Development of a Fully Automated Fused Deposition Modeling System
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This thesis starts by introducing Agile Product Development before it investigates how an automated 3D printing system can be used as a part of Agile Product Development to improve the result of a product development process. Some aspects of how such a system can be implemented to improve Agile Product Development are given before additive manufacturing technologies are presented with focus on FDM type 3D printing. The aim of this thesis is to develop a proof-of-concept solution for fully automated FDM 3D printing, based on guidelines compiled by research staff at NTNU. The goal is to build what is necessary to automate the current 3D printing process, focusing on electro-mechanical solutions and disregarding aspects easily solved by software. To identify and understand the criteria for automated printing, a research-driven development phase is initiated. Investigations are performed into adhesive properties of 3D printing, measuring how several print parameters affect adhesion between the print platform and the printed part. Based on the results, several concepts are developed using TRIZ before a solution space is chosen for further development. This results in a final concept, which is detailed and finalized using CAD and simulations before a prototype is built, tested and verified. In the end, suggestions and recommendations are provided for future research on Agile Product Development, adhesion in FDM 3D printing, and lastly recommendations for further development of an automated 3D printing system. The ultimate aim of the thesis is that the research can be used as a resource in the analysis of adhesive properties in FDM printing and that it will benefit the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at NTNU. The aim for the final 3D printing concept is that it either can be used as inspiration for further conceptualization and development or that it can be refined into a commercial product.