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Research Papers

Hybrid Deposition Manufacturing: Design Strategies for Multimaterial Mechanisms Via Three-Dimensional Printing and Material Deposition

[+] Author and Article Information
Raymond R. Ma

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
Yale University,
9 Hillhouse Avenue,
New Haven, CT 06511
e-mail: raymond.ma@yale.edu

Joseph T. Belter

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
Yale University,
9 Hillhouse Avenue,
New Haven, CT 06511
e-mail: joseph.belter@yale.edu

Aaron M. Dollar

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
Yale University,
15 Prospect Street,
New Haven, CT 06520
e-mail: aaron.dollar@yale.edu

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received August 2, 2014; final manuscript received November 26, 2014; published online February 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Satyandra K. Gupta.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 7(2), 021002 (May 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-14-1192; doi: 10.1115/1.4029400 History: Received August 02, 2014; Revised November 26, 2014; Online February 27, 2015

This paper describes a novel fabrication technique called hybrid deposition manufacturing (HDM), which combines additive manufacturing (AM) processes such as fused deposition manufacturing (FDM) with material deposition and embedded components to produce multimaterial parts and systems for robotics, mechatronics, and articulated mechanism applications. AM techniques are used to print both permanent components and sacrificial molds for deposited resins and inserted parts. Design strategies and practical techniques for developing these structures and molds are described, taking into account considerations such as printer resolution, build direction, and printed material strength. The strengths of interfaces between printed and deposited materials commonly used in the authors' implementation of the process are measured to characterize the robustness of the resulting parts. The process is compared to previously documented layered manufacturing methodologies, and the authors present examples of systems produced with the process, including robot fingers, a multimaterial airless tire, and an articulated camera probe. This effort works toward simplifying fabrication and assembly complexity over comparable techniques, leveraging the benefits of AM, and expanding the range of design options for robotic mechanisms.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Summary of how 3D printing and resin casting can be combined to create novel mechanisms and structures through the HDM process, which may include multiple assemble-deposit-disassemble cycles

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Fig. 2

Steps to create an exemplar finger via the process described in this paper. (a) Mold component is printed with both sacrificial walls and core parts as a single monolithic part, (b) resin is deposited into the appropriate cavities, and (c) sacrificial features are removed with a file after deposited resins cure.

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Fig. 3

(a) Instron setup to test the tensile strength of various resin anchors in combination with printed ABS bodies and (b) parameters of the test samples for both Vytaflex 30 pads and PMC-780 flexures

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Fig. 4

Tensile test results to determine failure points of various anchor designs. Results suggest maximizing the overall resin anchor protrusion size.

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Fig. 5

Mold cavity created with thin, sacrificial walls. The walls are manually removed, usually with a bandsaw or file, after the deposited resin cures.

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Fig. 6

Regions printed side by side as separate contours can produce dissolvable or breakaway molds. In this example, the 0.1 mm gap separation is guaranteed to be smaller than the standard FDM printer's nozzle diameter (∼0.4 mm). The optimal gap separation will depend on printer performance.

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Fig. 7

Example of snap-together, multipart molds that can be reused instead of destroying the temporary mold features

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Fig. 8

The OpenHand design (a) uses cast flexure joints and 3D-printed finger bodies and (b) tendons are routed across idler pins and pulleys to actuate the fingers. Its motion can be approximated as a revolute pin joint in certain configuration ranges.

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Fig. 9

Flexure joints can be approximated as revolute joints under certain operating regimes. Buckling behavior of the flexure shifts its effective center of rotation at the upper and lower limits of its driving tendon's actuation space. Mechanisms utilizing flexural joints should be designed with this behavior in mind.

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Fig. 10

Finger design where the proximal and distal digits are deposited around embedded components. (a) Multiple mold pieces are printed separately with both ABS and dissolvable material to facilitate the fabrication of urethane components, (b) internal components are positioned in the larger finger mold before the finger links cavities are filled with expanding foam to create the final product (c).

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Fig. 11

Example of the airless tire, a compliant tire created with compliant spokes and a soft rim. The spokes must be anchored within the outer rim. The components are initially (a) printed and (b) assembled. (c) The spokes are first deposited with Vytaflex 30, and then (d) the dissolvable components are removed through the use of a lye bath. In the final step (e), the outer rim is deposited, and the outer mold features are broken apart to produce the finished wheel (f).

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Fig. 12

Example of a tendon-driven, snake-like camera probe. (a) The initial frame is printed with alternating solid (blue) and dissolvable (white) sections around a central core cavity, (b) the camera wires are positioned such that they route through the center core, and (c) The central core is filled with urethane, and the dissolvable sections are removed via the lye bath before the camera is attached.

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