The active extrusion machine is a programmable system to control shape, size, direction, as well as variable hardness of an extruded part.
Active Extrusion Machine Details (PDF)
- what process(es) will it use?
material mixing and extruding processes
- what will (and won't) it be able to do?
extrude custom sections and vary the section, direction, and hardness within a single part.
it won't be able to make extremely precise parts.
- what are the benefits (and disadvantages) over current practice?
flexible way to produce custom parts without using several machines and making new dies for each custom part
slower, not as precise, more complicated than typical extrusion process. will require more parts and more moving parts than typical extrusion process.
- what are the system components?
1) dynamic material mixer
2) quad-barrel extrusion drive
3) programmable extrusion die
- which parts exist, and which will require development?
mechanical/software will need quite a bit of development. we will not develop motors and the extrusion material.
- what will the workflow be from design to output?
- how much will it cost?
- how fast will it be?
depends on the material, but probably not quite as fast as a industrial extrusion process
- what consumables will it need?