Comparison of different additive manufacturing patterns on the performance of rapid vacuum casting for mating parts via the Taguchi method
Rapid vacuum casting has been proven to be a successful method in producing high-quality parts in small series. However, a challenge lies in the selection of proper Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies for the development of a master pattern for the vacuum casting process. Each AM technologies differ from one another in terms of dimensional accuracy, surface finish, cost and lead times. The aim of this study is to investigate the performance of casting mating parts based on different additive manufacturing patterns for small batch. Three types of AM-based patterns: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA) and Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF) were compared. The Taguchi method, Signal to Noise ratio (S/N), Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and T-test were conducted in determining the optimized parameters. From the findings, curing time is shown to be a significant parameter for dimensional accuracy and surface finish. Dimensional deviation varies in different directions of parts. For surface finish, there was only a slight change from the master pattern whereas the surface roughness of casting parts decreased within the range 0.23% to 2.85%. Tolerance grades for the selected dimensions of the parts were in the permissible range, based on ISO286-1:2010. When using distinct kinds of AM patterns to create replacement components, design tolerance is needed. It was suggested to select AM technology similar to that had been used for the original components. Battery cover was selected as a case study to represent the mating application parts.
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