Authors: M. Theodore, J. Fielding, J. Royer, V. Kalanovic, J. Nirilovic, J. Sears
Affilation: AFRL, United States
Pages: 260 - 263
Keywords: six degrees-of-freedom, direct write, material deposition
VDK 4000 is a Flexible Robotic Environment (FRE) direct write system. The idea behind Flexible Robotic Environment (FRE) concept is building a robotic modular system around an application instead of having an application fit within a predefined robotic workspace that is dictated by its fixed physical configuration. Thus, with FRE one is capable of creating one’s work-envelope by spatially distributing degrees-of-freedom. This is currently the only six degrees-of-freedom direct write system on the market. Present direct write technology allows printing on 2D flat substrates or on substrates with simplistic 3-D architectures. The deposition head is held in a fixed position and the stage moves back and forth in the XY plane. This greatly limits the complexity of the substrate which can be deposited upon at one time, and increases the number of steps needed to make a simple deposition. With the VDK 4000 direct write system printing can be done on an extremely complex 3D substrate without defocusing the deposition or the need for manual movement of the deposition head. With such features, this system has the capability of writing on complex substrates with difficult topology. This allows for more accurate depositions to be made with much lower part finish times.