The goal of this project was to design an original 3D printer and to showcase the design process in a complete engineering report. The report delineates the printer's functions, objectives, and constraints.
Our design process started with an in depth exploration of the current 3D printers on the market and their respective applications. The use of 3D printers for custom orthodontics is an application that holds great potential in the field of dentistry, but has not been developed in depth. Currently, dental practices are forced to outsource their 3D printing needs or use other methods that are time-consuming and cumbersome. To address this problem, our scope was to developing a 3D printer that can be used in house to provide orthodontists with the tools they need to avoid outsourcing and streamline their services.
The key constraint was that the printer must be a desktop size, and the key objectives were to maximize precision, maximize lifespan and minimize operating cost. Using these requirements, the team created three functional candidate designs: the Digital Light Processing printer, the SLA with static laser printer and the SLA with translating laser printer. A weighted decision matrix was utilized to determine the final selected design, Candidate 3 – SLA with Moving Laser System. This 3D printer was selected for its ease of use, reliability, and excellent precision, which are very important for the printer to be successful in a dental application.
Some snapshots from the CAD model of the 3D printer are displayed below. For a more thorough walk through of this project, please check out the full report here.