Abstract

By attaching a material extrusion system to a robotic arm, we can deposit materials onto complex surfaces. Robotic manipulators can also maximize the task utility by performing other tasks such as assembly or surface polishing when they are not in use for the AM process. We present a robotic cell for embedding prefabricated components in extrusion-based AM. The robotic cell consists of two 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) robots, an extrusion system, and a gripper. One robot is used for printing a part, and the other robot takes a support role to pick and place the prefabricated component and embed it into the part being printed. After the component is embedded, AM process resumes, and the material is deposited onto the prefabricated components and previously printed layers. We illustrate the capabilities of the system by fabricating three objects.

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