RoboFDM: A robotic system for support-free fabrication using FDM

Chenming Wu, Chengkai Dai, Guoxin Fang, Yong-Jin Liu, Charlie Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a robotic system - RoboFDM that targets at printing 3D models without support-structures, which is considered as the major restriction to the flexibility of 3D printing. The hardware of RoboFDM consists of a robotic arm providing 6-DOF motion to the platform of material accumulation and an extruder forming molten filaments of polylactic acid (PLA). The fabrication of 3D models in this system follows the principle of fused decomposition modeling (FDM). Different from conventional FDM, an input model fabricated by RoboFDM is printed along different directions at different places. A new algorithm is developed to decompose models into support-free parts that can be printed one by one in a collision-free sequence. The printing directions of all parts are also determined during the computation of model decomposition. Experiments have been successfully taken on our RoboFDM system to print general freeform objects in a support-free manner.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
Place of PublicationDanvers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-4633-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-4634-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2017: ICRA 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 29 May 20173 Jun 2017


Conference2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2017
Abbreviated titleICRA 2017
Internet address


  • Fabrication
  • Shape
  • Three-dimensional printing
  • Manipulators
  • Frequency division multiplexing


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