Reduction of part build time in the Rapid Freeze Prototyping (RFP) process, which fabricates a 3D ice part layer-by-layer by depositing and freezing water droplets, has been achieved by increase of heat transfer. Three mechanisms have been experimentally investigated: 1) cooling the substrate, 2) use of forced convection, and 3) use of a chilling plate. Cooling the substrate is effective for parts of small heights but becomes ineffective with increase in part height. Forced convection produced desirable reduction in part build time but with the undesirable formation of frost on the built ice part. The use of chilling plate to increase heat conduction proved to be most effective. To ensure that the frozen ice from the deposited water can be easily removed from the chilling plate, various surface coats were investigated and the most effective surface coat was found to be a thin Teflon film. After incorporating the chilling plate we have successfully achieved 75% reduction in part build time.

Meeting Name

20th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (2009: Aug. 3-5, Austin, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering


The research was funded by a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Science Foundation (IIP-0637556).

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

05 Aug 2009