Proceedings of the
9th International Conference of Asian Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (ASPEN2022)
15 – 18 November 2022, Singapore

Enhancement of printing resolution and scalability using a flexible support platform Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Seungjae Lee and Namhun Kima

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, South Korea


In FDM process, additional structures of support materials to ensure structural stability and manufacturability are required when printing models with overhang feature. The support structures are generally considered as a physical constraint limiting the production efficiency, resulting the increments of the overall printing time and material usage. In this research, a novel concept of Split-bed Platform is proposed, which can save the process time and material uses by minimizing support structures in FDM. The presented platform consists of multiple pins that can be controlled individually to fill the gap between platform and the actual printing model, reducing the heights of required support structures. The proposed support platform was designed by adopting a mechanism that controls the multiple pins with minimum number of stepper motors. The mechanism works based on shafts, that are synchronized with the printer's z-axis stepper motor and connected to each pin to transfer the movement of the motor, locking the pins at desired position. It is also able to be incorporated in a commercial FDM machine and experiments are conducted by printing modified model files. The comparison with previous platform showed that the proposed method is superior in economic and operational perspectives when compared with similar platforms.

Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, Support structure, Flexible platform, Fused Deposition Modeling.

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