Planning Freeform Extrusion Fabrication Processes with Consideration of Horizontal Staircase Effect

Ghazanfari, Amir
Li, Wenbin
Leu, Ming C.
Landers, Robert G.
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University of Texas at Austin

An algorithm has been developed to estimate the “horizontal” staircase effect and a technique is proposed to reduce this type of geometrical error for freeform extrusion fabrication processes of 3D “solid” parts. The adaptive rastering technique, proposed in this paper, analyzes the geometry of each layer and changes the width of each line of the raster adaptively in order to reduce the staircase error and increase the productivity simultaneously. For each line, the maximum width that results in a staircase error smaller than a predefined threshold is determined for decreasing the fabrication time or increasing the dimensional accuracy, or both. To examine the efficacy of the proposed technique, examples are provided in which staircase errors and fabrication times are compared between uniform and adaptive rastering methods for each part. The results show a considerable improvement in accuracy and/or fabrication time for all parts studied when using the adaptive rastering technique.