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Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516

DOI 10.1007/s00170-012-4118-z

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Investigating surface roughness of parts produced
by SLS process
Anish Sachdeva & Sharanjit Singh & Vishal S. Sharma

Received: 15 April 2011 / Accepted: 27 March 2012 / Published online: 28 April 2012
# Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Abstract Selective laser sintering (SLS) has been recognized
as one of the best rapid prototyping (RP) technique for producing solid models, directly from computer-aided design
data by fussing together different layers with the help of laser
light. Further, RP has traditionally been used for producing a
solid model for visualization purpose and assessing kinematic
functionality. So, the model is required to have superior
mechanical integrity and surface quality for handling and
model testing. This study investigates surface roughness
(SR) of parts produced by SLS process. The empirical
models have been purposed to predict the feasibility of
different process parameters viz., laser power, scan spacing,
bed temperature, hatch length, and scan count on SR.
Further, these parameters have been optimized using facecentered central composite design with response surface
methodology. The optimized parameters have been verified
by conducting confirmation experiments.

CuSn
D
DMLS
3D
E
RM
RP
RSM
RT
PTFE
PVD
SLS
SR
STL

Keywords Selective laser sintering . Process parameters .
Rapid prototyping . Surface roughness

Rapid prototyping (RP) is an additive manufacturing technology in which solid complex parts are directly produced from
computer-aided design (CAD) models within hours without
any tooling. In 1987, the first RP machine was commercialize
for industry at Ultra Violet Products Inc., CA founding by 3D
systems. RP has grown and become a part of the new product
development process, especially for industries such as aerospace and biomedical. Rapid manufacturing generally reduces
the production time and cuts the trial cost, and superior quality
products can be produced because the designers and manufacturers have a facility to analyze and fine-tune different products
before committing these for fabrication. In particular, the use of
RP processes has proved to be a cost-effective and timeefficient approach for producing patterns and core boxes. This
technology can handle large verity of metals such as metallic
parts with copper, nickel, cobalt, chromium, aluminum, titanium, tool steel, and thermoplastics such as polyamides, ABS,

Nomenclature
A
Laser power
ANOVA Analysis of variance
B
Scan spacing
C
Bed temperature
CAD
Computer-aided design
CAM
Computer-aided manufacturing
CCD
Central composite design
A. Sachdeva (*) : S. Singh : V. S. Sharma
Department of Industrial and Production Engineering,
Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology,
Jalandhar, Punjab, India, 144011
e-mail: anishsachdeva@gmail.com

Copper based alloy powder
Hatch length
Direct metal laser sintering
Three dimensional
Scan count
Rapid manufacturing
Rapid prototyping
Response surface methodology
Rapid tooling
Polytetrafluoroethylene
Physical vapor deposition
Selective laser sintering
Surface roughness
Stereo lithography file

1 Introduction

e. but the progress has been slow because of the complex nature of the SLS process [3. [8] investigated the SR. The whole bed is heated with the help of infrared heaters below the melting point of powder to overcome thermal distortion and to help fusion to the previous layer. Then this is allowed to cool down for enough time before the part bed moved down by one layer thickness and a new layer spread by roller. Byun and Lee [15] found the optimal buildup direction of a RP part for different systems. [10] investigated the SR of lasersintered metallic parts taking laser power. As shown in block diagram (Fig. they concluded that the building direction had a coarser topography (Ra 018. laser beam power. Tang et al. spot size. and surface finish into account. the best orientation was chosen using the simple additive weighting method. and chemical resistant [2]. A roller moves left to right and right to left and spread the powder from the feed chambers over the build area. the surface quality improved and the Rz and Ra parameters were reduced to around 30 to 8 μm. The SR. The CO2 laser light with sufficient power then focused to tip the powder over part bed and sinter the powder into a solid mass of desired shape. durable. Fe-. This process repeated number of times until the whole part is produced in layer by layer. and hardness have been measured to determine the characteristics of sintered parts. Yang et al. Ning et al. scan speed. respectively. so that the next layer of powder is deposited on top of the previously sintered layers in the build chamber and the process continues until all of the parts are built. Masood et al. It was observed in the study that the increase in laser power tends to increase SR and the increase in scanning speed tends to decrease in SR. But the parts produced by this SLS process are weak in SR [1]. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is mainly used to produce end use and functional parts that can withstand reasonable amount of stress. Kruth et al. 3D solid part is directly produced from CAD data by the use of powder materials. Among the orientation candidates selected from the convex hull of a model. and porosity for Cu-. 4]. Wang et al. Before the start of sintering. [13] proposed a process planning approach to improve the efficiency in layered manufacturing process and surface quality of a product. [14] presented a generic algorithm to determine the best part orientation for creating RP parts with a higher level of accuracy and surface finish. In SLS process. [16] developed a model based on feedforward neural network with back-propagation learning algorithm to improve mechanical properties. Further. then the un-sintered powder is removed from the parts and recycled again. High laser power and bed temperature are required for sintering of metallic powders. SR. scan spacing. Rz. Many attempts have been made to improve the parts produced by SLS process. They used revised average weighted SR. They presented an algorithm to determine the successive layer area difference for layer deposition. in case of plastic powder setup having lower laser power and temperature range can be used. the different process parameters and resulting properties can also be estimated from the database. These precise and optimized combinations of processing parameters are required to achieve desired SR using current SLS systems. and polyphenylsulfone [1]. and layer thickness as process parameters. bending strength density.1506 polycarbonate. [11] with a self-developed high-temperature laser sintering equipment investigated the effect of laser power and scanning speed on silica sand for SR. containing a piston-controlled platform that moves incrementally upward to supply a fresh layer of powder. . Kumar and Kruth [9] compared the effect of bronze infiltration into two different metallic powders with two different SLS machines. and processing time for DMLS process. This system can automatically develop and also can determine the most suitable parameter setting. thus a setup enriched with these faculties used in DMLS. part strength. density. on various properties of a lasersintered CuSn-made parts for SR. this process is generally known as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). While measuring the SR. accuracy. the CAD data have to be transferred into machine computer in the form of . Left and right chambers are known as feed chambers. When metallic powders are used for production of different parts. scanning speed. 2 Literature review Song [7] investigated the effect of different laser parameters. which considered stair-stepping effect and build time. Simchi et al. Further. They found that the parameters of the top surface are around Rz 035–45 μm and Ra 010–12 μm. [17] also studied the selective laser melting with the use of different metallic powders to obtain good mechanical properties.2 μm) than the surface parallel to the building direction (Ra 012.. respectively. there are three chambers in the SLS system in central chamber where the parts are built and two feed chambers where the powder is stored prior to being spread across the build area. wear resistant. Thomson and Crawford [12] developed numerical method to optimize part orientation for SLS by taking build time.6 μm). 1a). Further. and Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 hatching distance. but after post-sintering treatment. and Ni-based laser-sintered material used by using DMLS process. and Rq) using response surface methodology (RSM). Therefore in this paper. i. The purpose of the present research work is to investigate and optimize the SLS process parameters for SR (Ra.STL file (file format used by Stereo lithography software) [5]. according to different process requirements. the work has been carried out to investigate the SR of the parts produced by SLS.

scan spacing. The selection of theses parameters is based on literature review. it is concluded that most of research work focus on laser power (A) and scan spacing (B) due to their dominant influence in powder sintering. layer thickness. and feasibility studies. Different process parameters and their values . scan speed. Range of various process parameters depends on the materials and specification of machine. and scan count (E). SR is a primary concern in RP and it deals in the particle packing and highly related to the shape and size of the sintered particles. hatch length. Laser power defines as amount of power of laser (watts) as it scans the area of each layer. and specimens fabricated on vanguard HS SLS work station parameter adjustment and special scanning strategies were employed for optimization in this study. pilot experimentations.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 a 1507 Scanning Mirrors Powder Feed Beds Laser Light Extra Powder Collectors Powder Feed Roller Part Bed with Complex Parts Extra Powder Collectors Up Down Pistons b Laser Light Spot Diameter Beam Offset Scan Spacing Scan Line Powder Layer Layer Thickness Layer Boundary Sintered Layer c Fig. For superior product quality. bed temperature. 1b. the effect of laser power. packing direction. Hatch length is distance covers by laser light along X. scan mode. hatch spacing. specimen with dimensions.or Y-direction in one run. scan count. Scan spacing is the distance between two adjacent laser scan lines. b Process parameters of SLS. c SLS machine. 3. Thus. After analyzing the literature. hatch length. Scan count is number of times the laser beam transverses a scan vector per layer. and spot size shown in Fig. part bed temperature. 3 Experimentation SLS process included a large number of process parameters such as laser power. So these parameters have been selected in this study as design parameters. Other three parameters selected are bed temperature (C). this aspect is explored in the current investigation.1 SLS system and process parameters In this study. it needs experience and better understanding and knowledge of these process parameters. and scan count have been analyzed. hatch length (D). Bed temperature is the temperature of build chamber. 1 a Schematic of the SLS process [6]. and packing density.

asp#DuraForm). In this SLS system.com/products/materials/sls/ datasheets.. . 0.. along Y.000 mm/s 0. . So RSM statistical technique is used here. its properties are different from virgin powder.2 Surface roughness test In this study. the hatch pattern only along X-direction has been followed by keeping a parameter (sinter scan) off in used SLS machine..1 mm Off 0.e. these are selected according to the specifications of machine. Because used powder undergoes through heating cycle.. In this experimental work..0. some parameters cannot be altered or some parameters kept constant. 175. the ratio of 70 % used and 30 % virgin powder is used for making parts. hatch pattern along X.. More amounts of fresh powder cause curling and warpage [18]. .: Where M ¼ Vertical magnification & Rq (root mean square value): It is the positive square root of the arithmetic mean of the value of the squares of the values in the set. 1 Ra ¼ L ZL jyðxÞjdx .. and Rq were measured. It is widely used to investigate and optimize the effect of two or more factors on quality criteria [19.. 32 W 0. :: 0 & Rz (average peak to valley height): It is define as the average difference between the five highest peaks and the five deepest valleys within sample length measured from a line drawn parallel to the general direction of the profile. But on this particular system.2. 28. The design factors selected for study are summarized in Table 2. 1c.. and the material used..... 20]..8 mm (perpendicular to laser scan direction. The distance above the centerline are taken as positive and below is as negative. Appropriate process parameters used in order to achieve a good surface finish and part is allowed to cool 4–5 h in the build to avoid significant stresses caused during fast cooling. Vanguard HS manufactured by 3D systems.: n ð2Þ ð3Þ 3. 100. the powder material in machine chambers heated just 10–12°C below its melting point to decrease the provision of thermal energy required. & Ra (arithmetic mean deviation): The arithmetic average or centerline average is defined as the average value of the ordinates from the centerline. 3. . and the algebraic sign of the ordinates is not considered. 120 1–2 Scan speed Layer thickness Sinter scan Spot size Roller speed 5.. 178°C 40. . Thus. the SR from top surface of specimen for cut of length 0.. Rz ¼ 15 ½ðR1 þ R3 þ R5 þ R7 þ R9 Þ  ðR2 þ R4 þ R6 þ R8 þ R10 Þ  100 M . The levels of design factors have been selected in accordance with literature review and experts opinion.e.1. A total of 60 experiments were performed at four independent input variables and one category factor. Generally in SLS process or according to the literature available.1508 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 are shown in Table 1. i.. so in this study also the same ratio is followed for experimentation.. it helps to avoid curling and warpage.05 mm 254 mm/s The experimental plan for the study uses the stipulated conditions according to the face-centered central composite design (CCD). Dura form polyamide (http://www.. along Y-direction) has been measured with the use of Surf Test SJ-301 (Mitutoyo). both in XY and alternating in XY. ð1Þ rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi y21 þ y22 þ y23 þ    : Rq ¼ .3 mm 172.4 Response surface methodology Modeling and optimization of a process are important issues in manufacturing. Rz. Three roughness parameters Ra. 3.. Numbers of scanning strategies are available in SLS machines which include sorted-unsorted.. i.3 Experimental design and modeling Table 1 Different process parameters and their values used for fabrication of specimens Different process parameters used for SLS Variable Fixed Parameters Values Parameters Values Laser power (A) Scan spacing (B) Bed temperature (C) Hatch length (D) Scan count (E) 24. Specimens in different strips by using Duraform polyamide as material have been produced as shown in Fig..3dsystems. Optimization of process parameters not only increases the effectiveness of . i.e.

2 65.53 8.82 57.74 53.06 52.07 10.71 58.16 14.71 11.3 0.6 67.15 9.6 10.58 9.19 14.06 9.62 17.98 16.83 47.1 0.48 11.3 13.6 12.09 10.1 0.81 54.42 13.3 0.56 49.86 72.12 43 58.67 45.74 48.96 8.94 44.64 8.74 63.74 5.2 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 −1 0 0 1 1 1 1 −1 0 1 1 1 0 −1 −1 0 0 −1 0 1 1 −1 0 1 1 −1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 1 0 1 1 1 1 −1 −1 0 0 −1 0 −1 −1 −1 1 1 1 −1 0 −1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 24 28 28 32 32 32 32 24 28 32 32 32 28 24 0.62 10.51 11.2 172 172 175 172 172 172 172 175 178 172 175 172 172 175 175 40 120 100 120 40 120 40 100 40 120 100 40 120 100 40 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 11.03 37.01 61.88 53.07 11.96 11.89 8.67 .76 11.84 46.76 14.29 10.36 47.3 0.32 15.2 0.64 9.47 38.17 10.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.15 13.2 0.08 12.65 43.13 50.22 12.46 10.01 61.02 62.64 7.18 44.3 0.55 51.44 13.87 30.13 13.74 10.02 12.1 0.11 11.68 15.2 0.54 8.64 53.2 0.47 8.2 0.69 51.42 9.1 0.57 15.06 30 31 32 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 −1 0 0 −1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 28 28 28 28 0.09 12.3 0.11 14.72 14.1 0.28 8.6 14.84 17 12.2 0.28 9.62 14.46 66.09 9.6 12.94 11.2 0.33 11.3 51.14 47.48 9.2 0.26 9.95 7.07 16.34 7.47 13.86 12.72 63.73 12.97 12.54 9.38 13.3 0.42 9.4 10.68 16.3 178 175 175 178 175 178 172 178 175 178 178 178 178 172 40 100 100 40 100 40 40 40 120 120 120 40 100 40 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 11.1 0.14 63.42 11.05 15.36 10.1 0.64 9.73 11.15 10.2 0.05 62.2 0.44 70.1 0.43 53.6 13.7 12.88 65.86 49.2 172 175 175 172 100 100 100 100 1 1 1 2 9.3 0.45 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 1 1 0 0 0 −1 −1 0 1 0 0 −1 −1 −1 0 0 0 1 −1 −1 0 0 0 1 −1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 −1 1 −1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 −1 1 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 32 32 28 28 28 24 24 28 32 28 28 24 0.91 42.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.29 54.2 0.1 0.2 11.15 12.95 13.1 0.48 9.1 0.47 12.87 53.3 0.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 1509 Table 2 Experimental design matrix and collected data S No Coded values Actual values Surface roughness (μm) A B C D E Laser power (w) Scan spacing (mm) Bed temperature (°C) Hatch length (mm) Scan count Ra Rz Rq 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 1 1 0 −1 −1 1 1 0 1 1 −1 −1 1 0 0 −1 −1 1 −1 −1 1 1 1 1 1 0 −1 −1 0 0 −1 −1 0 −1 −1 −1 −1 0 1 −1 0 −1 −1 0 0 −1 1 0 1 −1 1 −1 0 −1 1 0 −1 1 0 −1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 32 32 28 24 24 32 32 28 32 32 24 24 32 28 28 0.12 57.69 10.3 0.3 172 178 175 175 175 178 178 175 175 175 175 178 40 120 40 100 100 120 120 100 100 100 100 40 1 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 11.1 0.

1. In the model.03 44.3 0.72 12.1000 indicate that the model terms are not significant [19].31 37.2 0.2 0.1 0. D.0662 is in reasonable agreement with the Adj R2 of Rq ð4Þ In terms of actual factors.3 0. and AD are significant model terms.067A þ 155:43B þ 0:18D þ 0:16AD .89 8. The Pred R2 of 0. Based on results.4 13.01 13. .49 56.1 Analysis of variance 4. 4. in terms of their coded factors. BE.1510 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 Table 2 (continued) S No Coded values Actual values Surface roughness (μm) A B C D E Laser power (w) Scan spacing (mm) Bed temperature (°C) Hatch length (mm) Scan count 46 −1 −1 −1 1 1 24 0.92 % chance that a lack-of-fit F value could occur due to noise.44 17. Ra Rz 0. predicted vs.92 12. and optimizing of the structures over feasible domain of parameter settings for SR. improving.96 51.38 14. (5): Ra ¼ 5. A nonsignificant lack of fit suggests that there may be very less systematic variation that remains unaccounted for a particular model and there is a 41. AB.31 11. C2. Values greater than 0. is expressed by the following second-order polynomial Eq. (4): Ra ¼ 9:51 þ 0:20A þ 0:023B  0:068C  0:32D  1:61A2 þ 1:55B2 þ 1:66C 2 þ 0:64AD . and DE.2377.39 10. the response surface model constructed in this study for predicting Ra was considered reasonable.13 40.52 9. Because SLS is commonly a multivariate problem.2 0.25 46. The final regression model.1 172 175 175 175 175 172 178 175 175 172 178 178 178 178 40 100 100 100 120 120 100 100 100 120 120 40 120 120 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 12.1 172 120 1 7. . Adeq Precision ratio of the model is 6. an empirical relationship Ra and process variables can be expressed by the following secondorder polynomial Eq.4 67. BD. AC.25 55. this technique appears to be an appropriate for analyzing.77 12. .58 technologist but also the product superiority. 2 2 2 The capability and adequate approximation toward the real system for the obtained model can be judged by applying the diagnostic plots. which is an adequate signal for the model [19] (Table 3).53 15. 4 Results and discussion The experiments were conducted and values of Ra.17 implies that it is not significantly relative to the pure error. are excluded from the study to improve the model. Further analysis of variance (ANOVA) is performed on collected data for testing significance of regression model and model coefficients.38 10.585:59 þ 5:69A  61:94B  64:55C  4:83D ð5Þ 10. Insignificant model terms. CD. Rz. .480. B.6 54.87 13.3 0.56 10.32 10.11 52.1 Surface roughness (Ra) The quadratic model was used as it fits the data appropriately. CE. such as D2.24 61.0500) indicate that model is significant for Ra.07 8.30 and low probability value (Prob>F<0. A. The lack-of-fit F value of 1.2 0. which have limited influence.3 0.2 0.61 8.44 12.87 10.99 51. Figure 2a shows the normal probability plots of the studentized residuals for Ra.89 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 −1 −1 0 0 0 −1 0 0 0 −1 1 −1 −1 −1 1 0 0 −1 0 1 0 0 0 1 −1 1 1 −1 −1 0 0 0 0 −1 1 0 0 −1 1 1 1 1 −1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 −1 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 24 24 28 28 28 24 28 28 28 24 32 24 24 24 0.3 0. A2. C. B2.1 0.06 51.75 12.04 9.22 9.73 8. As seen in the Table 3.65 44.01 74.2 0. and Rq were measured (Table 2). For this normal probability plots of the studentized residuals.92 14. actual value plot and perturbation plot of the model have been analyzed.81 12. which means . AE.01 14. BC. model F value of 3. A normal probability plot indicates that the residuals are falling on a straight line.91 11.

2210 is in reasonable agreement with the Adj R2 of 0.3411 0.89561 2. B.011:17 þ 25:24A  273:55B  392:06C  2:97D  0:44A2 þ 677:67B2 þ 1:12C 2 .484336 0.27 R2 Adj R2 Pred R2 Adeq Precision that the errors are normally distributed [19]. there is gradual decrease in Ra value. The lack-of-fit F value of 1. BE.43293 8 9.32 implies that the lack of fit is not significantly relative to the pure error. with the increase in scan spacing (B) and bed temperature (C).2377 0. A.704 which indicates an adequate signal. Further. Table 4 shows the ANOVA of regression parameters of the predicted response surface quadratic model for Rz. Rz first decreases up to second .63185 13. (7): Rz ¼ 34. i.71611 15..109 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 51 41 10 59 1. is expressed by the following Eq.484336 0.299518 0. 3b.547628 0. 2c shows the comparative effects of all independent variables on Ra in a particular fashion as the level of a single parameter is changed neglecting the variation in the level of other parameters. which have limited influence.72891 13. In case of the fourth parameter.554117 3.512616 0. As seen in Table 5. (6): Rz ¼ 47:59 þ 1:82A  0:25B þ 0:32C  2:98D  7:08A2 þ 6:78B2 þ 10:08C 2 . 2b. A normal probability plot indicates that the residuals are also falling on a straight line similar to Ra. Ra first increases then starts decreasing after second level.019136 0. AD. B2. . . The Pred R2 of 0. In Fig.1998 25. There is a 33.2612 0. further.737778 14. AC. the predicted values of Rz obtained from the model and the actual experimental data plot are equally randomly scattered across.398465 4. D2.47628 224. BC.480 ð7Þ Figure 3a shows the normal probability plots of the studentized residuals for Rz. CE.63185 13. an empirical relationship for Rz and process variables can be expressed by the following second-order polynomial Eq.0041 1. ð6Þ In terms of actual factors.e.. In case of laser power (A). i. 4.26 209. 0.70 10. AE.47 16. Rz first increases then decreases after second level. In Fig.1. model F value of 5.0662 6. BD. Ra first decreases up to second level and then starts increasing.736863 5.72891 13.0242 0.057582 1. the predicted values of Ra obtained from the model and the actual experimental data plot are equally randomly scattered across.56 and low probability value (Prob>F<0.166736 3. AB.4192 1.006609 0.71611 15. The final regression model.019136 0.15 % chance that a lack-of-fit F value this large could occur due to noise. 3c in case of laser power (A). in terms of their coded factors.0342 0. A2. the response surface model constructed in this study for predicting Rz was considered reasonable.24838 147. CD. so the 3D surface response plot for laser power and hatch length is drawn as shown Fig.9355 0. AD is a significant model term.169905 0. 2d. C. Insignificant model terms.0284 0. were expelled from the study to develop the model.2 Surface roughness (Rz) In this study. hatch length (D).980483 2.8113 0.e.0372 1. The perturbation plot as in Fig. and C2 are significant model terms. similar trends have been observed in case of scan spacing (B) and also in case of bed temperature (C).166736 3. . Based on results.3514.737778 14.6761 122.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 Table 3 ANOVA and adequacy of the quadratic model for Ra Source Model A B C D A2 B2 C2 AD Residual Lack of fit Pure error Cor Total Standard deviation Mean CV PRESS 1511 Sum of squares Degree of freedom Mean square F value Prob>F 76.575333 0. .0500) indicate that the model is significant for RZ reduction. such as E.24838 2. In Fig.4773 0. D. and DE. In the produced model. which means that the errors are normally distributed [19]. Adeq Precision measures the signal-to-noise ratio of 8.290843 5.086634 4.

20 C: Bed Temp = 175. There is a 30. In this study.00 b -0.00 30.20 C: Bed Temp = 175.00 -0.00 Design-Expert® Software Ra Color points by value of Ra: 14. The lack-of-fit F value of 1. With the increase in hatch length (D). in terms of their coded factors. further. an empirical relationship for Rz and process variables can be expressed by the following second-order polynomial Eq.00 6.00 1.00 5.00 0. Actual 16. Rq first increases up to second level then starts decreasing after second level. .09 implies that the model is significant. b Plot of predicted vs. .00 1.50 26. d Response surface plot for Ra laser power vs. In Fig.00 14.1512 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 a c Normal Plot of Residuals Perturbation Design-Expert® Software Factor Coding: Actual Ra 12 99 C B 90 Actual Factors A: Laser Power = 28.000 3.95 6. c Perturbation plot for Ra.25 % chance that a lack-of-fit F value could occur due to noise. The ð8Þ In terms of actual factors.00 E: E = 1 7 6 8.000 0.00 32.00 24. (8): Rq ¼ 11:61  0:029C þ 2:08C 2 .00 -1. Model F value of 7. ð9Þ Figure 4a shows the normal probability plots of the studentized residuals for Rq.00 0. The Pred R2 of 0. Rq first decreases up . 102:91  81:03C þ 0:23C 2 .00 X1 = A: Laser Power X2 = D: Hatch Length 8 Actual Factors B: Scan Spacing = 0.00 -1.00 Design-Expert® Software Factor Coding: Actual Ra Design points above predicted value Design points below predicted value 14. .00 B: Scan Spacing = 0. final regression model. only C2 is found to be significant model term. 4b.00 12.000 Deviation from Reference Point (Coded Units) Internally Studentized Residuals d Predicted vs.50 D: Hatch Length 4. the response surface model constructed in this study for predicting Rq was considered reasonable.00 16. actual response for Ra.3 Surface roughness (Rq) Table 5 shows the ANOVA of regression parameters of the predicted response surface model for Rq after elimination of nonsignificant terms.500 1. the perturbation plot shows that with the increase in laser power (A). there is gradual decrease in Rz value.00 28.00 10 Ra Predicted 5. There is only a 0.1.1712.46 9 12.46 7 -3. 4c. Based on results. the predicted values of Rq obtained from the model and the actual experimental data plot are equally randomly scattered across.95 12 11 14. which means that the errors are normally distributed [19].95 1 8 A 5. In Fig. 2 a Normal probability plot of residuals for Ra. is expressed by the following Eq.00 *E: E = 1 80 10 70 Factors not in Model E D Ra Normal % Probability C B 11 95 50 D 30 Categoric Factors E 9 20 Design-Expert® Software Ra 10 A 5 Color points by value of Ra: 14.00 10.18 % chance that a model F value large could occur due to noise.46 4.00 8. hatch length level and then starts increasing. (9) given in the following: Rq ¼ 7.5 in the model. Adeq Precision measures the signal-to-noise ratio which comes 4.38 implies that the lack of fit is not significantly relative to the pure error. A normal probability plot indicates that the residuals are also falling on a straight line similar to Ra and Rz.00 0.00 2.00 D: Hatch Length = 0. .00 A: Laser Power Actual Fig.00 10. All other terms are eliminated to develop the model. 4.1127 is in reasonable agreement with the Adj R2 of 0.00 -2.00 -1. with the increase in scan spacing (B) and bed temperature (C).500 0.

and 4c show that in the increase in scan spacing from 0.356693 0.8647 Degree of freedom Mean square 2 31.15 4. and Rq) of various specimens.17676 0.2 mm.21479 60.007079 14. scan speed. F value Prob>F 5.072 7 318.557084 10.0375 0.1 to 0. The higher laser power also transfers high energy to material resulting in proper sintering of powder particles.7582 33.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 Table 4 ANOVA and adequacy of the quadratic model for Rz 1513 Source Sum of squares Degree of freedom Mean square Model A B C D A2 B2 C2 Residual Lack of fit Pure error Cor Total Standard deviation Mean CV PRESS 2. and scan count were experimentally investigated on SR (Ra.56693 313.169 2. Proper melting and sintering increases the tendency of powder particles to get closely packed resulting in compact model and decrease in SR.2.8446 0. the effects of different input parameters such as laser power.4388 118.2 Scan spacing Figures 2c. Rz.091917 0.7415 284.380273 0.0300 0.35 2.565673 <0.35 57.031211 62.0064 5.241 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 52 42 10 59 118.3514 0.409213 4. bed temperature.9554 2. there is increase in SR up to middle level (28 W).53954 0.1127 4. 2c.633153 3.064767 5.0025 1.0001 2.2 Effect of different process parameters In the present study.229.849 260. 3c.1 Laser power 4.9332 0.2210 8. 3c.50833 251.10 12.0220 0.1993 0.9554 2.163 454.978591 4.50 0.2201 3. The value of Rq slowly decreases with increase in hatch length (D) value.1553 0. With the further increase in laser power from middle level toward higher level.7326 577.500 .10 R2 Adj R2 Pred R2 Adeq Precision to second level and then starts increasing.02768 45.7415 284.45 14.570964 4.038803 0. 4. and Rq).33 278.704 With the increase in laser power from low level (24 W) toward higher level (32 W).7326 577. In case of scan spacing.2.521. and 4c show that laser power has a significant and same effect on all SR parameters (Ra.40064 7.3315 0.204.56 53.975.4283 0.705625 318.2201 3.8001 0. Figs. Rz.054.1712 0.26977 7.09092 0.031211 62.849 260. the SR decreases.3251 217.3025 R2 Adj R2 Pred R2 Adeq Precision F value Prob>F 0. hatch length. there is gradual Table 5 ANOVA and adequacy of the quadratic model for Rq Source Model C C2 Residual Lack of fit Pure error Cor Total Standard deviation Mean CV PRESS Sum of squares 62.86 16.50833 4.322177 0. 4.079102 0.0004 1.705625 318.0018 1 1 57 47 10 59 2.

Actual Design-Expert® Software Rz 80.64 99 Color points by value of Rz: 74. Increase in bed temperature from Figures 2c.99 99 Normal % Probability Design-Expert® Software Rq Design-Expert® Software Rz 10 7.00 6.000 Deviation from Reference Point (Coded Units) -1. the rate at which a material crystallizes is a significant factor in determining its propensity to curl and probability to bear good dimension accuracy and SR. b Plot of predicted vs.00 16. 4.00 Actual c Perturbation C C B B D Design-Expert® Software Factor Coding: Actual Rz 12.08 90 80 70 50 30 20 10 5 5 1 1 -3. actual response for Rq.500 0. 172 to 178°C first SR decreases up to second level then starts increasing with the further increase in bed temperature. the SR starts increasing.00 Perturbation C Rz Categoric Factors E A B B Actual Factors A: Laser Power = 28. with the increase in hatch length from low .00 3.000 0. So the tendency of the layers to curl and to cling with roller increases restricts the next layer from proper sintering.87 90 80 70 50 30 20 95 Normal % Probability 95 Color points by value of Rq: 17. c Perturbation plot for Rq decrease in Ra. In laser sintering.00 50. Further increase in scan spacing value.00 D: Hatch Length = 0.00 Color points by value of Rz: 74.00 D: Hatch Length = 0.00 50.000 0.000 -0.00 18.500 1.20 C: Bed Temp = 175.87 18.00 *E: E = 1 Factors not in Model E 50 40 10. Actual Predicted vs.00 -2. Low scan spacing value results in overlapping of melted zones and additional heating and cooling sequence of the earlier sintered lines.00 Color points by value of Rq: 17.00 10. and Rq. and 4c show the effect of hatch length on SR (Ra.1514 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 a Normal Plot of Residuals Normal Plot of Residuals 30.00 30.00 1.00 B: Scan Spacing = 0.00 Design-Expert® Software Rq 16.00 30.00 b -2. respectively.20 C: Bed Temp = 175.4 Hatch length Figures 2c. 3c.00 -1.00 11 D A 10 A 35 9 -1. and Rq). c Perturbation plot for Rz Fig.00 70.00 80.00 40. b Plot of predicted vs. which results in increase in SR.00 6.00 14.99 70.00 2.2.00 Predicted Predicted 60.00 40.00 60.500 0.08 14.00 -3.00 0. 3 a Normal probability plot of residuals for Rz.00 2.00 *E: Scan Count = 1 Categoric Factors E D Rq D C 13 12 45 Design-Expert® Software Factor Coding: Actual Rq 14 Actual Factors A: Laser Power = 28. 4 a Normal probability plot of residuals for Rq. Further with increase in scan spacing also results in poor packing of the particles in the powder bed.00 -1. Rz.2.00 3.3 Bed temperature 4.00 Actual 60 55 8.00 1.000 Deviation from Reference Point (Coded Units) Fig. the material re-crystallizes slowly which is desirable [21].000 -0.00 30.64 7.00 Internally Studentized Residuals Internally Studentized Residuals Predicted vs. actual response for Rz. At low bed temperature. 3c.00 8. and 4c indicate that the bed temperature has a significant effect on SR.00 0.00 B: Scan Spacing = 0.500 A 1.00 12. Rz.

Rz. SR (Ra. of India for the financial support and Rapid Prototyping Center.96 175.02°C.7362 35. is the best optimal level for minimum SR value with optimal sintering conditions. scan spacing 00. Rz. Laser power is the most significant parameter.6108 11. and scan count0 2). and Rq were established. Rz. and Rq decrease regularly.7 μm was obtained from the laboratory experiment which agrees well with the predicted response value. An additional experiment was then performed to confirm the optimum results.00 24. Accordingly. was chosen “within the range. Rz.00 24. and bed temperature.00 24.6124 11.75896 0.00 32.3467 11.760943 0. hatch length.2 mm).7105 35.7403 35.02 174. the center level (175°C) in case of bed temperature.759585 6 7 8 9 10 24.72954 6.e.00 24. i.. hatch length0120 mm. bed temperature0 175. 5 Conclusion In this investigation.02°C. and Rq 011.20 175.3 mm) results in increase in SR value.41958 35. and Rq were predicted according to the model under optimized operational conditions (laser power024 W. and scan count02). The value of Ra 06.72658 6.9 μm. and Rq) decrease with increase in hatch length. bed temperature 0 175. Ra.6053 11. and scan count. which reduces the SR when it increases from middle level (28 W) to higher (32 W).724764 0. Govt.72713 6. and Rq.00 24. laser power. the desired target for each process parameter. 4.16 175. Rz. Center Tool Room Ludhiana.20 174. SLS-made polyamide parts are investigated using face-centered CCD-RSM. Rz. The models for SR in terms of Ra.00 24.6082 11. Punjab.7 μm can be obtained under optimized operational conditions (laser power 0 24 W.761083 0.7114 35.20 0.2 μm. The Ra. the SR decreases. Middle level.6061 11. The desirability function value was found as 0. respectively. Strong interaction has been observed between laser power. India for experimentation.759395 0. Lower hatch length results in higher sintering depth. Rz 033.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2013) 64:1505–1516 1515 Table 6 Optimization results for minimizing Ra. Acknowledgments The authors acknowledge the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. i. 4.26 120 120 120 120 120 2 1 1 2 1 6.00 0.6053 0. and Rq. SR depends on all these parameters.2. but with the further increase in scan spacing up to (0.6077 11..19 0.. 2.80304 7.02 175. bed temperature.6053 11.00 0.6099 11.2 μm.12 175.20 0.00 24.682342 level toward higher level in Ra. scan spacing.761073 0.91 175.20 0.” while the response.e.8406 35. and melting of sintered part results in little increase in SR.3 Optimization Optimization was carried out to determine the optimum values of SR by minimizing Ra.75671 6. R z 0 33. 3.87 175.01 120 120 100 100 120 1 2 1 1 2 6.9366 37. From the above results and discussion.22 0. and Rq have been presented. 4.21 0.757034 0. For optimization step.8503 35. Rz.20 174. Laser power (W) Scan spacing (mm) Bed temperature (°C) Hatch length (mm) Scan count Surface roughness (μm) Desirability Ra Rz Rq 1 2 3 4 5 24.2 mm. hatch length0120 mm.19 0.9 μm.9415 39. and Rq S no.73057 6.76 for these optimum conditions.7087 35. This optimized technique combines the individual desirability’s into a single number and then searches to minimize this function. was defined as “minimum” to achieve the highest performance. Rz.e. the following conclusions can be deduced: 1.760707 0.2 mm. the optimum working conditions and respective Ra. 6. and the results are presented in Table 6.75039 6.6183 0. Increase in scan spacing from low level toward up to central level (0.5 Scan count Scan count does not show a significant effect in this experimental work so it is eliminated from generated models with the application of backward elimination. 5.20 0.41536 8. the best optimal value of SR in terms of R a 06. scan spacing.8132 11. and Rq 011. scan spacing00. . i.

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