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Use of parameter estimation for stereolithography surface finish improvement

Benay Sager (The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
David W. Rosen (The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 1 August 2008

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

Only down‐facing surfaces can have their surface finish improved using this method.

Practical implications

Common form errors known as “stair‐stepping” can be diminished on parts fabricated using SL.

Originality/value

The usage of PE methods for process planning is a new approach.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited