Structurally Intelligent 3D Layer Generation for Active-Z Printing
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Active-Z Printing offers the ability to deposit material along non-planar layers to control the mechanical behavior of parts produced by material extrusion additive manufacturing. These non-planar layers can be exploited to incorporate a part’s loading conditions into the slicing process by aligning deposited layers with predicted localized stress tensors. In this work, we demonstrate that superior structural performance can be achieved by taking advantage of layer shapes derived from principal stress trajectories. A slicing method incorporating stress field data is developed to generate 3D layers from principal stress trajectories. As a demonstration, a 3-point bend specimen is manufactured with 3D layers derived from principal stress trajectories developed in a deformed specimen. Mechanical tests are conducted and 3-point bend specimens are shown to have superior mechanical response. This novel approach introduces new capabilities to Additive Manufacturing for structurally intelligent fabrication.