Additive manufacturing (AM) has become a prominent manufacturing technology due to its capability in manufacturing complex geometries without the demand for specific tools. However, AM technologies suffer from poor surface roughness limiting its widespread industrial application. Application of AM parts in industrial services highly relies on an appropriate post-processing stage to improve the surface roughness of the products. In the case of fused deposition modeling (FDM), acetone vapor bath smoothing is an effective solution for the post-processing stage. However, a vast understanding of the smoothing process is required. This paper presents an experimental study on the effect of the smoothing parameters on the resulting surface roughness of the final FDM products. The smoothing parameters are divided into the number of smoothing cycles and the cycle duration. The surface roughness is calculated based on the deviations from the total least square plane fitted to the surface topographic data sets. The effects of the design and the smoothing parameters are studied, experimental models are developed, and the best smoothing setups are proposed. The developed experimental models enable the engineers to predict the final surface roughness based on the exposure time to the acetone vapor bath or define the required post-processing steps to achieve the desired surface quality.
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 11, 2017
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