Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5th Generation Fixturing

Fixturing = enhancement of the “insertion” process that builds composite parts on RepRap!

RepRap Build Modes: “Fill mode”, “Insulate mode”, “Track mode”

To Fixture and do “Fixturing” accomplished with several methods, via software or via software and enhansed hardware.

“Fixturing” Software can be intelligent,or Software can become intelligent with added hardware.

Example: We wish to use “Fixturing” on three of these pre-built parts.

We wish to do two things; Make the next build white plastic, and also incase the screws and nuts in plastic all the way up to ¼ “ from the top of the build. Enough to have one finished part and hold it with two nuts.

Via software we need the build “intelligent” enough to know of the various layer levels, and that we have two bolts and nuts installed.

Once the SW knows its stuff we only need align the part in the assigned “point of orgin”, lock it down and we are off and running.

The second method of “Fixturing” is a variation of the first example:

We add some Intelligence to the build process. In this case, we use the basic : “Fixturing” “Fill mode”. It should operate something like this: The original parts design is loaded up into Fixturing with the fill command saying Fill 1 ½” high.

Option: We could design the second half of the part and leave off the info about the screw and nut installed. Bring both parts into “Fixturing” under the fill command and the second half would become the fill part.

Once the SW knows its stuff we only need align the part in the assigned “point of orgin”, lock it down and we are off and running. In this example we have added another part to the RepRap a Whisker. It adds intelligence to the extruder.

Whisker = a springy piece of thin metal wire, formed the metal side of the junction. When the Whisker makes contact with a level in the build it sends a signal to the processor to tell it, hey you need to move the axis! The Whisker can be a contact type, photo, radar etc.

The Fixturing SW will know that contact was made outside the circle of the whisker at point x and axis (?) should be altered. With this intelligence the build can be completed in easy order. If multiple parts are to be built the whisker intelligence can be saved and the next build would go faster.

Third method of Fixturing:

The part is locked down in the assigned “point of orgin”. The “Fill mode Scan” is used with the only parameter given to the SW is the need to Fill 1 ½” high. The whisker in this mode acts like a scanner and slowly builds an intelligence base to Fill and build.

I’m sure the various variations on this will become evident once applied.

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