First submitted in December 2017, the document has now been published online for public knowledge and details methods of removing 3D printed objects using flexible print bed platforms.
Could this be a step towards a 3D printer from the cloud platform and cognitive solutions company?
Removal of FFF 3D prints
The present invention covers general methods of object removal for 3D prints made from plastics such as PLA, ABS, HIPS, TPU, nylon, PP, PEI, PEEK, ASA, and PET. A common problem in FFF 3D printing is finding the appropriate method for removing an object, without comprising its shape.
To tackle this issue, flexible build plates and adhesive solutions have been provided to successfully release 3D prints from its bed. IBM present methods for removing a printed item from a 3D printer. This includes a distortable print bed which facilitates the separation of the object. It is suggested that this bed is removed from the 3D printer using magnets, clips, bolts, or fasteners.
This method, like many other removable print bed surfaces, aims to reduce the risk involved in separating 3D printed items from its printer, “thereby enhancing the efficiency and output of the printers and reducing the amount of waste caused by the discarding of printed items,” states the document.
IBM and additive manufacturing
Earlier this year, IBM filed a patent relating to “3D printing on the surface of an acoustic hologram.” In IBM’s patent, the acoustic hologram, as with laser light, is generated by an array of neatly packed emitters.
These emitters control the soundwaves which IBM scientists hope to use to create a “palpable” sound that can be used to exert force upon and manipulate a material.
“When a 3D printing medium is applied to the surface of the hologram, the medium solidifies on the hologram’s surface to generate a hollow shell in the shape of the object to be printed,” the document states.
Although this is a much more ambitious invention than the removable print bed platforms, IBM’s interest in additive manufacturing is evident. The Patent Application 20190105839 can be found on the FPO database.
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Featured image shows a cross-sectional view of a portion of a printer during an intermediate step of a method of printing, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Image via FPO/IBM.