Process Planning Strategies for Solid Freeform Fabrication of Metal Parts


Process planning of additive manufacturing of metals is a research interest because of the applications of solid freeform fabrication of metal parts in industry. The strategy is to transform the model of the part into the combinations of 2D layers that will be deposited using different fabrication methods. Process planning for metal deposition in this paper consists of three major modules: spatial decomposition, slicing of the part, and toolpath generation for every slicing layer. Algorithmic improvements are proposed and implemented for these major modules. For spatial decomposition, 3D part decomposition based on modular boundary models and centroidal axis extraction methods are combined to decompose parts more robustly and reliably. For generating slicing layers, a planning process for building non-uniform layers is investigated to greatly increase the variety of the parts that can be manufactured without the need of support structure. For toolpath generation methods, optimization of the generated toolpath is studied especially for complex thin-wall structures to ensure the deposition quality. Experiments were carried out to evaluate the improvements of the major modules of process planning strategies for rapid manufacturing.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 2008 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2008