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MME 3109 Lecture 18

MME 3109 Lecture 18

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RAPID PROTOTYPING & MANUFACTURING

CAD/CAM Lecture 19

Fundamentals Automated Manufacturing Processes
Subtractive: Extract larger material
†

Machining, Grinding, EDM.

Formative. Mechanical force applied on Material
†

Forming, Forging, Extrusion

Molding
†

Casting, Injection Molding

Additive : End product much larger than initial material
†

Rapid Prototyping

Overview
The term rapid prototyping (RP) refers to a class of technologies that can automatically construct physical models from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data. RP techniques can also be used to make tooling (referred to as rapid tooling) and even productionquality parts (rapid manufacturing).

Overview (cont.)
Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing (RP&M) consists of several basic steps:
† CAD

modeling † Forming the cross sections to be manufactured † Laying the cross sections layer by layer † Combining the layers
CAD Model

Forming

Laying

Combining

Typically saved in .STL format

Overview (cont.)
RP&M eliminates typical problems associated with other manufacturing processes, such as:
† Feature-based 

design & recognition unnecessary

Converting design features to manufacturing features not needed. Just need 3D surface and solid model of part cross sectional data is sufficient  Manufacturing tools, molds, and dies not required
† Defining 

blank geometry not required

RP&M adds material instead of subtracting

† Defining

different setups, material handling between setups, fixtures, and jigs not required

Overview (cont.)
Forming the layers of the cross sections in RP&M involve the use of one of the following methods/technologies:
1.

2.

3. 4. 5.

Polymerization of suitable resins by laser, lamps, or other light beams Selective Solidification of solid particles/powders by laser beams Binding of liquid or solids by gluing or welding Cutting and Laminating sheet materials Melting and Resolidification

Specific RP&M Processes
Common RP&M Processes include: Stereo Lithography (SLA) Solid Ground Curing (SGC) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Stereo Lithography (SLA)
Stereolithography (SLA), also known as 3D layering or 3D printing, creates a solid, plastic, threedimensional (3-D) objects from CAD drawings in a matter of hours. Uses:
† Allows

verification for the fit of a part with other assembly components, † Creation of a prototype of an invention or design for product visualization

SLA: Machine
Components: A tank filled with several gallons of liquid photopolymer. The photopolymer is a clear, liquid plastic. The photopolymer is sensitive to UV light, so when the laser touches the photopolymer, the polymer hardens. A perforated platform immersed in the tank. The platform can move up and down in the tank as the printing process proceeds. A UV laser A computer that drives the laser and the platform
Perforated Platform

Note: Stereolithography machines use liquid plastic.

SLA: Process Steps
1.

2.

3.

Starts with a 3D model of object in CAD. Software ´chopsµ CAD model up into thin layers - typically five to 10 layers/millimeter The 3D printer·s laser "paints" the top layer, exposing the liquid plastic in the tank and hardening it

SLA: Process Steps (cont.)
4.

5.

The platform drops down into the tank a fraction of a millimeter (specific distance) and the laser paints the next layer. This process repeats, layer by layer, until model is complete

SLA: Process Steps (cont.)
Note: Uncured resin is removed and the model is post-cured to fully cure the resin. Because of the layered process, the model has a surface composed of ´stair stepsµ. Sanding can remove the stair steps for a cosmetic finish.

SLA: Support structure requirement
Support structures are required when part being built has undercuts, ie. upper cross section larger than lower cross section.
Example of geometries that require support structures in Stereo Lithography

SLA: Highlights
The first Rapid Prototyping technique and still the most widely used. Inexpensive compared to other techniques. Uses a light-sensitive liquid polymer. Requires post-curing since laser is not of high enough power to completely cure photopolymer. Long-term curing can lead to warping. Parts are quite brittle and have a tacky (sticky) surface. No milling step so accuracy in z can suffer. Support structures are typically required. Process is simple: There are no milling or masking steps required. But process can be very long (6-12 hours). Small parts (max of10 in x 10 in x 10 in) Uncured material can be toxic. Ventilation is a must.

SLA: Basic Machine Components

Solid Ground Curing (SGC)
Similar to Stereo Lithography. However SGC has higher throughput because each layer of photopolymer is cured at once, and not by the movement of a beam.
NOTE: ‡In SGC, many parts can be created at once because of the large work space and the fact that a milling step maintains vertical accuracy. ‡The multi-part capability also allows quite large single parts (e.g. 500 × 500 × 350 mm / 20 × 20 × 14 in) to be fabricated. ‡Wax replaces liquid resin in non-part areas with each layer so that model support is ensured.

SGC: Process Steps
1.

First, a CAD model of the part is created and it is sliced into layers using software. At the beginning of a layer creation step, the flat work surface is sprayed with photosensitive resin. A spreader is used to ensure layer is evenly distributed.

SGC: Process Steps (cont.)
2.

For each layer, a photomask is produced using an ionographic printing technique.

Note: This photomask is printed on a glass plate above the build platform using an electrostatic process similar to that found in photocopiers.

SGC: Process Steps (cont.)
3.

The photomask is positioned over the work surface and a powerful UV lamp hardens the exposed photosensitive resin.

SGC: Process Steps (cont.)
4.

After the layer is cured, all uncured resin is vacuumed for recycling, leaving the hardened areas intact. The cured layer is passed beneath a strong linear UV lamp to fully cure it and to solidify any remnant particles.

SGC: Process Steps (cont.)
5.

Wax replaces the cavities left by vacuuming the liquid resin. The wax is hardened by cooling to provide continuous, solid support for the model as it is fabricated. Extra supports are not needed.

wax wax wax

SGC: Process Steps (cont.)
6.

In the final step before the next layer, the wax/resin surface is milled flat to an accurate, reliable finish for the next layer.

SGC: Process Steps (cont.)
Once all layers are completed, the wax is removed, and any finishing operations such as sanding, etc. can be performed. No post-cure is necessary.
Note: Main advantage of SGC over Stereo Lithography is that SGC does not require support structure wax is used to fill the voids. Also, post-curing not needed, this is done at each layer with the UV lamp. SGC more accurate parts but more complex process

SGC: Machine Components

START
Spray resin

Mill flat

Develop photomask

Spray wax Vacuum uncured resin

Expose mask

Process Overview

SGC: Highlights
Large & heavy parts, 500 × 500 × 350 mm (20 × 20 × 14 in), can be fabricated quickly. High speed allows production-like fabrication of many parts or large parts. Masks are created with laser printing-like process, then full layer exposed at once. No post-cure required. Milling step ensures flatness for subsequent layer Wax supports model: no extra supports needed. Creates a lot of waste.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Uses powdered materials and composites. Main advantage over SLA: revolve around material properties many varying materials are possible and these materials can approximate the properties of thermoplastics such as polycarbonate, nylon, or glass-filled nylon.

SLS: Process
1.

Part cylinder is located at height necessary for layer of powdered material to be deposited on the center cylinder to the desired thickness by the levelling roller

SLS: Process (cont.)
2.

Layer of powder is selectively rasterscanned and heated with a laser, causing particles to adhere to each other. Laser scan forms the powder into the required cross section shape.

SLS: Process (cont.)
3.

Part cylinder lowered by the layer thickness to permit new layer of powder to be deposited

SLS: Process (cont.)
4.

5.

6.

New layer is scanned, conforming it to the shape of the next upper cross section and adhering it to the previous layer. Steps 3 and 4 repeated until topmost layer of part is generated. Post-curing may be required for some materials.

Note: No support structures required. Nonadhered (non-fused) powder acts as support.

SLS: Highlights
Considerably stronger than SLA; sometimes structurally functional parts are possible. Laser beam selectively fuses powder materials: nylon, elastomer, and soon metal; Advantage over SLA: Variety of materials and ability to approximate common engineering plastic materials. No milling step so accuracy in z can suffer. Process is simple: There are no milling or masking steps required. Powdery, porous surface unless sealant is used. Sealant also strengthens part. Uncured material is easily removed after a build by brushing or blowing it off.

Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
Generates a part by laminating and laser trimming materials that are delivered in sheet form. Sheets are laminated into a solid block by a thermal adhesive coating. Material is usually a paper sheet laminated with adhesive on one side, but plastic and metal laminates are now being used

LOM: Process
1.

2.

3.

4.

5. 6.

Layer fabrication starts with sheet being adhered to substrate with the heated roller. The laser then traces out the outline of the layer. Non-part areas are cross-hatched to facilitate removal of waste material. Once the laser cutting is complete, the platform moves down and out of the way so that fresh sheet material can be rolled into position. Once new material is in position, the platform moves back up to one layer below its previous position. The process can now be repeated. Once part is complete , the crosshatched material is broken off and removed. Resulting part may be coated with a sealant to keep out moisture.

LOM: Process
Note: The excess material supports overhangs and other weak areas of the part during fabrication. The cross-hatching facilitates removal of the excess material. Once completed, the part has a wood-like texture composed of the paper layers. Moisture can be absorbed by the paper, which tends to expand and compromise the dimensional stability. Therefore, most models are sealed with a paint or lacquer to block moisture ingress.

LOM: Highlights
Layers of glue-backed paper form the model. Low cost: Raw material is readily available. Large parts: Because there is no chemical reaction involved, parts can be made quite large. Accuracy in z is less than that for SLA and SLS. No milling step. Outside of model, cross-hatching removes material Models should be sealed in order to prohibit moisture. Before sealing, models have a wood-like texture. Not as prevalent as SLA and SLS.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
The fundamental process involves heating a filament of thermoplastic polymer and squeezing it out like toothpaste from a tube to form the RP layers. The machines range from fast concept modelers to slower, high-precision machines. The materials include polyester, ABS, elastomers, and investment casting wax. Analogous to writing letters on cake with cream.

FDM: Highlights
Standard engineering thermoplastics, such as ABS, can be used to produce structurally functional models. Two build materials can be used, and latticework interiors are an option. Parts up to 600 × 600 × 500 mm (24 × 24 × 20 inches) can be produced. Filament of heated thermoplastic polymer is squeezed out like toothpaste from a tube. Thermoplastic is cooled rapidly since the platform is maintained at a lower temperature. Milling step not included and layer deposition is sometimes nonuniform so plane can become skewed. Not as prevalent as SLA and SLS, but gaining ground because of the desirable material properties.

RP&M Application: Rapid Tooling

Rapid Tooling
The term Rapid Tooling (RT) is typically used to describe a process which either uses a Rapid Prototyping (RP) model as a pattern to create a mold quickly or uses the Rapid Prototyping process directly to fabricate a tool for a limited volume of prototypes. RT is different from conventional tooling in that:
1.

2. 3. 4.

Tooling time is much shorter than for a conventional tool. Typically, time to first articles is below one-fifth that of conventional tooling. Tooling cost is much less than for a conventional tool. Cost can be below five percent of conventional tooling cost. Tool life is considerably less than for a conventional tool. Tolerances are wider than for a conventional tool.

RT: Examples
1. 2. 3.

Direct AIM (ACES Injection Molding) Silicone Rubber Molding (SRM) Composite Molding Note: The field of RT is expanding rapidly and information on many of new methodologies is still changing.

Direct AIM (ACES Injection Molding)
In the AIM process, the mold is "grown" using the SLA process. The mold is similar to a regular part SLA, but is the negative image and cut into two halves. The cavity can be filled with a variety of materials, including:
† † † †

Thermoplastics Aluminum-filled epoxy Ceramics Low-melt temperature metals

The AIM mold parts can be used as inserts in a standard injection molding machine. The molding machine can then go through its process quite similarly to its normal operation.
ACES = Accurate Clear Epoxy Solid

Direct AIM Highlights
Tooling Cost: $1000 to $1500 for a typical consumer product part of 5"x5"x3" (12.7x12.7x7.6 cm) dimensions. Production Rate: 10 parts each day per cavity. Tool Life: < 100 parts. Accuracy: Similar to that of an SLA: ±0.005 inches (±0.0127 cm). Mold Fabrication Time: 1-2 weeks. Draft angles and lack of undercuts necessary for release

Silicone Rubber Molding (SRM)
Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV) rubber molds are the least expensive and fastest way to create about a dozen prototype parts. Even parts with undercuts are able to be removed through distortion of the RTV mold. Urethane casting material is commonly used for product prototypes.
† † †

can be formulated to have material properties similar to elastomers or ABS. can be machined, sanded, glued, and painted. can have material properties, color, and surface texture very similar to that of production materials.

A small toy locomotive molded with urethane.

SRM: Process
An RP pattern is used to create a master male pattern. The RP technique most often used is SLA. The SLA part is made slightly larger (e.g. 0.003 in/in) than the final product to account for shrinkage. The SLA part is sanded to a suitable cosmetic finish and can be sealed. The master pattern is fitted with a sprue and gate and then surrounded by a parting surface the parting line for the mold.

SRM: Process (cont.)
The pattern assembly is fixtured in a vat, and liquid RTV is then poured over the pattern and parting surface combination as shown below.
Parting surface

RTV poured into empty space

vat

SRM: Process (cont.)
Once cured, the RTV is removed from the vat and separated from the pattern and parting line surface to yield the two halves of the molding tool. RTV air-cures, so that the cure time depends on the geometry, the RTV type, and the environment. Cure time can range from .5 to 40 hours. Aging of the mold after cure for up to three days can improve mold life.

SRM: Process (cont.)
Thermoset resin such as urethane is poured or injected into the mold.

SRM: Process (cont.)
Finally, the finished part is removed from the mold. Undercuts are overcome by distorting the mold, which springs back to its original shape as long as distortion is not too severe. The part must then be postprocessed by trimming any flash, as shown below, and possibly sanding. The gate and sprue must also be removed.

SRM: Highlights
Mold Fabrication Time: From pattern to first part in 3-15 days. Material and Quantities of Parts Produced from a Mold: Part Material / Number of Shots
† † † † † † †

Epoxy 15 ² 30 Polyurethane 10 ² 50 Polyurea 15 ² 60 Investment Casting Wax 50 - 300+ Silicone Rubber 15 - 100 Low Melt Metal Alloy 15 ² 90 Polyurethane Foam 5 - 250

Note: These are estimates only for a part of average complexity with a typical material such as urethane. More detail leads to faster degradation.

Composite Molding
Composite tooling bridges the gap between silicone rubber soft molds (eg RTV molds) and machined aluminum "soft tools". It has advantages in between the two methods:
† Composite

tooling can use production materials (thermoset plastics). † Less expensive than an aluminum tool (mold). † Lower lead time than aluminum mold. † From one mold, 50-500 pieces can be produced. † Part can be of moderate to high complexity.

Composite Molding (cont.)
Since the consistency of the mold is hard, it cannot be distorted to ensure part release. Therefore, elimination of undercuts and the implementation of draft is necessary, as shown in the figure much detail is lost because of the need to make a non-distorting tool that releases the part.

Draft angles facilitates demolding

Composite Molding: Process
A master male pattern is made. The master can be made from any material that can tolerate epoxy, such as foam or wood. However, typically the master pattern is a SLA part. An RTV mold is made of the master pattern and a urethane male pattern is made from the mold. The reason for this is that in the epoxy mold fabrication process, the male pattern is typically destroyed. A parting line surface is added, as shown.

Master Pattern (SLA)

RTV Mold

Urethane male pattern

SLA Male Pattern

Composite Molding: Process (cont.)
Epoxy and glass cloth are layered around the male pattern to form the mold and are cured successively in layers. The figure shows the beginning of the "lay up" process for the top half of the mold

Composite Molding: Process (cont.)
The figure shows the completed lay up assembly for the top half of the mold.

Composite Molding: Process (cont.)
Curing of the mold epoxy can take from 0.5 to 40 hours. Aging the mold at room temperature increases the longevity of the mold. To structurally strengthen the mold and for fixturing, the epoxy lay up can be potted in a block of epoxy. After construction of the epoxy mold, steel inserts can be added for complex slides and coring and machining of the epoxy may need to be undertaken for example, in areas where sprues or gates could not be molded in.

Composite Molding: Highlights
Mold Fabrication Time: 2-6 weeks. Production Rate: cycle time of 3 to 15 minutes. Accuracy: As good as the SLA pattern: ±0.005 inches (±0.0127 cm). Cost: $2000 (about half that of an Al soft tool) for a consumer product part of 5"x5"x3" (12.7x12.7x7.6 mm). Advantages increase with the complexity of the molded part.

Composite Molding: Highlights (cont.)
Longevity of the Mold Thermoplastic Resin Investment Casting Wax Polypropylene Polyethylene Polycarbonate PC/ABS Blends PBT Nylon (filled with glass fiber) Nylon (virgin) ABS Acetal Number of Shots 1000-10000 400-4000 400-4000 100-1100 100-1100 100-500 300-3000 200-1200 300-3500 300-3500

Direct Shell Production Casting (DSPC)
† Patternless

casting process † Used to manufacture functional metal parts, eg. automotive parts of aluminum, magnesium, ductile iron and stainless steel. † Core technology: 3D Printing

DSPC: Process
Part is designed with CAD. File is transferred to shell design unit (SDU) SDU operator designs the ceramic mold for casting the metal part by adding the gating system to the part geometry and converting the part into a cavity design (mold). This is a 1 time process.

DSPC: Process (cont.)
The cavity file for the ceramic mold is then used to generate automatically the ceramic casting mold. Ceramic mold is created in layers.

DSPC: Process (cont.)
Fabrication involves 3 steps per layer:
1.

2.

3.

Ceramic shell model is sliced to yield a cross section of the ceramic mold A layer of fine powder is spread by a roller mechanism A multijet print head moves across the section depositing binder in regions corresponding to the cross section of the mold. Binder penetrates pores between powder particles and forms them into rigid structure.

DSPC: Process (cont.)
Once a given layer is completed, ceramic shell model is sectioned again at a slightly higher position. Process repeated until all layers of them mold are ´concretizedµ The mold is cleaned of excess powder.

DSPC: Process (cont.)
The mold is fired, and poured with molten metal. Shell is then broken away once the melt solidifies. Note: The mold may also contain an integral ceramic core, producing a hollow metal part.

END OF LECTURE
Further reading topics:
† 3D

Keltool ² Pathways to Rapid Tooling † Reverse Engineering with Rapid Prototyping † STL Files Processing

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