An experimental investigation into the dimensional error of powder-binder three-dimensional printing
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This paper is an experimental investigation into the dimensional error of the rapid prototyping additive process of powder-binder three-dimensional printing. Ten replicates of a purpose-designed part were produced using a three-dimensional printer, and measurements of the internal and external features of all surfaces were made using a general purpose coordinate measuring machine. The results reveal that the bases of all replicates (nominally flat) have a concave curvature, producing a flatness error of the primary datum. This is in contrast to findings regarding other three-dimensional printing processes, widely reported in the literature, where a convex curvature was observed. All external surfaces investigated in this study showed positive deviation from nominal values, especially in the z-axis. The z-axis error consisted of a consistent positive cumulative error and a different constant error in different replicates. By compensating for datum surface error, the average total height error of the test parts can be reduced by 25.52 %. All the dimensional errors are hypothesised to be explained by expansion and the subsequent distortion caused by layer interaction during and after the printing process.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-015-7482-7
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