Felted Objects via Robotic Additive Manufacturing
Hardyman, Micah Dwayne
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In this thesis, we develop a new method for Additive Manufacturing of felt to make three dimensional objects. Felting is a method of intertwining fibers to make a piece of textile. In this work, a 6 DOF UR-5 robotic arm equipped with a 3 DOF tool head to test various approaches to using felting. Due to the novelty of this approach several different control architectures and methodologies are presented. We created felted test samples using a range of processing conditions, and tested them in an Instron machine. Samples were tested parallel to the roving fiber direction and perpendicular to the roving fiber direction. Additionally, two pieces of felt were attached to each other with needling, and these were tested with T-peel tests, pulling both in the direction of the roving fibers and perpendicular to the fibers. We present results for the Young's Modulus and Ultimate Strength of each of these samples. It is anticipated that given the appropriate combination of materials and robotic tooling, this method could be used to make parts for a multitude of applications ranging from custom footwear to advanced composites.
General Audience Abstract
In this paper a new approach to Additive Manufacturing centered on mechanically binding fibers together into a cohesive part is presented. This is accomplished via a robotic system and a process called felting, whereby needles push fibers into each other, entangling them. To validate this approach each system and method was tested individually. We present the results of mechanical tests of a variety of felted samples. Given the results, it is believed that robotic needle felting may be a beneficial method of manufacture for several fields, and it has the potential to easily make customized products.
- Masters Theses