Hackaday Prize 2023: Gen5X A Generatively Designed 5-Axis 3D Printer

[Ric Real] Gen5X, an generatively-designed 3D printed 5-axis 3D Printer is entered in the 2023 Hackaday Prize. This concept isn’t new, as the construction has been seen before. In addition to the usual three directions of motion, we’re familiar with, with the cartesian bot design, these types of machines add an additional two rotation axes, one which can swing the build platform front and back around the X-axis, and a second that provides rotation around the Z-axis. The combined motions can produce some interesting capabilities outside of the 3D printing design limitations.

This is a mostly theoretical concept. Essentially the concept is that the machine’s design can be iteratively updated and optimised for performance to fit into the constraints of available hardware such as motors and other ‘vitamins’ needed to create the next generation of machines. The design files should be parameterised enough such that this optimisation process can be automated, potentially via input from AI, but we suspect we’re a way off from that yet. Whether this project as yet satisfies any of these lofty goals remains to be seen, but do keep an eye on it if you’re so inclined. There is a Fusion 360 project here to dig into, but if you’re not interested in the research side of the project, but just want to build a 5-axis machine to play with, then you can find the project source on the GitHub Page.

If this feels familiar, you’d be on the right track, as we covered at least one other 5D printer recently. We’ve also discussed generative designs at least one time. We’re sure we will see more on this topic in the future.