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Towards the end of last year, we reported on a groundbreaking new additive manufacturing development from an exciting start-up based in Bangalore, India. The Ethereal Machines team had been making waves with its new Halo 5D printer, a machine that goes way beyond the usual limits of of 3D printing and even the growing field of shape-shifting ‘4D printing’ technologies. Following up on early buzz, the Halo 5D received its biggest endorsement so far with a ‘Best of Innovation’ award from the CES 2018 trade show in Las Vegas, and it has been demonsrating its breakthrough to attendees over the last few days.
What is referred to as 5D printing by Ethereal Machines is more commonly known as 5-axis machining, and it’s a technology that’s been around for many years. An advanced type of CNC milling, it makes use of five different axes of movement to subtractively produce complex designs for structures that would otherwise be impossible to realize. Having already developed 3D printing technology as well as CNC routers, the team was able to combine both subtractive and additive techniques to come up with a variant on 5-axis machining that could be an entirely new manufacturing solution for a huge range of sectors.
Halo - Works - Axes - Movement - XYZ
The Halo 5D works with the regular 3 axes of movement (XYZ) that a regular 3D printer has, as well as two extra rotational dimensions (AC). By rotating the print head and the printer bed, the machine enables the efficient production of geometries that would be incredibly difficult and time-consuming to make with other techniques.
“Imagine something like a concave shaped cap — it's impossible to make with a regular 3D printer, because you'd need to build a lot of filler and supports’’, said Ethereal Machines CTO Kaushik Mudda. ‘‘But with a 5-axis, since the bed itself is moving,...
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