Investigating the Links Between the Process Parameters and Their Influence on the Aesthetic Evaluation of Selective Laser Melted Parts
This study is a precursor to gaining a deeper understanding of how each parameter of the Additive Manufacturing (AM) process influences the aesthetic properties of 3D printed products. Little research has been conducted on this specific aspect of AM. Using insights from the work presented in this paper, we intend to develop design support tools to give the designer more control over the printed products in terms of aesthetics. In this initial work, we fabricated samples using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology, and investigated the parameters geometry, building strategy, and post-processing. We asked participants to evaluate the visual and physical interaction with the manufactured samples. Results show that, in addition to geometry and post-processing, the aesthetic evaluation can also be strongly influenced by the SLM process’ building strategy. This understanding will enable us to develop tools to give designers more control over the part’s aesthetic appearance. In addition, we present a systematic procedure and setup to evaluate the aesthetic appearance of products manufactured using AM.