It is a gantry for a 3d printer. It uses what is commonly referred to as an H-Bot configuration. It was filed Sep.23, 2011.
A simple Google search with the term H-Bot from 2009-2010 will reveal sites, videos and other info for the -exact- same mechanical setup. For example here(dated Oct 29, 2009):
The H-bot gantry is essentially what is called a Cartesian robot, and Cartesian robots are a building block of many robots including but not limited to CNC machines, laser cutters and similar. The only difference here is that a known component is placed into a 3d printer instead of a CNC machine or other similar robot.
I would love to make a call for prior art, but I would like to hear thoughts from people who know more about the patent system first.
Claim 1 of the application:
- A gantry assembly comprising:
a first bearing shaft extending along a first axis;
a carriage slidably engaged with the first bearing shaft;
a second bearing shaft operably supported by the carriage, the second bearing shaft extending along a second axis that defines a plane with the first axis;
a tool-head mount slidably engaged with the second bearing shaft;
a drive belt secured to the tool-head mount;
a first motor having a first drive shaft engaged with the drive belt; and
a second motor having a second drive shaft engaged with the drive belt, wherein the first motor and the second motor are configured to operate independently to rotate the drive belt in manners that move the carriage along the first bearing shaft and that move the head-tool mount along the second bearing shaft based on relative rotational directions and rotational rates between the first drive shaft and the second drive shaft, so as to allow movement of the tool-head mount to any coordinate location within the plane, wherein the gantry assembly is configured to reduce pivoting of the carriage in the plane.