On February 4, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent with an intriguing title “Arbitrary spatial 3 D printing using partial levitation. “ The patent is owned by Boeing.

The proposed method eliminates the need for a supporting object platform during 3D printing. The object levitates in the air and its spatial orientation can be easily changed. Printed material is jetted into space … This will remove all restrictions, allowing full printing of the whole object. In this case, it becomes possible using multiple printheads , which will significantly speed up the printing process.

New 3D printing technology allows you to create complex objects entirely … Boeing plans to use this technology to speed up the creation of individual parts aircraft and other equipment.

There are three ways to make a seal during levitation:

1. Object creation starts with forming a small base to which additional material is applied.

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2. The different constituent parts of the object separately formed by material deposition into space with one or more printheads. With the help of spatial manipulation, the formation of a single object is achieved.

3. For production, at least one printhead is required, which releases material into space to form parts of an object. The levitation system is necessary to keep the object in the air as the head prints the next parts of the object.

System of detectors monitors the position of an object in space and allows you to adjust it.

Object levitation can be achieved with acoustic or magnetic levitation.

Magnetic : A super-cooled particle becomes a superconductor and is subjected to magnetic forces, which are equal to the force of gravity that acts on the object. Magnetic forces push the particle from different directions, and it is held in the air.

Acoustic : an acoustic wave is produced having a unit for exposing a sound pressure force equal to the gravitational force. It captures a particle in a “node”.

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Picture 1: Several printheads 34 are positioned differently (right, left, front, back, top and bottom) on the x, y, z axes, jetting (50) of printed matter 25 into space 24 to create an object 22.

Figure 2: Levitation system 30 of the magnetic type acts on the object 22 (magnetic force opposes the force of gravity). Magnets 74 are located under the space 24 to generate the required lifting force. Printheads 34 release a jet (50) of material 25 into space 24.


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