Resource Based Build Direction in Additive Manufacturing Process

Ahsan, Nazmul
Habib, Ahasan
Khoda, Bashir
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University of Texas at Austin

Three dimensional free-form geometric shapes can be built by putting layers upon layer in a predefined direction via Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes. The fabrication processes require computational as well as physical resources and can vary not only upon the product but its process plan. Overly simplified process plan may expedite the pre-fabrication techniques, but may create difficulty during fabrication of those slices. For an example, slices with concavity or discrete contour plurality may introduce deposition discontinuity, over deposition, and higher build time during the fabrication. These issues demand more resources there by affecting the part quality and fabrication cost. In this work, we focus upon the build direction of AM process plan to address the fabrication and resource utilization. First, a set of uniform build direction is identified and the object is discretized using a set of critical points considering the object concavity along the build direction. Cutting planes are generated and the object is discretized into strips and each strip is analyzed for contour plurality and the build directions are quantified through the allocation of importance factors. The optimal build direction thus found will result in lowest possible fabrication complexity. The proposed methodology is implemented and presented with a sample example in this paper.