Applications

Concept for 3-in-1 3D scanning, printing and cutting cube unveiled

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 diagram of what the combined machine may look like. Photo via: SPIE
A diagram of what the combined machine may look like. Photo via: SPIE

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.

Schematic diagram of the multi-functional cube. Image via SPIE.
Schematic diagram of the multi-functional cube. Image via SPIE.

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.

Further reading

The system has great potential for at home use by designers in the maker movement, and even in an educational setting, as 3D printing increases adoption in schools via the STEAM initiative.

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.

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Featured image: Schematic diagram of the multifunctional cube. Image via SPIE.

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