AbstractSophisticated Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing (RP&M) systems have been developed to produce products up to conventional production standards. However, there are a number of limitations in the current RP&M systems, such as material choice, component size, software technique, and product quality. Most of the developed RP&M systems can fabricate objects with one build material and one support material. There is an increase in demand for an RP&M system which can fabricate objects with the help of multi-materials (Anderson, 2009). So far there have been some initial progresses. However, the industry still needs to go a long way until a complex multi-material RP&M system is developed.
In this dissertation, RP&M technology, its Industrial growth and current development is reviewed and then critically analysed to develop an understanding of its progress and issues related to it. Based on the analysis of current research gaps, “Feasibility Study of Key Components & Algorithm Design for Multi-Material Rapid prototyping (RP) Machine” is chosen as a proposed research topic. A complete design methodology is produced to develop a detailed feasibility design for a multi-material M2-3D Printer nozzle deposition apparatus.
In this dissertation, a multi-material nozzle deposition RP&M system and key slicing/control algorithms have been designed to handle up to seven materials in a bid to achieve the flexibility and accuracy during deposition control. Photopolymer is the material choice which can be deposited in a continuous or drop format. Deposited material can be fabricated by two UV curing options. The right choice of UV curing source and its set parameters affect directly the quality of fabrication.
Developed NURBS-based slicing algorithm can maintain the geometrical accuracy of original CAD model and to support multi-material RP&M technology. In addition, a nozzle change algorithm is also developed to reduce the build time of fabrication and to support the design of M2-3D Printer.
Developed multi-material slicing and its nozzle control algorithm will reduce the processing time, data storage space and overall improve the quality of fabricated objects in the proposed M2-3D Printer system. Based on that, the design of nozzle deposition system, its slicing and control algorithms can be further developed to be used in a future M2-3D Printer system.
|Date of Award||2011|
|Supervisor||Weidong Li (Supervisor) & Colin Page (Supervisor)|