Design Rules for Additive Manufacture

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Gibson, I.
Goenka, G.
Narasimhan, R.
Bhat, N.

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University of Texas at Austin


As Rapid Prototyping (RP) has evolved to become Additive Manufacture (AM) it has become possible to exploit the effects of the layer-based approach to fabrication so that parts can become easier to build and with greater functionality. Initially parts made in a manner that could not be manufactured further using conventional processes were considered merely as a novelty to RP machine users rather than of any wider benefit. With improvements in the technology and increasing demand for more complex geometry products, AM is coming into its own. As a result, we are now able to manufacture parts that have interlocking features, overlapping and mechanistic properties as well as us not having to worry about constraints like draft angles and overhanging features. However, this does not mean we can completely ignore manufacturing constraints. More that we have to concern ourselves with a different set of constraints. AM technologies are limited according to the following (1): - Speed of build Accuracy Surface geometry Tolerances Wall thickness and feature size Material properties Range of materials These have always been an issue; it’s just that now improvements have now gotten to the stage where parts are acceptable for final application. We must therefore concern ourselves with a new set of design rules that allow us to understand how the technology can be best applied to the advantage of the creator of the new products...


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