A major drawback to 3D printing is the slow pace of the process, which ensures details are reproduced accurately. The pace of 3D printing is one of the factors that has prevented the technology from finding a broader audience. A new algorithm was developed that boosts the speed at which the printers operate.
One of the challenges for today's 3D printers lies in vibrations caused as they work. A printer's movable parts, particularly in lightweight desktop models, cause vibrations that reduce the quality of the item being produced. The faster the machine moves, the more vibrations are created. The algorithm allows printers to deliver high-quality results at speeds up to two times faster than those in common use, with no added hardware costs. The software anticipates when the printer may vibrate excessively, and adjusts its motions accordingly.
Eventually, the researchers want to see the algorithm applied in the firmware — the software that runs on the printer itself — enabling it to be integrated with the printers, regardless of the size. The software can also be used on a variety of industrial-grade machines that suffer from similar limitations due to vibrations.