Part Design Geometry-Driven 3D Printing Toolpath Optimization for AM Energy Sustainability Improvement

Abstract: One of the most promising new manufacturing technologies in the past three decades is additive manufacturing (AM), also commonly known as three-dimensional (3D) printing or rapid prototyping. The energy consumption problem in AM can be significant when it is adopted at the industrial scale or used under resource-restricted conditions. The energy consumption of an AM process is influenced by several factors including bed heating, filament extrusion, material infill, component cooling, etc. All these factors are further determined by the equipment and the toolpath for a specific printing task. Build orientation and toolpath direction are frequently used to optimize part and process attributes; however, more in-depth research is required to determine how toolpath pattern choice affects the energy attributes of an AM process. The goal of this work is to develop a toolpath creation strategy for AM tasks under limited energy supply conditions. In AM process, due to factors like motor axis acceleration/deceleration and the total number and length of line segments on a path, the toolpath will have an impact on the amount of energy used to perfonn the printing task. We will approach our research goal by first developing a model that computes the energy consumption of an AM process based on the toolpath, then analyzing the impacts of part design geometry on the toolpath generation, and finally, creating a strategy to guide the generation of toolpath for specific part geometry to control the total energy requirement.

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