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3D Printing Lego Bricks from Earth Day material LTZeroPlastic

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Abstract

Apparatus and a method for three-dimensional printing of Lego Bricks using Earth Day material LTZeroPlastic. The apparatus includes a printing head with a nozzle, new interface filament material LTZeroPlastic and a DC power source based on solar energy. The dimensions of the printed part has actual dimensions of the component of intended final product.

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to three dimensional printing in general and to apparatus for powering, producing Lego Bricks using new Earth Day material LTZeroPlastic which is a plastic alternative using solar DC power input.

Summary of the invention

The present invention provides a 3D printing system for producing Lego Bricks using Earth Day material labeled LTZeroPlastic. One of the aspect of invention is 3D printing system's preferred embodiment includes a printing head with a nozzle, composite LTZeroPlastic filament and a DC power source based on solar energy. It is a further object of the invention to provide an apparatus providing DC power supply using solar energy for fully powering the 3D printing system with entire production capabilities. It is yet further object of the invention to provide a method of processing LTZeroPlastic material from a redacted redacted redacted and additives based on redacted redacted redacted redacted into filaments for use in the preferred embodiment. The induction heating power supply of the printing head used in the preferred embodiment is a Miller 5kW 1 HPS ® and is described in US Pat. No. 5,343, 023 (hereby incorporated by reference) which includes an output inverter that operates preferably at an adjustable frequency of between 25kHz and 50Khz. Alternatives include using other induction heating power supplies, such as that described in US Pat. No. 6,043,471 (hereby incorporated by reference) or US Pat. Application No. 08/635,771. The printing and induction heating power supply are combined into a single unit in the preferred embodiment. A faster print speed, or thicker material, may require a longer coil. The invention includes any movement of the printer head and coil relative to the workpiece. For one alternative embodiment includes moving the workpiece and having the printer head and coil remain stationary. As an alternative embodiment of the invention includes 3D printing system power supply using conventional AC power supply instead of DC power derived from Solar energy. One of the aspect of the invention is a material dispenser feeding filament to specific temperatures of redacted - redacted oC (max). In the preferred embodiment filament changes solid to viscous and applied on the relatively cool workpiece for depositing and hardening layer by layer with actual product dimensions as specified by the CAD software. One alternative to the aspect include supplying preheated viscous composite material into the nozzle of the printing head. In this alternative embodiment, any preheating apparatus preferably electric or gas based oven in the vicinity of 3D printing system will be able to substantially reduce the power consumptiom requirement of printer head. The power consumption pattern of the induction heating power supply will change from melting the filament to maintaining viscous state of the preheated material. The solar source used in the embodiment is second or third generation solar cell. Thin film solar cells based on Methylammonium triiodide plumbate (CH3NH3PbI3) halide perovskites have remarkable performance with PCE (power conversion efficiency) of 25-30%, is used in the preferred embodiment. Photovoltaic applications of organohalide lead pervoskites is described in DOI 1039/C3EE40810H by James M Ball, Michael M Lee, Andrew Hey and Henry J Smith published in Energy Environment Science 2013 article. Alternatives include solar cells made of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) or Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIS/CIGS) which are commonly available second generation solar cells. Other principal features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following drawings, the detailed description and the appended claims.

Background of the invention

Various interface materials are used to print functional elements using composites. Most commonly used materials are thermoplastic composites such as ABS, plastic polymer as well as metals like aluminium, silver, zinc. One of the disadvantages of 3D printing functional materials is the absence of wood. Wood can't be directly used in additive manufacturing process.[NeedRevision*] In this invention a composite which is substitute of wood or plastic having thermoplastic behavior henceforth called LTZeroPlastic is used in filament of preferred embodiment.[NeedRevision*] Here we present a formulation of redacted redacted thermoplastic composite we term LTZeroPlastic and demonstrate how it can be used in 3D printing a substitute plastic or timber product. [NeedRevision*]

Drawings

Drawing Thumbnails and Canvas Support

Brief description of the drawing

FIG 1. is a schematic illustration of a 3D printing system constructed and operative in accordance with a preferrred embodiment of the present invention. FIG 2. is a schematic isometric illustration of the extrusion (FDM) printing of a 3D product. FIG 3. is a schematic isometric illustration of the DC input using solar energy. FIG 3A. is an elevational schematic view of a DC power source using solar energy of FIG3 *Reconsider revision & more images of embodiment and its alternatives.

Detailed description

Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to details of construction and arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments or being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purposes of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Reference is made to FIG1 which is a schematic illustration of a Fused Filament Fabrication or Fused Deposition Modeling (FFF/FDM) 3D printing system, generally designated 10 constructed and operative in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. 3D printing system 10 comprises a printing head 12 having a ink-jet nozzle 14, through which interface material 16 is jelled to form the 3D component/product, referenced 20, being produced. The ink-jet nozzle 16 is understood to be used in the context of this application for convenience to include nozzles restricted for ejecting ink known in the art, but also includes nozzle for ejecting interface material for the building of 3D product components. The ink-jet nozzle 16 is surrounded by an induction coil made up of a conductor with current flowing therein.
The induction coil is preferably part of an induction heating power supply 28 provides peak power independent of operating frequency and is further capable of utilizing a DC input or an AC input. The induction heating power supply is preferably based on US Pat. No. 5,504,309A(as used herein) current design. The power supply circuit is not limited to only aforementioned patent but can be any induction heating power supply. For example, US Pat. No. 6 265 701 B1 circuit can be used in an alternative embodiment.
The FDM/FFF 3D Printing System 10 further comprises a dispenser 22, which contains interface material 16, is suitably connected to printing head 12.

The interface material 18 is a timber or plastic alternative redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted redacted processed prior into filament coils.
The DC power input 30, used in the preferred embodiment in this invention consist of second or third generation solar cells arranged as in FIG3 and FIG3A.
Preferably, the 3D component 20 is formed on a support surface 28, which can be selectively positioned in the X- and Y- axes by popstioning apparatus (not shown). The printing head 12, which is connected to a second positioning apparatus 30 (FIG1) may be selectively positioned in the X- and Y- axes by commands from the process controller 24. A file of the model to be produced is downloaded ro the CAD system 26 allowing the operator to view the model and control the oerational procedure. There are several variable, selectable by the operator, which define the finished product.
Firstly the desired resolution is resonant of the actual product dimensions and is not limited to designing just a model in any ways. Typical tolerances for a 3D printing can vary from micron to inches depending on the actual dimensions of preferred end product.
The operator can also select number of layers (h) to be used in building the product component.

Reference is now made to FIG 6x, which is a schematic isometric illustration of a further preferred embodiment of the production of 3D product 20. In this embodiment, the 3D printing system further comprises a model sensor 40 and a reference sensor 42 coupled to process controller 24. It is a feature of the invention that, step of trimming a layer prior to printing the next layer is not necessary. Instead, utilizing the data recorded by the reference sensor 42 for nozzle, adjustments can be made to the printing head nozzle to compensate for the deposition of excessive or insufficient material. Reference model may be used for calibrating the nozzle of the printing head and for on-line operational and correction control. To calibrate the nozzle, a test layer is deposited and the height of the layer at each nozzle point is measured utilizing the reference sensor 42. For nozzle, the variation from the reference is calculated. An adjustment is then made to the dispenser of the nozzle to compensate for any over/under depositing (Step 308 refer Flowchart FIG5)

Patent citations

US Pat. No. 5 504 309A
US Pat. No. 5 504 309A Induction Heating Power Supply Circuit capable of VDC as well as VAC input.
DOI 1039/C3EE40810H
DOI 1039/C3EE40810H by James M Ball, Michael M Lee, Andrew Hey and Henry J Smith et al., 2013, Energy Environment Science
US Pat. No. 6 265 701B1
US Pat. No. 6 265 701B1
US Pat. No. 6,043,471
US Pat. No. 6,043,471
US Pat. Application No. 08/635,771
US Pat. Application No. 08/635,771