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Development of a Genetic Algorithm – Artificial Neural Network model to optimize the Dimensional Accuracy of parts printed by FFF

Ali Hashemi Baghi (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Jasmin Mansour (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 2 May 2024

Issue publication date: 17 May 2024

106

Abstract

Purpose

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is one of the growing technologies in additive manufacturing, that can be used in a number of applications. In this method, process parameters can be customized and their simultaneous variation has conflicting impacts on various properties of printed parts such as dimensional accuracy (DA) and surface finish. These properties could be improved by optimizing the values of these parameters.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, four process parameters, namely, print speed, build orientation, raster width, and layer height which are referred to as “input variables” were investigated. The conflicting influence of their simultaneous variations on the DA of printed parts was investigated and predicated. To achieve this goal, a hybrid Genetic Algorithm – Artificial Neural Network (GA-ANN) model, was developed in C#.net, and three geometries, namely, U-shape, cube and cylinder were selected. To investigate the DA of printed parts, samples were printed with a central through hole. Design of Experiments (DoE), specifically the Rotational Central Composite Design method was adopted to establish the number of parts to be printed (30 for each selected geometry) and also the value of each input process parameter. The dimensions of printed parts were accurately measured by a shadowgraph and were used as an input data set for the training phase of the developed ANN to predict the behavior of process parameters. Then the predicted values were used as input to the Desirability Function tool which resulted in a mathematical model that optimizes the input process variables for selected geometries. The mean square error of 0.0528 was achieved, which is indicative of the accuracy of the developed model.

Findings

The results showed that print speed is the most dominant input variable compared to others, and by increasing its value, considerable variations resulted in DA. The inaccuracy increased, especially with parts of circular cross section. In addition, if there is no need to print parts in vertical position, the build orientation should be set at 0° to achieve the highest DA. Finally, optimized values of raster width and layer height improved the DA especially when the print speed was set at a high value.

Originality/value

By using ANN, it is possible to investigate the impact of simultaneous variations of FFF machines’ input process parameters on the DA of printed parts. By their optimization, parts of highly accurate dimensions could be printed. These findings will be of significant value to those industries that need to produce parts of high DA on FFF machines.

Keywords

Citation

Hashemi Baghi, A. and Mansour, J. (2024), "Development of a Genetic Algorithm – Artificial Neural Network model to optimize the Dimensional Accuracy of parts printed by FFF", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 840-857. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-09-2023-0314

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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