Toward Manufacturing of Fine Components by 3D Printing 191

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Sachs, Emanuel
Polito, Benjamin
Ables, David
Cima, Michael
Tsuchiya, Hiroyasu
Enokido, Yasushi

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Solid Freeform Fabrication has earned its place in the industrial practice of prototyping and is beginning to have an impact in the fabrication of tooling. The next and perhaps greatest opportunity for SFF lies on the direct manufacture of components. This paper will present efforts directed toward the MANUFACTURE IN HIGH QUANTITY of small, precision components by 3D Printing. The primary focus is on ceramic and ceramic/metal components, although all metal components are envisioned as well. The production of small, fine-featured parts presents two opportunities for a new machine architecture. First, the powderbeds required for small parts are themselves small and lightweight. Thus, a machine can be designed where powderbeds move from the layer spreading station to the print station and back again. Multiple powder beds can be in play, taking full advantage of all stations of the machine. The second opportunity is to define the perimeter of the part using vector motions of a nozzle with the interior filled by raster scanning. Such an approach has the advantage that the boundary of the part will be defined as a smooth contour. Moving powderbeds and vector printing are combined in the linear shuttle-type machine for research purposes. Ultimately, a rotary machine is envisioned for high production.



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