Purpose – The main aim of this study is to generate curved‐form cut on the edge of an adaptive layer. The resulting surface would have much less geometry deviation error and closely fit its computer aided design (CAD) model boundary. Design/methodology/approach – This method is inspired by the manual peeling of an apple in which a knife's orientation and movement are continuously changed and adjusted to cut each slice with minimum waste. In this method, topology and geometry information are extracted from the previously generated adaptive layers. Then, the thickness of an adaptive layer and the bottom and top contours of the adjacent layers are fed into the proposed algorithm in the form of the contour and normal vector to create curved‐form sloping surfaces. Following curved‐form adaptive slicing, a customized machine path compatible with a five‐axis abrasive waterjet (AWJ) machine will be generated for any user‐defined sheet thicknesses. Findings – The implemented system yields curved‐form adaptive slices for a variety of models with diverse types of surfaces (e.g. flat, convex, and concave), different slicing direction, and different number of sheets with different thicknesses. The decrease in layer thickness and increase of the number of the sloped cuts can make the prototype as close as needed to the CAD model. Research limitations/implications – The algorithm is designed for use with five‐axis AWJ cutting of any kind of geometrical complex surfaces. Future research would deal with the nesting problem of the layers being spread on the predefined sheet as the input to the five‐axis AWJ cutter machine to minimize the cutting waste. Practical implications – The algorithm generates adaptive layers with concave or convex curved‐form surfaces that conform closely to the surface of original CAD model. This will pave the way for the accurate fabrication of metallic functional parts and tooling that are made by the attachment of one layer to another. Validation of the output has been tested only as the simulation model. The next step is the customization of the output for the physical tests on a variety of five‐axis machines. Originality/value – This paper proposes a new close to CAD design sloped‐edge adaptive slicing algorithm applicable to a variety of five‐axis processes that allow variable thickness layering and slicing in different orientations (e.g. AWJ, laser, or plasma cutting). Slices can later be bonded to build fully solid prototypes.
Rapid Prototyping Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 11, 2014
Keywords: Rapid tooling; Five‐axis cutting; Curved‐form adaptive slicing; FDFF; Rapid functional part fabrication
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