Automating Sheet-Based Fabrication: The Conveyed-Adherent Process
A new automated fabrication technology is described which breaks the fabrication process into spatially separate layer-formation and layer-bonding stages. The technique uses sheet material on a substrate as feedstock and cuts cross-section contours into the material before conveying the material on the substrate to a stacking station. Advantages include (a) speed, (b) versatility in fabrication materials, and (c) ability to fabricate hollows, embed or cast secondary materials, and selectively enhance or degrade material properties on a regional basis. A prototype fabricator has been built which automates all aspects ofthis process except weeding. Applications demonstrated using this machine include traditional rapid prototyping and visualization-model creation as well as functional machines taking advantage of embedding and cast-in-place techniques.