In a recent research paper, a group of eight scientists from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico, have proposed a “multifunctional cube like system” that combines scanning, dual-depostion 3D printing, stereolithographic laser treatment, and UV laser engraving.
Emphasising the machine’s ability to perform several functions with a single laser, the paper’s authors suggest that the concept could lead to the first commercial example of additive and subtractive functions on the desktop.
A 3-in-one fabrication system
The scanner contains a gear mechanism attached to its base plate that enables it to revolve around, so objects can be rendered at multiple angles. A camera can also be added into the scanner’s housing to aid computer aided design.
Above it, the printer houses a “dual extruder system” capable of 2.5 micron layer resolution, and engraving.
The frame on the printer is fixed, while the base and axes can move with Nema step motors, allowing the laser-beam to stay on place. Additionally, the laser can make cuts on soft material (such as wood or paper) using the same settings.
Full details of the multifunctional cube system can be found online in SPIE Proceedings Volume 10095. It is co-authored by J. V. Guzmán-González M. I. Saldaña-Martínez, O. G. Barajas-González, V. Guzmán-Ramos, A. K. García-Garza, M. G. Franco-Herrada, R. J. Selvas Aguilar and M. A. García-Ramírez.
Featured image: Schematic diagram of the multifunctional cube. Image via SPIE.