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P14551: Multi-Process 3-D Printer

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P14551: Multi-Process 3-D Printer. Jeremy Bennett (EE), Austin Chacosky (ISE), Chad Rossi (ISE), Nicholas Hensel (ME,EE), Matthew Demm (ME). Faculty Advisor John Kaemmerlen Industrial Engineering Dept. Rochester Institute of Technology. Customer Dr. Denis Cormier

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P14551: Multi-Process 3-D Printer

Jeremy Bennett (EE), Austin Chacosky (ISE), Chad Rossi (ISE), Nicholas Hensel (ME,EE), Matthew Demm (ME)

Faculty Advisor

John Kaemmerlen

Industrial Engineering Dept.

Rochester Institute of Technology


Dr. Denis Cormier

Industrial Engineering Dept.

Rochester Institute of Technology


To develop a 3D printing system capable of executing both additive and subtractive processes through the design and implementation of a unique process head interface system while simultaneously minimizing system cost to appeal to the hobbyist market.

Overall System

  • System Constraints
  • Open source mechanical design
  • Cost under $5000 to produce
  • Reuse existing materials when possible
  • Fit on a standard lab bench
  • Utilize open source or low cost software
  • Implement an automated process head storage and retrieval cycle

Electrical/Mechanical Head Interface (EMHI)

Motion System

Attaches to Z-Axis Nut Block on back

Pin housings connect process heads to power and control signals



400 mm

350 mm

1100 mm



System Control

Latching solenoid to firmly hold process head

Mating surfaces maintain alignment and mechanical connection

  • XY axes use MakerRail extruded aluminum for linear constraint
  • Z axis utilizes a 5DOF constrained precision linear rail
  • NEMA 23 stepper motors with integrated controllers and encoders used on each of the drive axes
  • The Arduino Due with ARM Cortex-M3 CPU utilized for entire system control
  • Firmware development based on modification of Repetier’s open source 3D printer software
  • Arduino accepts G-code commands from Repetier Host interactive GUI.
  • Interface between the motion system and process heads that allows the system to utilize any arbitrary process head that has been appropriately configured.
  • Mechanical Connection: A set of three pairs of axially aligned dowel-bearing mates with a centered dowel pin
  • Electrical Connection; A commercially available pin housing with 2 power and 8 data pins


Process Heads

Clear panels allow user to observe system in operation

3D printed tool mounts

Process Head Storage

Pair of brackets constrain storage plate on each side

Low-cost hardboard used to enclose system

Mobile no tangle material feed

Bracket contains two U-grooves to passively support head plate pins while allowing easy removal

Standard FDM extrusion head

Door sensors and E-Stop for user safety

Commercially available Dremel Tool

  • Two representative process heads were implemented:
    • One additive and one subtractive
  • FDM extruder and Dremel Tool
  • System designed to store up to three process heads at one time
  • Exterior made of hardboard due to strength, low cost, and surface finish
  • Frame made from extruded aluminum
  • Doors and windows made of Polycarbonate sheeting
  • Overall design focused on providing easy access and panel removal

Designed to maximize simplicity, this subsystem is located in front of one of the access doors to easily allow an operator to mount or remove process heads while providing a stable passive storage solution