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Posted by Anna 
June 03, 2010 04:53PM
Hi, I'm new to this technology but excited to start working with it. I have a general question that I haven't been able to find an answer to, so I thought I'd throw it out to the community for help.

In regards to the parts that can be printed on a Mendel machine - how does it handle undercutting? I know in industrial 3D printers, they often have another material used for scaffolding that is then dissolved away when the part is removed. Is there a need for that with the Mendel machine? If not, how is it done?

Thanks very much for the advice.
Re: Scaffolding?
June 03, 2010 05:34PM
Hi Anna

I have not yet got a printer but I have spent over £400 so far on parts to build one...

To answer your question - I gather the overhang cannot be too big. There is a need for a support material but I am not aware of a working solution yet. I believe part of the issue would be multiple working print heads - one for the primary material and one for the support material. I have not seen any references to a working printer with more than one head, although I am sure there are people working on it.

I am sure someone will come with a clearer and more informed answer soon smiling smiley
Re: Scaffolding?
June 03, 2010 06:25PM
45 degrees w/o support braces. 44 to be safe.
Re: Scaffolding?
June 04, 2010 04:29PM
Hey, I just want to state one irrational idea, inspired by origami, because origami have a straightforward digital representation (folds).

* a computational model of how to fold paper to build origami structures. some form of algorithm to construct the respective support structures for a particular printing job.
* a machine to fold/cut/put stress on paper in order to build proper "paper support bases".
* some transport mechanism to move the support structure to the appropriate position.

in the beginning, the mechanical aspects could be dealt with by hand with no machinery involved.
Re: Scaffolding?
June 05, 2010 10:14PM
You might want to look at a program called Pepakura - computational origami software converts shapes to origami.

The idea of using paper origami is irrational because, you would need to have layers of origami being placed every layer (other wise if you moved one big part in it would interfere with the print head). The handling of this would be more difficult than adding an additional print head for scaffold.

Any way no harm in thinking.

Re: Scaffolding?
June 06, 2010 02:29PM
... i used pepakura for 3D-objects made from engraved Dibond (3mm thick sheets of plastic laminated with 0.5mm aluminium).

The 3D-object were unwrapped by pepakura, the outlines and folding lines milled with a CNC-mill and then folded to represent the 3D-object again.

With a similar methode you can reprap the plates and sides of a 3D-object connected by thinner joints so you can fold/wrap the flat printed sides into 3D ...

Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
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