Additive Manufacturing Strategies

D-Coil — A 3D Wax Printing Pen That Also Builds Digital Models on the Fly

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

D-CoilD-Coil, a research project, tool, and digital modeling approach from Huaishu Peng and François Guimbretière of Cornell University Information Science, and Amit Zoran of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, uses wax coiling to bring a thoroughly amazing spin to the design and execution of 3D prints.

Users can define a shape to extrude, and then using a hand-held and actuated extruder which guides the motion of the hand and arm, an object is extruded using wax while it simultaneously creates a 3D printable digital model in Rhino software.

Image 111The concept is that this tool provides an intuitive and non-technical method of 3D modeling which removes the necessity of CAD skills from the equation.

The paper the team wrote on the subject, D-Coil: A Hands-on Approach to Digital 3D Models Design, describes their method of building a system which simplifies the use of CAD systems without having “mastery of complex construction commands.”

In one example of the system in use, a cylinder is built using the D-Coil tool to select a center point within a circle to serve as a starting point for the process. The tool then leads the user through the process and coil layers wax which ultimately become a finished object.

“The user first defines the digital base shape using the tool as a 3D pointer,” they say. “This information is used by the system to create a digital model and control the actuated extrusion mechanism to create the shape in wax. This will ensure that the digital model created remains accurate and consistent.”

The additive approach is also supported by a subtractive process which makes use of a digitally actuated cutter to remove material from an object and the resultant file. The team says that by adding a 6DOF (or six degrees of freedom) mouse, objects can be scaled, rotated, or bent to create a full range of shapes which are “often difficult for novices to produce in standard CAD software.”

A magnetic tracker attached to the device captures the location and movement of the extruder and that data is then, via a Grasshopper plug-in for Rhino software, translated to a finalized 3D model.

According to the paper, the digital model is essentially a succession of 2D profiles which map out a “series of wax ribbons in the real world.”Image 114

At this stage, the device does pose limitations on design output, but it also points the way to a future where like systems might one day bring CAD modeling to users with no formal training in 3D design.

The work was presented at the CHI conference, an event which draws some of the leading researchers and practitioners in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) from businesses and universities to share their findings and innovations regarding the way humans interact with digital technologies.tea

Unlike D-Coil, 3D printing pens like 3Doodler don’t focus on creating a digital model and it requires skill to create accurate geometries. But the researchers say that by actuating the extrusion mechanism, D-Coil can help users create accurate shapes with little or no experience in art or CAD modeling.

The extruder heats up to 78°C within a minute and maintains the temperature while extruding at variable speeds, and the developers say that the wax is malleable but not liquid and solidifies quickly following extrusion by the use of compressed air blown on the extruded wax from four jets located at the corners of the extrusion head.

The work was supported in part by an NSF Award, ISS, and Microsoft Research.

What do you think of the D-Coil system? Can you see a future for this sort of tool among designers and novices in 3D design and printing? Let us know in the D-Coil Wax Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Carbon’s Next Gen 3D Printers Smoother and Faster with 4K Light Engine

Quantum Computing Boosted by Nanoscribe’s New Microscale 3D Printer



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Photocentric Expands with New 3D Printer, Materials, and Partnerships

Photocentric is the inventor of, and leader in, 3D printing based on LCD screen technology. Based in Cambridgeshire, UK and Arizona, US, the company has a patent in visible light...

Featured

Electronics 3D Printing: Analysis of Rogers Corp’s New Dielectric Material for AM

Rogers Corporation (NYSE:ROG) has launched its Radix 3D Printable Dielectrics series of products at the IPC APEX EXPO 2022 currently taking place in San Diego. The materials signify an important...

To End Animal Testing, BICO & CCS Push FDA Modernization Act

As the world continues developing alternatives to animal testing like bioprinting, in vitro models of human tissues, and predictive computer models, the demand for live animal testing has become outdated...

$2M in Electronics 3D Printers Sold to Military Customer by Optomec

While we’re still not able to 3D print an entire iPhone at once, electronics 3D printing may be progressing more quickly than most people might notice. A pioneer in this...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.