Special Issue paper

A Test Part for Evaluating the Accuracy and Resolution of a Polymer Powder Bed Fusion Process

[+] Author and Article Information
Jared Allison

Mechanical Engineering Department,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712
e-mail: jared.allison@utexas.edu

Conner Sharpe

Mechanical Engineering Department,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712
e-mail: csharpe93@gmail.com

Carolyn Conner Seepersad

Mechanical Engineering Department,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712
e-mail: ccseepersad@mail.utexas.edu

Contributed by the Design for Manufacturing Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received January 19, 2017; final manuscript received June 13, 2017; published online August 30, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Paul Witherell. The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

J. Mech. Des 139(10), 100902 (Aug 30, 2017) (5 pages) Paper No: MD-17-1050; doi: 10.1115/1.4037303 History: Received January 19, 2017; Revised June 13, 2017

Additive manufacturing (AM) has many potential industrial applications because highly complex parts can be fabricated with little or no tooling cost. One barrier to widespread use of AM, however, is that many designers lack detailed information about the capabilities and limitations of each process. To compile statistical design guidelines, comprehensive, statistically meaningful metrology studies need to be performed on AM technologies. In this paper, a test part is designed to evaluate the accuracy and resolution of the polymer powder bed fusion (PBF) or selective laser sintering process for a wide variety of features. The unique construction of this test part allows it to maximize feature density while maintaining a small build volume. As a result, it can easily fit into most existing selective laser sintering builds, without requiring dedicated builds, thereby facilitating the repetitive fabrication necessary for building statistical databases of design allowables. By inserting the part into existing builds, it is also possible to monitor geometric accuracy and resolution on a build- and machine-specific basis in much the same way that tensile bars are inserted to monitor structural properties. This paper describes the test part and its features along with a brief description of the measurements performed on it and a representative sample of the types of geometric data derived from it.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Previous AM test parts from four different studies. Clockwise from top left: Mahesh et al. [4] (Copyright Emerald Publishing Group Limited all rights reserved); Castillo [3]; Moylan et al. [6]; and Seepersad et al. [5].

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Fig. 2

Proposed PBF test part

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Fig. 5

Panel containing thin walls, thin and thick rods, and hinge features

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Fig. 4

Panels containing gap and hole features as a function of wall thickness

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Fig. 3

Panel containing linear accuracy, cylindricity, hemisphere, and cone features

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Fig. 8

Base of test part containing surface roughness feature

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Fig. 7

Lettering evaluation criteria

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Fig. 6

Panel containing lettering and snap-fit features



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