IJAT Vol.18 No.4 pp. 493-502
doi: 10.20965/ijat.2024.p0493

Research Paper:

Tool Path Design of Metal Powder Extrusion in Additive Manufacturing for Suppressing Shape Error Caused During Sintering

Tomoya Suzuki* and Toshitake Tateno**,† ORCID Icon

*Graduate School of Science and Technology, Meiji University
1-1-1 Higashimita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan

**Department of Mechanical Engineering Informatics, Meiji University
Kawasaki, Japan

Corresponding author

December 27, 2023
April 10, 2024
July 5, 2024
additive manufacturing, metal material extrusion, infill structure, tool path, shape error in sintering

Metal Additive manufacturing (AM) can produce mechanical parts of complex structures such as lattice structures and hollow structures that are difficult to fabricate by subtractive processing. The main AM methods using metal materials are powder bed fusion (PBF), directed energy deposition (DED), and material extrusion (ME). The ME method is acknowledged as being inexpensive and convenient for manufacturing parts. However, the ME method using metal material requires a sintering process using a furnace after the AM process. Sintering generates shape errors in parts with a hollow structure, which is a characteristic of AM. Various factors cause shape errors, including the temperature control parameters in sintering. In this study, we investigated the effect of tool paths on shape errors caused in sintering and proposed a tool path that suppresses shape error. Experiments on the effect of the infill structure on shape error revealed that a smooth contact between the contour path and infill path can suppress shape errors in sintering. It was also determined that the overlap of infill paths decreases shape errors in sintering. These results demonstrate that the dominant factor causing shape errors is the tool path, rather than the kind of the infill structure. Based on this result, another experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of tool paths on shape errors in sintering. Among the tool path features, we focused on the material amount instability caused by retraction and excessive self-overlapping at the contact points between the contour and infill paths. The results demonstrated that the unstable feeding of material at the contact points owing to retraction and excessive self-overlapping caused a non-uniform filling rate and thickness variations in the specimens. This, in turn, affected the shape error in sintering.

Cite this article as:
T. Suzuki and T. Tateno, “Tool Path Design of Metal Powder Extrusion in Additive Manufacturing for Suppressing Shape Error Caused During Sintering,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.18 No.4, pp. 493-502, 2024.
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Last updated on Jul. 12, 2024