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Method of Generating and Removing Support Structures in Rapid Prototyping

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113790D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Numao, M: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Described is a method of generating and removing support structures for layered manufacturing devices. In forming layers, the method uses two kinds of plastics with different physical/chemical characteristics: one is for a final target object and the other for support structures. After creating all the layers, the plastic material for support structures is removed physically or chemically, e.g., by melting down only support structures leaving the final target object.

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Method of Generating and Removing Support Structures in Rapid Prototyping

      Described is a method of generating and removing support
structures for layered manufacturing devices.  In forming layers, the
method uses two kinds of plastics with different physical/chemical
characteristics: one is for a final target object and the other for
support structures.  After creating all the layers, the plastic
material for support structures is removed physically or chemically,
e.g., by melting down only support structures leaving the final
target object.

      For this purpose, layered manufacturing devices must have two
injection nozzles for different kinds of plastics.  In generating a
layer, the system switches nozzles according to whether the area is
inside or outside the target object.

The layer generation process based on this method is described as
follows:
  (1) Calculation of outer-most boundaries by projecting object
      boundaries into XY-plane.
  (2) Calculation of area boundaries: the outer-most boundaries
      are divided into two areas: (a) inside of the cross section
      of the target object and (b) outside, which eventually
      becomes support structures.
  (3) Path generation, in which a filling pattern of each area is
      obtained according to the nature of the target object and
      support structures.  In this process, it is desired that a
      filling pattern is generated so that the number of nozz...