Pick and Place Robotic Actuator for Big Area Additive Manufacturing

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Boulger, Alex M.
Chesser, Phillip C.
Post, Brian K.
Roschli, Alex
Hilton, Joshua
Welcome, Connor
Tsiamis, Nikolaos Y.
Love, Lonnie J.
Gaul, Katherine T.
Rhyne, Breanna J.

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University of Texas at Austin


Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility has created a system that works in tandem with an existing large-scale additive manufacturing (AM) system to ‘pick and place’ custom components into a part as it is printed. Large-scale AM leaves a layered surface finish and is typically post-processed through 5-axis CNC machining. Each surface must be accurately recorded into a laser tracking system. This process can be simplified with the use of fiducials, small location indicators placed on the surface of a part. Additionally, the ability to monitor an AM tool via wireless sensors is advantageous to gauge part health as it is fabricated and later used. The ‘pick and place’ system allows thermocouples, fiducials, and other sensors to be accurately placed throughout the tool as it is fabricated. This solution has the potential to reduce time, labor, and cost associated with fabricating, post-processing, and using AM parts.


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