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Automatic Decomposition and Refinement of Oversized Components for Rapid Prototyping

[+] Author Affiliations
H. Medellin, T. Lim, J. Corney, J. M. Ritchie, J. B. C. Davies

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Paper No. DETC2005-84457, pp. 1283-1293; 11 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 31st Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4739-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The objective of the work presented in this paper is to enable production of large, complex components on rapid prototyping (RP) machines whose build volume is less than the size of the desired component. Such oversized parts can be produced as fabrications if a suitable subdivision can be generated. The methodology presented here creates a decomposition designed for both Rapid Prototyping (DFRP) and assembly (DFA). Any component can be subdivided by an array of orthogonal planes but the shapes resulting from such a brute force approach could have geometries that are difficult to produce accurately on many rapid prototyping systems. Typically, complications will arise when features have insufficient strength to withstand finishing processes or have a cross-section prone to distortion (e.g. warping) during the build process (e.g. thin sections and cusps). Consequently, the method proposed for partitioning considers potential manufacturing problems and modifies the boundaries of individual components where necessary. As part of the decomposition process, the system also generates complimentary male/female (i.e. matching protrusion/depression) assembly features at the interface between the component parts in order to improve the integrity of the final component.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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