Dynamically controlled (height) print bed to reduce the need for support

Saw this nifty article where they have been testing a dynamically controlled print bed surface that raises certain sections of the bed to dramatically reduce the need for support materials.

It doesnt seem to completely remove the need for supports, but it looks like it saves a ton of time and material!

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At trade shows, I used to see powder printers that would squirt the plastic onto a layer then cover it in powder then do the next layer, and so on, in the end, you just had to pull the part out of the powder. there were no ssupports.

Oh! Powder supports, that really interesting.

Ive heard with SLS printing can use the powder as supports, but I’ve never heard of it for any sort plastic print. That sounds too cool!

I’m not sure how the plastic was deposited, I was looking at Dimension machines from Stratasys at the time and I was trying to get the company to buy one for us and I think it was Javelin Tech that had this in their booth. Funny story, a couple weeks later we were working on a plasma torch robot. the plasma torch uses plasma and gas to deposit metal (powders or wire) on surfaces and I thought it would be a good thing to develop a 3D printer that could print metal this way because it was fresh in my mind from the show. A couple blocks away from us in Mississauga there was Deckel Maho Location (DMG, They make machine tools) and I used to have lunch at the same place a couple of their guys would and they came over and saw how it worked then brought a couple bosses over again before we shipped it. they never spoke abut it again and I heard about 10 years later they had developed a process for making medical implants using plasma deposited metals heh!

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Back about 10 years ago I was working for the U of A and they had a powder 3D printer. It kind of worked like an inkjet printer. It would wet a layer of the powder with the binding agent (whatever it was) and then the bed would drop 1 layer height, an arm would deposit and spread another layer of powder on top of the last one and the process would repeat. It made some really nice pieces with no supports - all you had to do was take them into a chamber and blow them out with compressed air. I think I remember them also being able to finish coat the pieces with resin or something for strength (these pieces weren’t at all strong but they could be quite complex)

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That sounds like it.

had to look it up. here are 2 kinds it could be.

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