Visualization of Surface Accuracy for Virtual Prototyping

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Choi, S.H.
Chan, A.M.M.

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This paper introduces a virtual prototyping (VP) system that simulates a RP process to produce a virtual prototype of a product, which facilitates visual study of the surface quality of the physical prototype that the RP machine will subsequently fabricate. The virtual prototype displayed in a computerized virtual environment allows the designer to analyze the surface texture and accuracy of a product prototype conveniently. It may be super-imposed on its original design so that all dimensional deviations are clearly highlighted. The system can further pinpoint the areas in which the dimensional deviations are out of the acceptable range. The designer can hence improve the accuracy of the prototype well before physical fabrication by optimizing the RP fabrication parameters, such as the layer thickness, hatch space and build orientation, in the system. In this paper, the simulation principles will be described and case studies will be given to illustrate how the system works.



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