A pneumatic conveying powder delivery system for continuously heterogeneous material deposition in solid freeform fabrication
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Great improvements are continuously being made in the solid free form fabrication (SFF) industry in terms of processes and materials. Fully functional parts are being created directly with little, if any, finishing. Parts are being directly fabricated with engineering materials such as ceramics and metals. This thesis aims to facilitate a substantial advance in rapid prototyping capabilities, namely that of fabricating parts with continuously heterogeneous material compositions. Because SFF is an additive building process, building parts layer-by-layer or even point-by-point, adjusting material composition throughout the entire part, in all three dimensions, is feasible. The use of fine powders as its build material provides the potential for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), ThreeDimensional Printing (3DP), and Freeform Powder Molding (FPM) processes to be altered to create continuously heterogeneous material composition. The current roller distribution system needs to be replaced with a new means of delivering the powder that facilitates selective heterogeneous material compositions. This thesis explores a dense phase pneumatic conveying system that has the potential to deliver the powder in a controlled manner and allow for adjustment of material composition throughout the layer.
- Masters Theses