Implementation of a Functionally Gradient Material Modeling and Design System

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Pratap, Aparajit
Crawford, Richard H.

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New advancements in Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) processes promise the capability to produce Functionally Gradient Material (FGM) parts, in which the material compositions vary spatially. To realize this potential there is a need for CAD methods and design software to model, design, represent and exchange material information and instructions to the manufacturing process. However, currently available commercial CAD systems are limited to representing and storing only geometric information, which is not adequate for material design purposes. This work presents an extension of a theoretical approach based on Volumetric MultiTexturing (VMT) and hypertexturing schemes to make the material design process intuitive and user controllable. Inverse distance weighted interpolation is used in conjunction with procedural material functions to accomplish axial or linear material gradient directions from surface to surface across a solid. This offers the capability of specifying fixed material composition values to the faces in the solid and blending them across the interior of the solid. The extension of the proposed approach to the modeling of discrete material domains is also discussed. These material regions can be combined using special sets of operators depending on the form of the material functions. Finally, a design environment has been developed, which allows users to systematically apply material information to geometry and captures design intent.


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