new 3D printer has you covered.

6. 8. 16 by Charmaine Caparas
Cornell University

Cornell University researchers created a 3D printer that allows designers and engineers to “print on the fly.”

The interactive prototyping system allows designers to pause anytime to test, measure and, if necessary, make changes on the actual model they are printing.

Researchers describe it as going from “human-computer interaction to human-machine interaction.”

The system is an improved version of the “WirePrint” 3D printer, where quick-hardening plastic can create a wire frame that represents the surface of the solid object described in a computer-aided design (CAD) file. It attempts to speed up prototyping by creating a model of the shape of an object, instead of printing the entire solid.

Advertisement

The On-the-Fly-Print system builds on WirePrint’s idea by allowing users to make refinements while printing is actually in progress. The printer’s stage can be rotated in any direction, so that any surface of the printed object can be accessed, which allows the designer to put in additional elements. The model can also be cut to show a cross-section of parts.

The printer nozzle is long enough to reach through the wire mesh to make changes inside. The base is also detachable so the designer can remove the model from the printer to measure or test parts, and then put it back to resume printing.

It uses a software plug-in to the popular CAD program where users can design and edit the model…well, on the fly.


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Advertisement

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.