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Part Orientation

by Botao Zhang last modified 2015-03-06 11:42

  • Optimal Part Orientation based on Support Structure Removal Accessibility
  • This study presents a methodology to identify the best part build orientation for a part such that, the need of support structure is minimized while ensuring maximum removal of support.
    A hierarchical octree data structure has been used to perform accessibility analysis to analyze maximum removal of support. A novel octree traversal lookup table has been developed for this purpose.
    A multi-objective optimization routine identifies the optimal build orientation.

    Figure: Octree based Support Structure Accessibility Analysis

  • Optimal Part Orientation to Achieve Geometric Tolerances
  • Siemens PLM NX API is used to extract the GD&T callouts and associated geometric information of the CAD model. The mathematical relationships between build orientation and GD&T Tolerances are developed as part of a combined optimization model to identify best build orientations for minimizing support structures while meeting the design tolerances.
    The feasible build orientations along with the corresponding support structures are depicted using a visual model. The regions requiring support structures are identified and a Quadtree decomposition is used to find the volume of support structures.
    The tolerances studied in this research are: Perpendicularity, Parallelism, Angularity, Conicity, Total Runout and Circular Runout.

    Figure: Representation of Support Structure and Tolerances

  • Optimal Part Orientation to Minimize the Support Structures
  • This research work analyzes the effect of part orientation on two types of form errors, namely, cylindricity and flatness errors.
    An algorithm to calculate the optimal orientation for minimizing flatness and cylindricity errors is developed and tested with the help of two test cases. However, an optimal orientation for minimum form errors may result in a greater utilization of support structures which increases the material consumption in LM processes and therefore should be avoided.
    A voxel-based approach for calculating support structures has been developed in this paper which is then applied to minimize the volume of support structures while minimizing the cylindricity and flatness errors of the part features.

    Figure: Voxel based approach to calculate Support Volume

  • Optimal Part Orientation to Achieve Cylindricity Tolerances
  • The effect of build orientation on cylindricity error is analyzed by three methods: first by a simple analytic method, second by simulating the manufactured surface using a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file of the part and third by using an STL (Stereo lithography) file.
    The mathematical relationship between cylindricity error and part orientation in a RM process is modeled and critical feasible regions for cylinder build orientation are calculated. A graphical technique for calculating the optimal build orientation for a part with multiple cylindrical features is also developed and presented.

    Figure: Cylindricity Error and its Variation against Part Orientation

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