MIT fast 3D printer is ten times faster than commercial counterparts
 

MIT fast 3D printer is ten times faster than commercial counterparts

MIT engineers have developed a desktop 3D printer that performs ten times faster than existing commercial counterparts. the most common printers may fabricate a few LEGO-sized bricks in one hour, whereas the new design can print similarly sized objects in just a few minutes. the key to the team’s nimble design lies in the printer’s compact printhead, which includes two speed-enhancing components: a screw mechanism that feeds polymer material through a nozzle at high force; and a laser, built into the printhead, that rapidly heats and melts the material, enabling it to flow faster through the nozzle.


all images © massachusetts institute of technology

 

 

MIT’s team demonstrated its new design by printing various detailed, handheld 3D objects, including small eyeglasses frames, and a bevel gear — each, from start to finish, within several minutes.

 

anastasios john hart, associate professor of mechanical engineering, says the new printer demonstrates the potential for 3D printing to become a more viable production technique, ‘if I can get a prototype part, maybe a bracket or a gear, in five to 10 minutes rather than an hour, or a bigger part over my lunch break rather than the next day, I can engineer, build, and test faster.’ he continues, ‘if i’m a repair technician and i could have a fast 3-d printer in my vehicle, I could 3d print a repair part on-demand after I figure out what’s broken. I don’t have to go to a warehouse and take it out of inventory.’

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