Parametric Representation of Part Contours in SLS Process

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Chen, Kenwei
Crawford, Richard H.
Beaman, Joseph J.

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Current layer-based SFF technologies process faceted geometric input data to produce polygonal contours of the part's boundary in each layer. However, for improved part quality, other more accurate representations of part contours are desirable. Likewise, implementation of Wu's minimum time optimal laser tracking control method for selective laser sintering (SLS) requires contour curves that exhibit higher order continuity. In this paper, we first analyze the requirements of optimal laser tracking to develop evaluation criteria for choosing a contour representation. Several possible representation methods are reviewed. We show that the NonUniform Rational B-Spline (NURBS) curve meets the criteria. A demonstration program illustrates the advantages of NURBS curves for representing contours with uniform point distributions. The results can be used in other control areas where uniform point distribution or constant velocity is required.


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