We are investigating the impact on 3D printed part strength when the extruder is positioned using articulated robotic arms in place of a traditional x-y gantry-style system. One of our printer designs is called the DeXter printer [1] which uses two selective compliance assembly robotic arms (SCARA) to position dual extruders. An advantage of using dual robotic arms is that two extruders can move independently drastically reducing build times, or the second arm can perform additional operations like segment stimulation during the build process [2]. In either case the arms require a collision avoidance process to prevent them from colliding in the part space. A possible drawback of the collision avoidance requirement is that it can result in a time delay along some sections of the layer which, due to cooling, could have adverse effects on the part strength. This research aims to determine how this cooling time will affect the strength of ABS extruded parts.

We performed tensile tests on 3D printed part samples for which we altered the g-code to produce a variable time delay during the printing process. Our control sample had a zero-dwell time, and as we increased dwell time we found that the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) did decrease.

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