UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Distortion-free tolerance-based layer setup optimization for layered manufacturing Chen, Jack Szu-Shen


Layer manufacturing has emerged as a highly versatile process to produce complex parts compared to conventional manufacturing processes, which are either too costly to implement or just downright not possible. However, this relatively new manufacturing process is characterized by a few outstanding issues that have kept the process from being widely applied. The most detrimental is the lack of a reliable method on a computational geometry level to predict the resulting part error. Layer setup with regard to the contour profile and thickness of each layer is often rendered to operator-deemed best. As a result, the manufactured part accuracy is not guaranteed and the build time is not easily optimized. Even with the availability of a scheme to predict the resulting finished part, optimal layer setup cannot be determined. Current practice generates the layer contours by simply intersecting a set of parallel planes through the computer model of the design part. The volumetric geometry of each layer is then constructed by extruding the layer contour by the layer thickness in the part building direction. This practice often leads to distorted part geometry due to the unidirectional bias of the extruded layers. Because of this, excessive layers are often employed to alleviate the effect of the part distortion. Such form of the distortion, referred to as systematic distortion, needs to be removed during layer setup. This thesis proposes methods to first remove the systematic distortion and then to determine the optimal layer setup based on a tolerance measure. A scheme to emulate the final polished part geometry is also presented. Case studies are performed in order to validate that the proposed method. The proposed scheme is shown to have significantly reduced the number of layers for constructing an LM part while satisfying a user specified error bound. Therefore, accuracy is better guaranteed due to the existence of error measure and control. Efficiency is greatly increased.

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