Development of a Novel Test Artefact for Conformal Material Extrusion Printing
Additive manufacturing (AM) allows for free complexity. However, the layer-by-layer manufacturing method traditionally relies on a G-code input to the machine, representing 2D planar slices of each layer, which eventually combines to represent the net-shape 3D geometry. Through modification of existing slicer software, thus modifying the G-code input to the machine, non-planar (conformal) shells can be generated on top of a traditional planar scaffolding. The objective of this work is to design a novel test artifact to aid in the creation of design rules and to identify machine limitations for conformal printing. With the use of non-conventional design features using trigonometric (sine) surfaces, this test artifact would allow for deeper insights into the print quality of organic shapes made possible using a commercial, low-cost, material extrusion 3D printer. It would also enable the creation of design rules for conformal printing to push forward the true dual-Design for Additive Manufacturing (dual-DfAM) potential.