Repeatability and Reproducibility Assessment of a PolyJet Technology Using X-ray Computed Tomography
From the very start of their use until today, processes in Additive Manufacturing (AM) have found a way to grow from prototype production to individual and small-series production. Improvements in machinery, materials and other challenges in AM development have improved product quality, its mechanical properties and dimensional accuracy. Research in the field of dimensional accuracy must be focused on achieving better tolerances. From the beginning of AM, there has been a big issue in assuring
... issue in assuring dimensional repeatability and reproducibility of a part being printed over the course of several days. In order to examine that, a test plate was designed and built repeatedly with PolyJet technology over the course of several weeks. Measurements of dimensional accuracy and shape deviations of several typical features were carried out using X-ray Computed Tomography. Measurement results were analysed and presented in order to indicate the repeatability and reproducibility of PolyJet AM technology. Results show that PolyJet technology consistently produces parts within ±100 μm, at a 95% confidence interval, under reproducibility conditions of over a 1-month period. Accuracy for measurands (distance) in the x and y axis was significantly better than it was for the z axis which was from 56 to 197 µm, i.e., in the x and y axis, it was from −8 to 76 µm. Shape errors (i.e., cylindricity) were larger than positional or dimensional errors; this can be attributed to relatively large surface roughness and small feature sizes on the test plate that was used.