Vibration compensation for FDM printers

Double the speed of your FDM 3D printer
without sacrificing quality.

Ulendo VC is a collection of algorithms that compensate for the vibration that occurs when an extrusion-based printer is operated at high speeds. Originally founded on Ulendo's patented FBS (filtered b-splines) algorithm, Ulendo VC uses advanced techniques to double the speed of a printer without sacrificing quality. This ground-breaking innovation does not suffer the quality and reliability issues that plague other compensation techniques such as "input shaping." We work with FDM printer manufacturers to integrate our software into the controller of a specific printer model, thereby significantly improving the performance of that printer model for increased competitive advantage.

Offer your customers
better machines

Improve your competitive edge by offering 3D printers that maintain high quality at advanced speeds. Sell more printers vis a vis your competitors given the enhanced performance and/or increase your printer price to reflect improved ROI to the end customer.

product innovation

Are you frustrated by the slow, costly and minimal progress of addressing vibration by making mechanical changes? Let Ulendo implement our software-only solution to address vibration quickly without extended product development times. Your engineering team can devote their time to other design optimizations for your printer model.

Achieve better quality than "input shaping"

Other vibration compensation techniques such as "input shaping" suffer from print quality issues such as rounded corners. Implementing open source versions of "input shaping" are indeed not "free," because significant engineering work is required. Furthermore, Ulendo VC is optimized to your particular printer model, unlike the more generic approach of "input shaping." 

Avoid extra hardware or platform changes

Ulendo VC does not require the addition of any hardware to your printer design, and you can maintain your current firmware platform. You don't have to switch to Klipper.


Find answers to common questions about our product and its benefits.

How does Ulendo VC work?

During an initial calibration step performed by the Ulendo team, data is captured from an accelerometer installed on a unit of a specific FDM printer model. That data defines the “vibration profile” of the printer model which is then characterized as a “calibration map.” The Ulendo team integrates this calibration map into the firmware on the controller of the printer. When the printer is subsequently operated, Ulendo VC predicts the vibration of the printer (based on the vibration profile determined during the calibration phase) and modifies the direction of the print head in real time to avoid the impact on print quality that the vibration would create (e.g., ghosting, ringing, layer shifting).

How much printer operation improvement should I expect?

Typically, printers equipped with Ulendo VC can operate at more than DOUBLE the speed of the stock firmware without sacrificing print quality. We have experienced improvements up to FOUR times the speed of the stock firmware and TEN times the acceleration depending on the type of printer.

The combination of speed and quality is a key distinction, because in the absence of an objective print quality rating, printing at“ maximum” speeds cited in printer specifications may not result in printed parts with acceptable quality.

Can Ulendo VC be implemented on any extrusion-based printer?

Ulendo VC can significantly improve the performance of both industrial and desktop FDM printers with common designs (e.g., Cartesian, bed slinger, CoreXY).

Can Ulendo VC be implemented for printers already sold to customers?

Yes! For FDM printers with specific mechanical and software characteristics, Ulendo can develop a “software upgrade” that you can offer your existing printer users. You can choose to charge for this upgrade or offer it for free to maintain brand loyalty or continue a healthy revenue stream from your materials.  End users are less likely to switch to another printer brand if you offer greater speed. And with printers that print at DOUBLE the speed, you will sell more high-margin materials.

Will I have to add any hardware components to my printer model in order to use Ulendo VC?

No. Although Ulendo does use an accelerometer during the calibration phase of the implementation, the accelerometer is no longer needed after the implementation. Our implementation does not require the inclusion of a Raspberry Pi or other hardware components. Through Ulendo’s implementation process, Ulendo VC can even be adapted to customized, bespoke control software/firmware.

Will I have to change my existing control software and platform?

No. Through Ulendo’s implementation process, Ulendo VC can even be adapted to customized, bespoke control software/firmware. Simply put, you do not need to switch from your current firmware to implement Ulendo VC.

Do I need to add an accelerometer to my printer model design to use Ulendo VC?

No, the accelerometer is only needed by the Ulendo team in the initial calibration phase of the implementation. Ulendo VC is truly a software-only vibration compensation technique.

What does an implementation of Ulendo VC entail?

The FDM printer manufacturer selects a specific printer model for the implementation of Ulendo VC. After an initial calibration process conducted by the Ulendo team, we determine the specific speed and accuracy improvements possible by applying Ulendo VC to your printer model. After a mutual agreement on those targets and a set of 5 geometries for testing, Ulendo creates a “calibration map” which is essentially a characterization of the vibration profile of your printer model. The Ulendo team then integrates this calibration map into the printer’s firmware on the controller and conducts a testing and verification process with your engineering team to ensure we have reached your desired speed and accuracy improvements. We then provide a customized version of your firmware which you then include in each newly shipped unit of the printer model.

How long does an implementation of Ulendo VC take?

Depending on the printer model’s firmware, controller and overall design, an implementation of Ulendo VC can take from 2 to 6 months. We recommend a minimum of a 32-bit controller for optimal implementation speed and performance results.

Do you need a unit of our printer in order to perform the implementation?

Ideally, the FDM printer manufacturer sends a unit of the printer model to our lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This significantly expedites the implementation and testing process. If this is not possible due to the size and nature of the printer, we can perform the implementation with a combination of remote work and onsite work by one of our engineers.

Will you need help from our engineering team?

Ulendo does all the “heavy lifting” with minimal assistance from your team over a 2 to 6 month time frame, usually in the range of 50 to 100 hours. The time required by your engineering team is driven by the nature of your printer model’s firmware, controller and overall design. The more common these printer characteristics are, the less time required of your team.

How much does Ulendo VC cost?

Ulendo VC is priced with a combination of a one-time integration fee and a volume-based royalty designed to drive value to both manufacturers and their end customers. Implementation fees vary depending on the underlying software platform, with licensing fees ranging from 1% to 5% of sales, depending on printer model and projected volume.

How is Ulendo VC different from “input shaping?”

Ulendo VC has several advantages over traditional input shaping algorithms.  First, Ulendo VC enables higher precision vs. input shaping, which is subject to corner rounding and tracking errors.  While this may be acceptable for many hobbyist printers, users who require precision from their manufactured parts will not be satisfied with the results of a printer using input shaping. Second, Ulendo VC provides improved repeatability, meaning that users can increase their speed and acceleration during a production run and have confidence that their high speed parts will be as accurate as low-speed parts.   Third, Ulendo VC is adaptable across machine designs, meaning it can be applied to any printer without the need to optimize hardware. Fourth, Ulendo VC requires significantly less time and implementation effort to integrate with a machine, meaning manufacturers can direct their engineering resources on other aspects of machine design. Finally, Ulendo VC allows for quieter operation with reduced mechanical and motor noise during typical printing operations, resulting in quieter shops and happier employees.

Input shaping, a member of a class of band-stop filtering techniques, uses destructive interference between vibration responses to cancel out the vibration. Alternatively, Ulendo’s underlying algorithm, FBS (filtered B -splines), is a more recent vibration compensation approach put forward in 2015 by Ulendo’s founder, Professor Chinedum Okwudire. It prevents a machine from vibrating by sending the machine a command that is an inverted form of the way it naturally wants to vibrate. That is, upon anticipating the vibration of the printer, Ulendo VC “tricks” the machine into moving in the way it would have if it were a perfectly rigid machine with no vibration. Ulendo’s core algorithm falls into a broader class of so-called model inversion tracking controllers. Its advantage lies in its ability to accurately measure the behavior of the machine and select the best strategy to eliminate the vibration, without the unwanted defects introduced by input shaping such as rounded corners. Moreover, the Ulendo VC solution is targeted to your printer’s specific design versus a more generic “input shaping” approach. This leads to improved repeatability, more consistent dimensional accuracy and fewer build failures.

Furthermore, “input shaping” is not really a “free” solution to vibration compensation. Implementation of the input shaping technique does require significant engineering time – time that could be spent on optimizing other aspects of your printer’s design. Leveraging Ulendo VC allows you to speed up product development targeted to speed and accuracy improvements.

Want to supercharge your FDM printers?

Contact us for more information or assistance.