The integration of additive manufacturing (AM) processes into a production environment requires a cost‐model that allows the precise estimation of the total cost per part, although the part might be produced in the same build job together with other parts of different sizes, complexities and quantities. Several cost‐models have been proposed in the past, but most of them are not able to calculate the costs for each single part in a mixed build job or are not suitable for Selective Laser Melting (SLM). The purpose of this paper is to develop a cost model, including all pre‐ and post‐processing steps linked to SLM.
Based on collected data and the generic cost model of Alexander et al., an adapted model was developed for the SLM process including all required pre‐ and post‐processes. Each process was analysed and modelled in detail, allowing an evaluation of the influences of the different geometries on the cost of each part.
By simultaneously building up multiple parts, the manufacturing as well as the set‐up time and therefore the total cost per part can be significantly reduced. In the presented case study a cost reduction of 41 per cent can be achieved in average.
Using different cost allocation algorithms, the developed cost model enables a precise determination of total cost per part avoiding that any geometry is preferred in simultaneous manufacture. This helps to optimize build jobs and to manufacture SLM parts more economically by pooling parts from different projects, whereas the cost per part can still be precisely determined.
Rickenbacher, L., Spierings, A. and Wegener, K. (2013), "An integrated cost‐model for selective laser melting (SLM)", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 208-214. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552541311312201Download as .RIS
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