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Machines 2015, 3(4), 339-351; doi:10.3390/machines3040339

Integrated Voltage—Current Monitoring and Control of Gas Metal Arc Weld Magnetic Ball-Jointed Open Source 3-D Printer

1
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Mba
Received: 25 September 2015 / Revised: 14 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
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Abstract

To provide process optimization of metal fabricating self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) 3-D printers requires a low-cost sensor and data logger system to measure current (I) and voltage (V) of the gas metal arc welders (GMAW). This paper builds on previous open-source hardware development to provide a real-time measurement of welder I-V where the measuring circuit is connected to two analog inputs of the Arduino that is used to control the 3-D printer itself. Franklin firmware accessed through a web interface that is used to control the printer allows storing the measured values and downloading those stored readings to the user’s computer. To test this custom current and voltage monitoring device this study reports on its use on an upgraded all metal RepRap during the printing of aluminum alloy (ER1100, ER4043, ER4943, ER4047, and ER5356). The voltage and current data were analyzed on a per alloy basis and also layer-by-layer in order to evaluate the device’s efficacy as a monitoring device for 3-D printing and the results of the integrated design are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3-D printing; additive manufacturing; data logging; GMAW; metal printing; open-source hardware; quality control; RepRap; welder; welding 3-D printing; additive manufacturing; data logging; GMAW; metal printing; open-source hardware; quality control; RepRap; welder; welding
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nilsiam, Y.; Haselhuhn, A.; Wijnen, B.; Sanders, P.; Pearce, J.M. Integrated Voltage—Current Monitoring and Control of Gas Metal Arc Weld Magnetic Ball-Jointed Open Source 3-D Printer. Machines 2015, 3, 339-351.

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