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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Automatic Subdivision and Refinement of Large Components for Rapid Prototyping Production

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Medellín1

Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Avenida Manuel Nava No. 8, Zona Universitaria, 78290, San Luis Potosí, Méxicohugoivanmc@uaslp.mx

T. Lim

Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, United Kingdomt.lim@hw.ac.uk

J. Corney

Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, United Kingdomj.r.corney@hw.ac.uk

J. M. Ritchie

Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, United Kingdomj.m.ritchie@hw.ac.uk

J. B. C. Davies

Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, United Kingdomb.j.davies@hw.ac.uk

1

Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 7(3), 249-258 (Mar 13, 2006) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2753162 History: Revised March 13, 2006; Received October 19, 2006

The aim of the work presented in this paper is to enable production of large, complex components on rapid prototyping machines whose build volume is less than the size of the desired component. Such large components can be produced as fabrications if a suitable subdivision can be generated. In general, any component can be subdivided into smaller parts by an array of orthogonal planes, but the resulting shapes could have geometries that are difficult to produce accurately on many rapid prototyping systems. The system presented here creates a decomposition designed for both rapid prototyping and assembly. The proposed method considers potential manufacturing problems, and modifies the boundaries of individual parts, where necessary. Additionally, the system also generates complementary male/female (i.e., matching protrusion/depression) assembly features at the interface between the component parts in order to improve the integrity and assemblability of the final component. To prove the functionality of the system, three components are analyzed at the end of this paper.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Common problems in RP fabrication: (a) thin sections, (b) distortion, and (c) cusps

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Figure 2

Cylinder head: (a) the model and (b) regular lattice subdivision

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Figure 3

Overview of 3DU-RP system

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Figure 4

Castle component: (a) 3D lattice decomposition and (b) identification of manufacturing problems in resultant 3DUs

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Figure 5

Assembly features created on the 3DU faces

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Figure 6

RP problems detected by the DFRP operators

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Figure 7

Procedures for correcting DFRP issues: (a) RP problems, (b) identifying internal faces, and (c) merging of 3DUs to remove the problem

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Figure 8

Generation of assembly feature process

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Figure 9

The 3DU-RP system interface

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Figure 10

Partition refinement for the castle component with a 5×5×5 lattice resolution: (a) before refinement (152 3DUs) and (b) after refinement (81 3DUs)

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Figure 11

Partition refinement for the truck with a 4×4×4 lattice resolution: (a) before refinement (112 3DUs) and (b) after refinement (83 3DUs)

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Figure 12

Partion refinement for cylinder head with a 4×4×4 lattice resolution: (a) before refinement (128 3DUs) and (b) after first refinement (78 3DUs)

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Figure 13

Prototyping of a cylinder head: (a)5×5×5 lattice partitioning (180 3DUs), (b) refined decomposition (86 3DUs), (c) assembly features generation, (d) 3DU fabrication, and (e) model assembly and final component

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