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Exploring the Links between CAD Model and Build Strategy for Inexpensive FDM

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Additive Manufacturing (AM) represents a maturing collection of production technologies also known as rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing or three-dimensional (3D) printing. One of the most promising aspects of AM is the possibility to create complex geometries. Despite a growing body of knowledge concerning the technological challenges, there is a lack of methods and tools that allow designers to effectively deal with the new possibilities of AM.

Recently, several sub 5000 AM printers have come to the market. Initiatives from the open-source community contribute to this development. These inexpensive machines are based on the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology.

In order to investigate the relationship of the FDM process and the built structures, this paper presents experiments to model and build FDM-specific structures that hold unique mechanical and visual properties.

The findings show that inexpensive FDM machines are able to manufacture complex shapes and patterns in order to achieve unique mechanical and visual properties. However, for a designer to control these phenomena, solid-modeling must be combined with tool path generation. Unfortunately adequate tools and methods that integrate these two approaches are nonexistent.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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