G-code generation for multi-process 3D printing

Callum Peter Bailey, University of Texas at El Paso


Since the inception of stereolithography in the 1980s, interest in 3D printing has exploded, with desktop 3D printers now commercially accessible to the general public. In recent years, next-generation multifunctional technologies have been developed, which combine 3D printing with other technologies such as wire embedding, foil embedding, CNC machining, and robotic component placement, enabling complex parts to be made on a single multifunctional machine. However, the complexity of these integrated processes exceeds the capabilities of established design tools. To this end, this thesis aims to develop a multi-functional design solution that can automatically generate final control code for next-generation multifunctional machines, where all design specifications are defined from within a single software package. Specifically, we take on the task of automating a Lulzbot desktop 3D printer, which has been modified to utilize a custom-designed wire-embedding tool as a secondary extruder. While the algorithms presented herein have been tailored to the needs of this custom printer, the modular nature of the solution will facilitate expansion to include other multifunctional printers, including the planned low-cost multi3D multifunctional printer, currently under construction at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at The University of Texas at El Paso.

Subject Area

Computer Engineering|Electrical engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Bailey, Callum Peter, "G-code generation for multi-process 3D printing" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10248226.