Tool path optimization of a 3D printer via an enhanced electromagnetism-like mechanism algorithm for solar panel brackets fabrication

  • Jian-Ding Tan
  • Chin-Wai Lim
  • Siaw-Paw Koh
  • Sieh-Kiong Tiong
  • Ying-Ying Koay


There is a growing consensus that 3D printing technologies will be one of the next major technological revolutions. Over the past few years, many studies and researches have been carried out to improve and enhance the functions and performance of the 3D printers. In this paper, a modified Electromagnetism-like Mechanism (EM) algorithm is proposed to search for the optimum printing path of a 3D printer. The machine is set to fabricate the bracket of a photovoltaic solar energy harvesting panel. Instead of randomly setting the search step size, the improved EM systematically fine-tunes the steps to search for the best printing path. The performance of the enhanced EM is benchmarked with the conventional EM and Genetic Algorithm (GA). The results presented in this paper shows that the modified EM outperformed all other optimization techniques in terms of time taken, distance traveled and overall convergence process. We can thus conclude that the proposed modified EM performs well in optimizing the path planning sequence of a 3D printer.