An Investigation of Dimensional Accuracy of Parts Produced by Three-Dimensional Printing
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The three-dimensional (3D) printing process involves making parts by building paper-thin layers based on data directly from 3D CAD files. It is an extremely flexible process and is capable of creating parts of complex geometry with materials such as ceramics, metals, or polymers. In this paper we provide experimental results of a preliminary study of dimensional accuracy of parts produced by 3D printing. A general purpose coordinate measuring machine was used to determine the accuracy of each part. Typically, 3D-printed prismatic parts have two types of errors: variation in linear dimension and variation in hole diameter. We examined these two types of errors and their effects on the dimensional accuracy of a typical component part. The data showed inherent size errors associated with the 3D printing process, indicating that further investigation is needed.
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