Radial slicing for helical-shaped advanced manufacturing applications
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 2020
- Issue Date:
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The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) is transforming industries all around the world focusing on areas including advanced robotics and automation, sensor technology and data analytics. The authors are involved in a project developing a multi-robot material extrusion 3D printer to print a Gravity Separation Spiral (GSS), an instrument used in the mining industry to separate mineral slurry into different density components. Compared to traditional mould-based manufacturing, this new additive manufacturing method will significantly reduce manufacturing tooling costs, improve the customisation to enable the production of bespoke GSS that each process different minerals, and reduce worker exposure to hazardous materials. Slicing and printing large scale helical objects in conventional horizontal layer addition would result in an unreasonable amount of waste material from support structures, and poor surface quality due to step-wise bumps. This paper presents a novel slicing algorithm using concentric vertical ray lines to slice objects radially, enabling layers to be deposited progressively in the same fashion. This method can be applied in large scale additive manufacturing where objects are printed by a robot in a radial direction, which is different from layered vertical printing in conventional additive systems. An example GSS is sliced to generate motion plans for a print head affixed to the end effector of a robot arm. Then through simulations, it is shown how a robot's expected manipulability measure can be used to predict and ensure the successful completion of the print.
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