Five-Axis Freeform Fabrication of Solid Thermoplastic Parts via SWIFT 289

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Mahale, Tushar R.
Taylor, James B.
Cormier, Denis R.

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Current Rapid Prototyping (RP) & Layered Manufacturing (LM) techniques are based on controlled, precise additive manufacturing methods. These techniques suffer from problems associated with stair stepping, loss of accuracy in the z-direction due to limitations on the slice thickness and their build speeds which prevent them from being “rapid”. Proposed here, is a method, which utilizes a freeform fabrication technique, coupled with the advantages and precision of five axis machining for contoured edge generation. A new technique for the generation of solid thermoplastic parts (ABS, Polystyrene, etc) will be introduced. The proposed process will incorporate adaptive slicing for the generation of five-axis CNC code, and a sub-layer machining technique for use of uniform layer thickness will be outlined. A novel 5-axis configuration will be proposed. The proposed process will decrease, drastically, the time required for part production when compared to current commercial technologies.


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