Reduction of Complex Objects into Manufacturable Elements Using the Shell-Slice Approach

Gervasi, Vito R.
Cook, Douglas
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University of Texas at Austin

Software tools for generating a parting surface around a molded part have been available for many years and could be of use for additive fabrication of complex objects. This paper explores the use of software tools such as Materialise Magics Tooling TM and SolidWorks® software to assist in reducing complex objects, such as a lattice structure, into sub-elements free of undercuts and hidden internal geometry. The objective of the proposed Shell-Slice approach is to decompose an object into elements that can be readily machined and created via hybrid fabrication processes. The appeal of hybrid fabrication combined with an automated Shell-Slice approach, is the machinability of each sub-element parting-surface and the remarkable build-speeds and surface-finishes that may be attainable.