Additive Manufacturing. 3D Printing for Prototyping and by Andreas Gebhardt, Jan-Steffen Heotter

By Andreas Gebhardt, Jan-Steffen Heotter

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Application fields include the individual repair of defective parts, for which the defective geometries have to be gathered. Another application is the production of spare parts that have no existing production documents, for example spare parts for a vintage car. In particular for private use of fabber also libraries are used that allows to download the data directly from the Internet. Depending on the provider the data can be modified. 2 Generation of Geometrical Layer Information on Single Layers To produce three-dimensional models by layer-oriented additive manufacturing processes, the 3D CAD solid must be mathematically split into the same layers as those produced physically by the AM machine.

Mostly more than two CAD-Systems are excluded for reasons of cost. There is then just the process of transfer, which also runs the risk of errors. Especially in the development phase and for secrecy reasons, the entire CAD data set for contract manufacturing should not be rendered because much more information would be shared than is necessary for additive manufacturing. As a solution, newer front-end software offers functionally reduced, surface-modeled CAD programs, and has a limited but sufficient functionality.

It is also an advantage that a triangle provides a higher quality of geo­metric information than does the contour vector. The STL formulation also has disadvantages: ƒƒIt generates a large volume of data, especially when the surface quality is improved by refining the net of triangles. ƒƒSTL files contain only geometrical information. Information about color, texture, material, or other characteristics of the physical model are missing. 1 Errors in STL Files During the transformation of the CAD internal geometry data into STL files, different errors can occur that affect the quality of the physical component.

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