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Design guidelines to mitigate distortion in material jetting specimens

Kamran Kardel (Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA)
Ali Khoshkhoo (Align Technology Inc, San Jose, California, USA)
Andres L. Carrano (School of Engineering, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 23 June 2021

Issue publication date: 15 July 2021




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of layer thickness, aspect ratio, part thickness and build orientation on distortion to have a better understanding of its behavior in material jetting technology.


Specimens with two layer thicknesses (14 and 28 µm) were printed in two aspect ratios (2:1) and (10:1), four thickness values (1, 2, 3 and 4 mm) and three build orientations (45d, XY and YX) and scanned with a wide-area 3D surface scanner to quantify distortion. The material used to build the test specimens was a commercially available resin, VeroWhitePlus RGD835.


The results of this study showed that all printed specimens by material jetting 3D printers had some level of distortion. The 1-mm thickness specimens, for both layer thicknesses of 14 µm and 28 µm, showed a wide range of anomalies including reverse coil set (RCS), reverse cross bow (RCB), cross bow (CB), wavy edge (WE) and some moderate twisting (T). Similar occurrences were observed for the 2-mm thickness specimens as there were RCS, WE, RCB and T anomalies that show the difference between the thinner specimens (1- and 2-mm) with the thicker ones (3- and 4-mm). In both 3- and 4-mm thickness specimens, there was more consistency in terms of distortion with mainly RCS and RCB anomalies. In total, six different types of flatness anomalies were found to occur with the following incidences: reverse coil set (91 specimens, 63.19%), reverse cross bow (50 specimens, 34.72%), wavy edge (23 specimens, 15.97%), twist (19 specimens, 12.50%), coil set (11 specimens, 7.64%) and cross bow (7 specimens, 4.86%).


This study expands the research on how the preprocess parameters such as layer thickness and build orientation and the geometrical parameters such as part thickness and aspect ratio cause dimensional distortion. Distortion is a pervasive consequence of the curing process in photopolymerization and explores one of the most common defects that come across in polymeric-based additive manufacturing. In addition to the characterization of the type and magnitude of distortion, the contributions of this work also include establishing the foundation for design guidelines aiming at minimizing distortion in material jetting.



Kardel, K., Khoshkhoo, A. and Carrano, A.L. (2021), "Design guidelines to mitigate distortion in material jetting specimens", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 1148-1160.



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