Rapid Manufacturing of Hardware by Direct Duplication from Existing Components
Small Business Information
425 Lakeside Drive, Sunnyvale, CA, 94086
Dennis S. Eliasen
AbstractRapid prototyping technology has the prospect of significantly increasing the efficiency and flexibility of current manufacturing practices. This program will investigate the feasibility of linking x-ray computed tomography (CT) with rapid prototyping equipment to produce prototypes directly from CT scans of an existing component. Specifically the program will look at data processing methods to allow a CT system to drive a stereolithography machine so that prototypes can be produced without the need for a CAD file as input, but can be made using an actual physical object as input. The Phase I technical objectives are to determine the feasibility of directly communicating CT slice data to stereolithography slice data, and evaluate optimum CT-to-stereolithography system integration for building a prototype at the same time that an original component is CT scanned. The Phase I effort will consist of taking x-ray CT data of a test object, determining different data processing methods to produce stereolithography input files, evaluating the accuracy of stereolithography patterns produced from the input files, and conceptualizing a CT system design compatible with rapid prototyping equipment. If successful, this approach should lower manufacturing costs, improve dimensional conformance, and shorten delivery times for small volume production.
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