Factors effecting real-time optical monitoring of fused filament 3D printing

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This study analyzes a low-cost reliable real-time optical monitoring platform for fused filament fabrication-based open source 3D printing. An algorithm for reconstructing 3D images from overlapping 2D intensity measurements with relaxed camera positioning requirements is compared with a single-camera solution for single-side 3D printing monitoring. The algorithms are tested for different 3D object geometries and filament colors. The results showed that both of the algorithms with a single- and double-camera system were effective at detecting a clogged nozzle, incomplete project, or loss of filament for a wide range of 3D object geometries and filament colors. The combined approach was the most effective and achieves 100% detection rate for failures. The combined method analyzed here has a better detection rate and a lower cost compared to previous methods. In addition, this method is generalizable to a wide range of 3D printer geometries, which enables further deployment of desktop 3D printing as wasted print time and filament are reduced, thereby improving the economic advantages of distributed manufacturing.


Real-time monitoring, 3D printing, Optical monitoring, RepRap, Open hardware, Quality assurance 

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