Modelling of Material Property Variation for Layered Manufacturing

  • Michael J. Pratt
Conference paper


Layered manufacturing (LM), alias solid freeform fabrication or rapid prototyping, is an important emerging manufacturing technique. It builds up a manufactured artefact by depositing successive layers of material under computer control. Until recently, objects manufactured by LM methods have been regarded as composed of homogeneous material. However, new methods of optimal design specify `functionally graded’ or inhomogeneous materials. Layered manufacturing provides a means for producing such variable material distributions. Furthermore, methods are under development for embedding reinforcing fibres in the deposited material, and additional means are therefore needed for the representation of material nonisotropy. The problem reduces essentially to that of parametrizing the interior of a boundary representation solid model, ideally in terms of the surfaces involved in its boundary. The paper surveys several methods with the potential for representing 3D material distributions, and examines their compatibility with ISO 10303 (STEP) an international standard for the representation of product life-cycle data. Some consideration is also given to the related problem of representing the microstructure resulting from the deposition of the material (in most LM methods) in strands or filaments.


Welding Nylon Nash Lamination Polycarbonate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Pratt
    • 1
  1. 1.Manufacturing Systems Integration DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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