Development of a Multi-Axis Wire Embedding Device for a Large Area Thermoplastic Pellet-Fed Additive Manufacturing System

Christopher Jasiel Minjares, University of Texas at El Paso


This research focused on the development and implementations of a six degrees of freedom (6DOF) articulated arm onto a Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system to interact with complex 3D geometries. BAAM is a large-scale machine which falls under material extrusion additive manufacturing (AM) – a process that selectively dispenses molten plastic layer-by-layer. The development of the 6DOF articulated arm required a mechanical design which went through several iterations before getting to the final design. Also, implementation of the tool was performed with the help from Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) which is the company that developed the BAAM. First, the mechanical design of the 6DOF arm was planned based on the wire embedding needs and the BAAM system. It was decided to use the prismatic gantry of the BAAM to leverage the three degrees of freedom. In addition, the BAAM system also possesses high material deposition rates and large printing volume when compared to medium size material extrusion AM systems which makes it attractive to add these capabilities to the system. Secondly, the 6DOF arm has the capabilities to displace in different planes, but for this case of study a tool which will be delivering copper wire was designed for this specific arm, therefore adding process which may be the beginning of emerging technologies. Previous AM systems have implemented methods to produce conductive traces, typically of solid copper wire or conductive inks, to generate circuitry within the AM fabricated parts. Lastly, it was required for the 6DOF arm to be able to function together with the BAAM system, therefore CI offered his help in order to make physical modifications on the gantry in order to install the 6DOF arm and also to modify the Human-machine Interface (HMI) which is the software used to deliver instructions to the BAAM. The modifications made on the HMI included instructions for the added degrees of freedom which are called A, B and C which made the BAAM system function as one system.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering|Industrial engineering|Computer Engineering

Recommended Citation

Minjares, Christopher Jasiel, "Development of a Multi-Axis Wire Embedding Device for a Large Area Thermoplastic Pellet-Fed Additive Manufacturing System" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27999875.