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Modeling and process planning for curved layer fused deposition

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Fused deposition modeling (FDM), one of the earliest and typical additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, holds great potential in a wide range of industrial applications due to their increasing availability, simplicity, affordability, and capability to fabricate both prototypes and functional parts without limitation on geometric complexity. Notwithstanding many evident advantages over traditional subtractive manufacturing methods, there are still some limitations of this rapidly developing technique. One intractable problem is the undesirable surface finish from the layer-by-layer manufacturing process, where the stair-step issue appears unavoidably. This problematic phenomenon becomes much more serious when fabricating the surface with some minute but critical features. In order to solve these problems, curved layer manufacturing method is a good substitute for general flat fused deposition modeling. This work is an exploratory study for curved layer fused deposition (CLFD), involving the modeling and process planning, which are the foundation for the implementation of CLFD. The physical model for CLFD is developed firstly, and subsequently, the process planning, including the slicing procedure and the extruder path generation, is analyzed and presented. The output from the process planning could be applied in the fabrication of curved surfaces, which would possess tiny features and exhibit excellent smoothness instead of annoying exterior appearance. At last, the implementation of the proposed strategies and approaches on a bowl-like surface is provided to verify the effectiveness and advantages of CLFD.

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Correspondence to Yuan Jin.

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Jin, Y., Du, J., He, Y. et al. Modeling and process planning for curved layer fused deposition. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 91, 273–285 (2017).

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  • Additive manufacturing
  • Curved layer fused deposition
  • Slicing procedure
  • Path planning