This article discusses the concept of using an industrial robot arm platform for additive manufacturing. The concept being explored is the integration of existing additive manufacturing process technologies with an industrial robot arm to create a 3D printer with a multi-plane layering capability. The objective is to develop multi-plane toolpath motions that will leverage the increased capability of the robot arm platform compared to conventional gantry-style 3D printers. This approach enables print layering in multiple planes whereas existing conventional 3D printers are restricted to a single toolpath plane (e.g. x-y plane). This integration combines the fused deposition modeling techniques using an extruder head that is typically used in 3D printing and a 6 degree of freedom robot arm. Here, a Motoman SV3X is used as the platform for the robot arm. A higher level controller is used to control the robot and the extruder. To communicate with the robot, MotoCom SDK libraries is used to develop the interfacing software between the higher level controller and the robot arm controller. The integration of these systems enabled multi-plane toolpath motions to be utilized to produce 3D printed parts. A test block has been 3D printed using this integrated system.

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