Title

A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for a 3D Printer to Improve Functionality

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Engineering

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial computer system that allows for the monitoring and controlling of a computer's inputs and outputs using custom programs. For instance, these systems can be applied to assembly lines to increase reliability control in the manufacturing process. By implementing a control board and additional components such as terminal blocks to an off-the-shelf MendelMax 3.0 3D printer, a wiring panel is designed and installed to upgrade the printer's ease of use. This results in convenient access to components, an organized series of wires, as well as easier maintenance. A PLC, or control panel, was needed for the MendelMax 3.0 in the thermoplastics lab as many reoccurring problems resulted in the disuse of it; by having a control board, issues can be easily found and solved more efficiently. The design began with locating and mapping the fixed components (axis motors, IEC socket, USC port) and then finding the most effective placement of other moveable components (power supply unit (PSU) and RUMBA board, or motherboard) around the fixed ones. Through a series of trial-and-error and finding compromises between designs, a blueprint was finalized through an online diagramming tool called DigiKey Schemeit. After implementing the PLC board, additional steps were required to configure and calibrate the printer. The project was ultimately successful as the printer now functions properly, printing with precise parameters, after installing the PLC board. This design could be used on other 3D machines as well, making adjustments accordingly.

Location

Johns Hall 109

Start Date

3-28-2020 10:15 AM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

Yes

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 10:15 AM

A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for a 3D Printer to Improve Functionality

Johns Hall 109

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial computer system that allows for the monitoring and controlling of a computer's inputs and outputs using custom programs. For instance, these systems can be applied to assembly lines to increase reliability control in the manufacturing process. By implementing a control board and additional components such as terminal blocks to an off-the-shelf MendelMax 3.0 3D printer, a wiring panel is designed and installed to upgrade the printer's ease of use. This results in convenient access to components, an organized series of wires, as well as easier maintenance. A PLC, or control panel, was needed for the MendelMax 3.0 in the thermoplastics lab as many reoccurring problems resulted in the disuse of it; by having a control board, issues can be easily found and solved more efficiently. The design began with locating and mapping the fixed components (axis motors, IEC socket, USC port) and then finding the most effective placement of other moveable components (power supply unit (PSU) and RUMBA board, or motherboard) around the fixed ones. Through a series of trial-and-error and finding compromises between designs, a blueprint was finalized through an online diagramming tool called DigiKey Schemeit. After implementing the PLC board, additional steps were required to configure and calibrate the printer. The project was ultimately successful as the printer now functions properly, printing with precise parameters, after installing the PLC board. This design could be used on other 3D machines as well, making adjustments accordingly.