The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that significant surface finish improvements can be accomplished in stereolithography (SL) fabricated parts by applying a new process planning method based on parameter estimation (PE).
PE is a method that finds a set of parameter values that minimize a measure of deviation. In this work, the measure of deviation is the difference between the exposure received by points along down‐facing surfaces and the SL resin's critical exposure.
The surface finish of down‐facing surfaces can be improved by a factor of 2‐9, depending upon the surface angle, compared with parts prepared using commercially available software. Surface finishes less than 1 μm Ra have been demonstrated on a SLA‐250/50 machine.
Only down‐facing surfaces can have their surface finish improved using this method.
Common form errors known as “stair‐stepping” can be diminished on parts fabricated using SL.
The usage of PE methods for process planning is a new approach.
Sager, B. and Rosen, D.W. (2008), "Use of parameter estimation for stereolithography surface finish improvement", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 213-220. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540810896166
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