InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 7 No. 2 KES Transactions on SDM I - Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2014
Volume Editors KES International
Journal ISSN 2051-6002
Article TitleIs there a relationship between product shape complexity and energy consumption in EBM?
Primary AuthorMartin Baumers, University of Nottingham
Other Author(s) Chris Tuck; Ricky Wildman; Ian Ashcroft; Richard Hague
Pages 120 - 135
Article ID sdm14-053
Publication Date 01-May-16
AbstractAdditive Manufacturing (AM) technology is capable of building up component geometry in a layer-by layer process, entirely without tools, moulds or dies. One advantage of the approach is that it is capable of efficiently creating complex product geometry. Using experimental data collected during the manufacture of a titanium test part on a variant of AM technology, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), this research studies the effect of a variation in product shape complexity on process energy consumption. This is done by computationally measuring quantifiable characteristics associated with shape complexity (based on the concept of convexity) and correlating these to process energy consumption on the EBM system. Only a weak correlation is found between the complexity metric and energy consumption (0.35), suggesting that process energy consumption is indeed not driven by shape complexity. This is discussed in the context of the energy consumption of computer-controlled machining technology, which forms an important substitute to EBM. This research concludes that EBM, as a variant of AM technology, provides a pathway to the energy efficient manufacture of highly functional products.
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