Browse Prior Art Database

Producing Three-Dimensional Parts From Computer Design Data

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000102029D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Batchelder, JS: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for producing three-dimensional prototype parts from computer aided design (CAD) data by controlling the position of a small nozzle from which flows molten thermoplastic or similar self-adhesive material. The surface roughness of the finished part depends on the diameter of the nozzle.

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Producing Three-Dimensional Parts From Computer Design Data

       Disclosed is a method for producing three-dimensional
prototype parts from computer aided design (CAD) data by controlling
the position of a small nozzle from which flows molten thermoplastic
or similar self-adhesive material. The surface roughness of the
finished part depends on the diameter of the nozzle.

      Software is used to create thin, horizontal cross-sections from
a CAD solid model which is used to control the position of a small
nozzle as it moves in corresponding horizontal x-y planes.  Molten
thermoplastic or similar self-adhesive material is extruded from the
nozzle as it moves, physically reproducing the layer represented by
the CAD model (Fig. 1).  Flow rate is controlled to match the speed
of the nozzle and turned on and off when required.

      When the first layer is completed, the stage on which it rests
is lowered by the thickness of the layer just completed, which
corresponds to the diameter of the nozzle and resulting extruded
bead.  The process is repeated for the second and succeeding layers
until the prototype part is complete.

      Producing a horizontal surface that bridges between two
vertical structures or that is supported at only one end (Fig. 2)
requires the use of a supporting liquid, such as water, on which the
extruded material floats and cools. Alternatively, a flow of air or
other gas may be used to chill the material as it is extruded, so
that...