An experimental demonstration of effective Curved Layer Fused Filament Fabrication utilising a parallel deposition robot

Robert J A Allen*, Richard S Trask

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

70 Citations (Scopus)
307 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is an additive manufacturing (AM) method that relies on the thermal extrusion of a thermoplastic feedstock from a mobile deposition head. Conventional FFF constructs components from stacks of individual extruded layers using tool paths with fixed z-values in each individual layer. Consequently, the manufactured components often contain inherent weaknesses in the z-axis due to the relatively weak thermal fusion bonding that occurs between individual layers, as well as poor surface finish in shallow sloped contours. This study demonstrates the use of Curved Layer FFF (CLFFF) tool paths in tandem with a commercially available parallel, or delta, style FFF system to allow the deposition head to follow the topology of the component. By incorporating a delta robot and CLFFF tool paths in this way, improvements in the surface finish of the manufactured parts has been observed, and time costs associated with Cartesian robot based CLFFF manufacturing have been notably reduced. Furthermore, employing a delta robot provides additional flexibility to CLFFF manufacturing and increases the feasibility of its application for advanced manufacturing. The study has also demonstrated a viable approach to multi-material FFF by decoupling support structure and part manufacture into regions of CLFFF and static z tool pathing in an appropriate fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Volume8
Early online date25 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Curved layer
  • Fused Deposition Modelling
  • Multi-material
  • Rapid prototyping

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