An experimental investigation into the dimensional error of powder-binder three-dimensional printing
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The final publication is available at Springer via http://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-015-7482-7
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.
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