Rapid prototyping of rapid prototyping machines
Author(s)Moyer, Ilan Ellison
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Neil A. Gershenfeld.
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Rapid prototyping tools empower individuals to create almost anything. Unfortunately, these tools are still far too expensive for personal ownership. The do-it-yourself community has responded with a slew of home-made rapid prototyping machines, but development times are slow because of the complexity of the necessary control system and the need to design the mechanical elements from scratch. This thesis seeks to address both of these issues. A control system is developed which treats the machine as a distributed Internet Zero network controlled by a software virtual machine with the benefits of simplified configuration and greater flexibility. A low cost circuit board milling machine, built as the test bed for this distributed controller, is described in detail. Finally, a parametrically designed XY table is introduced as a prototype for a universal machine axis and a first step towards the creation of reusable machine designs. These contributions will hopefully aid in accelerating the development of new rapid prototyping machines.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 50).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology