COTABARREN Ivana Maria
An assessment of the dimensional accuracy and geometry-resolution limit of desktop stereolithography using response surface methodology
COTABARREN, IVANA; PALLA, CAMILA; MCCUE, CAROLINE; HART, JOHN
RAPID PROTOTYPING JOURNAL
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LIMITED
Purpose. This work aims to apply a robust methodology to establish relationships between user-configurable process parameters of commercial desktop stereolithography (SLA) printers and dimensional accuracy of a custom-designed test artifact. Design/methodology/approach. A detailed response surface methodology study, Box-Behnken incomplete factorial design of four factors with three levels, was carried out to evaluate process performance of desktop SLA printers. The selected factors were: printing orientation angle in x-direction, printing orientation angle in y-direction, position on build platform in spatial x-coordinate, position on build tray in spatial y-coordinate, and layer thickness. The proposed artifact was designed to include 12 feature groups including thin walls, holes, bosses, bridges, overhangs, etc. Two responses were associated with the features: the dimensional deviation according to the designed value and the minimum feature size. Findings. Layer thickness was the most significant factor in 70% of the analyzed responses. For example, measurement deviation was reduced about 90% when cylindrical holes were printed with the lowest layer thickness. Further, in many cases dimensional deviation was minimized for features at the center of the platform, where the beam cures the resin in a straight line. However, at distant positions, accuracy could be improved by compensating for beam deviation by changing the object orientation angle.Originality/value. The findings of this study can serve, both generally and specifically, for SLA designers and engineers who wish to optimize printing process variables and feature location to achieve high dimensional accuracy and further understand the many coupled considerations among part design, build configuration, and process performance.