Feature Based Tool Path Generation System for FDM

Abstract Integration of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing process in important for any firm during its business operations. An important aspect in this step is modelling of the part using manufacturing features. These features explicitly capture manufacturing attributes. This process is implemented in many of the CAM software for conventional manufacturing processes. But when it comes to special processes like 3D printing, this philosophy has not been implemented. The way the code is generated for 3D printing is quite different when compared to conventional manufacturing. Slicing is used for generating the code during 3D Printing. The generated part model is exported to stl file and this stl file is then sliced along z-direction to facilitate code generation. The current work investigates into use of feature based modelling to simplify slicing techniques. Based on the modelling, a z-buffer of loops is generated. This z-buffer is modified each time a feature is added to a part. This z-buffer is then used to generate the code. This process helps in quicker modification of code by eliminating the need of exporting and slicing each time. This helps integrating the 3D printing module into any CAD software thus eliminating the slicing procedure partially. This also helps in controlling the errors and tolerances in the part generated by 3D Printing. As a part of implementing this principle, AutoCAD customized using VB.NET.

Keywords 3D Printing, Feature Based Modeling, Automatic code generation, Z-Buffer, CAD.

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Feature Based Tool Path Generation System for FDM

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