A dynamically controlled surface with moving metal platforms can cut material usage in 3D printing by reducing the need for “wasteful” printed supports, its developers have said.
Printing times could also be shortened thanks to the new technique, said the researchers from the University of Southern California (USC).
As conventional 3D printers create custom objects layer-by-layer, they often need to print supports to balance the product. These supports are manually removed after printing, which requires finishing by hand and can result in shape inaccuracies or surface roughness. The materials the supports are made from often cannot be reused, so they are discarded and contribute to the growing problem of 3D-printed waste material.