Investigation of Layer Thickness and Surface Roughness in Rapid Freeze Prototyping


Rapid Freeze Prototyping (RFP) builds three-dimensional ice parts according to CAD models by depositing and freezing water droplets in a layer-by-layer manner. This paper studies the layer thickness and surface roughness of ice parts built by the RFP process. The equations governing the water line formed by a sequence of water droplets are developed, and then a model of the water line is proposed by simplifying these equations based on our experimental condition. The analysis using this model shows that the cross-section of an ice line is circular, which is verified by experimental observations. Based on the analysis, equations for predicting layer thickness as a function of nozzle scanning speed, water feed rate, and water-ice contact angle in building vertical and slant walls by the RFP are derived and the predictions from these equations are shown to agree well with experimental measurements. The surface roughness of ice parts built by the RFP process is also studied.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)
University of Missouri Research Board

Keywords and Phrases

Layered Manufacturing; Rapid Prototyping; Surface Roughness

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2003 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2003