Machine Design, Control and Performance of Automated Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Laminated Engineering Materials
This paper describes machine design and control aspects of automating a viable CAM-LEM layered manufacturing process. The cut-then-stack sheet-based approach permits using sheet materials of different thicknesses, enabling optimization of build speed. Further, this cut-then-stack approach offers the possibility of assembling parts with multiple materials interleaved both layer-to-Iayer as well as within each layer. The key to realizing these prospective advantages is precise and reliable extraction and assembly of laser-cut regions from sheet feedstock. This paper presents our design approach and examples created on an automated CAM-LEM machine. It will be shown that the use of fugitive materials, automatically assembled interleaved with engineering materials, is feasible, allowing fabrication of laminated components with internal cusps and voids and improving the dimensional stability of components during post-processing. Results of this work are presented and applications of the technology are reviewed. Extensions to tangent-cut thick-sheet interleaved assemblies are described.