We could have set a challenge this year to build your own FDM 3D Printer, but we wanted to do something that could revolutionise the 3D Printing revolution itself.
This years challenge is to create an FLM 3D Printer, FLM? Fused Layer Manufacturing. This term coined by ourselves hints at the challenge. Your going to be asked to create an FDM style 3d Printer that will print a complete layer at a time.
Imagine the benefits of this type of 3D Printer. Very rapid build times, super smooth vertical operation, a level of accuracy yet to be experienced and super quiet operation.
What could this look like? well, we think it would only need a (Vertical) Z Axis. Gone are the mechanics of the current X and Y Axis used today in most if not all existing FDM 3D Printers. A remarkably innovative ‘active extruder’ would be key to this particular design. We think it may even fill the width and depth of the entire X and Y build area. It could be a hybrid extruder possibly made from a mix of technologies, 3d printing/injection moulding/? controlled at high resolution layer level.
You’ll know what the individual layers looks like in software and its a case of reproducing these layers in their entirety at the point of extrusion. Its not going to be easy but if it can be done it should be, we’ll jump light years ahead of current FDM designs and catapult ourselves into the future.
Though this challenge originally centred on re-visualising and super-charging FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) technology, we are more than happy to showcase other methods of 3D Printing in the challenge, Turbo-charged DLP included.
We hope you’ll play a part, whether its to critique the proposal, put forward ideas, come up with designs or even build an FLM prototype. The challenge is open to anyone, individual or Business and the winning design or designs will be announced later in the year.
We’ll release more information on the challenge shortly and provide an environment where we can all share ideas and contribute thoughts and designs.