Wei Gao*, Yunbo Zhang*, Diogo C. Nazzetta, Karthik Ramani, Raymond J. Cipra
RevoMaker: Enabling Multi-directional and Functionally-embedded 3D Printing using a Rotational Cuboidal Platform
In Proceedings of ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, (UIST '15), Charlotte, NC, USA

Abstract: In recent years, 3D printing has gained significant attention from the maker community, academia, and industry to support low-cost and iterative prototyping of designs. Current unidirectional extrusion systems require printing sacrificial material to support printed features such as overhangs. Furthermore, integrating functions such as sensing and actuation into these parts requires additional steps and processes to create “functional enclosures”, since design functionality cannot be easily embedded into prototype printing. All of these factors result in relatively high design iteration times.

We present “RevoMaker”, a self-contained 3D printer that creates direct out-of-the-printer functional prototypes, using less build material and with substantially less reliance on support structures. By modifying a standard low-cost FDM printer with a revolving cuboidal platform and printing partitioned geometries around cuboidal facets, we achieve a multidirectional additive prototyping process to reduce the print and support material use. Our optimization framework considers various orientations and sizes for the cuboidal base. The mechanical, electronic, and sensory components are preassembled on the flattened laser-cut facets and enclosed inside the cuboid when closed. We demonstrate RevoMaker directly printing a variety of customized and fully-functional product prototypes, such as computer mice and toys, thus illustrating the new affordances of 3D printing for functional product design.


About Wei Gao

Wei Gao is currently a D-PhD student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. Mr. Gao received his bachelor degree (2009) in Mechanical engineering from the University of Shanghai for Science & Technology. His graduate research focuses on design, simulation and optimization of foldable, reconfigurable and self-assembly mechanisms/robotic systems, and developing novel 3D printing technique based on FDM and building self-contained appliances that allow printing fully-functional objects (customizable products, articulated working models, self-actuated devices).

Posted in 2015, Fabrication, Featured Publications, HUMAN SHAPE INTERACTION, Shape Understanding, TANGIBLE, EMBEDDED & EMBODIED INTERFACES, Wei Gao, Yunbo Zhang