Ethereal Machines just took 3D printing technology to a new level. They recently introduced their Ethereal Halo machine with 5 axis printing instead of the typical 3 axis printing, meaning the printer head has 5 different axes to move on. The bed of their machines also moves in accordance with the printer head. This jump in technology permits 3D printed models to be printed with support on multiple surfaces of the product instead of the standard single side support. This will make the printed models much stronger and able to serve for more rigid functions. 5 axis printing, or 5D printing, opens the gateway to more complex prints and permits for more creativity to be actualized.
Co-founder of Etheral Machines, Kaushik Mudda, states “[With conventional 3D printing] plastic gets melted and deposited layer by layer, but they’re just stacked, so if you put enough force on the Z-axis it’s going to break. That’s the biggest disadvantage of FDM printed, that’s the importance of 5-axis. So 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. But with a 5-axis since the bed itself is moving, it gives me the freedom to print however I want, [make] that kind of structure. Or a cylinder with fan blades, how do you do that with a regular 3D printer?”
The Ethereal Halo also does subtractive printing, in addition to the printer head moving on 5 axes. Subtractive printing technology removes material to sculpt programmed designs. This printer won the CES 2018 Best of Innovation award. Ethereal Machines will be exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV from January 9 to January 12 at booth 9503. You can view the other 2018 Best Innovation honorees here.