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Accelerating binder jetting through adaptive slicing and binder amounts

Researchers from Turkish university apply adaptive slicing and variable binder content to improve binder jetting process

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A research team at the Ondokuz Mayıs University in Turkey, has been working on an innovative approach to optimize the binder jetting process using adaptive slicing and an algorithm for variable amounts of binder. We covered the researchers’ first paper last year, in which they detailed how they successfully used this approach to reduce the number of layers by 38% in a binder jetted part while still achieving comparable surface roughness and density to a part with uniform slicing. Now, the research team led by Hasan Baş, a Ph.D. researcher in the Department of Industrial Engineering, has published its second paper that builds on this binder jetting innovation.

This second paper, published in Rapid Prototyping Journal, is titled “Effective use of adaptive slicing in binder jetting using Taguchi method and surface roughness measurement with image processing”. According to Baş, in this study the researchers further “optimized surface roughness using the Taguchi method, further enhancing production speed with adaptive slicing” and demonstrated this method on industrial binder jetting machines.

The Taguchi method is a statistical approach that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of manufactured products by focusing on design and development. For the Turkey-based researchers, applying this method enabled them to continue working with their adaptive slicing and variable binder amount algorithm (VBAA) while optimizing the layer thickness and binder saturation ratio. VBAA is an essential part making adaptive slicing viable as it ensures that the amount of binder used corresponds to the thickness of the layer. Without it, too much binder could be applied to thin layers, which would lead to increased surface roughness, or too little binder could be applied to thick layers, which would lead to weaknesses in the part structure.

Adaptive Slicing Binder Jetting research
Findings from the research team’s first study published in 2023.

In their work, the team printed 27 samples under nine different conditions. Each green printed sample was measured carefully before being sintered at 1,500 °C for two hours. Post sintering, the samples underwent surface roughness and density tests to determine the optimal printing conditions. In the end, the research team found that the best VBAA conditions were 180–250 µm for layer thickness and 50% for saturation.

Following this finding, the researchers 3D printed a separate test sample designed using adaptive slicing. “This test sample was produced in three pieces: adaptive (180–250 µm), thin layer (180 µm) and thick layer (250 µm) with the determined parameters,” the research team writes. “The roughness values of the adaptive sliced sample and the thin layer sample were similar and better than the thick layer sample. A similar result was obtained using 12.31% fewer layers in the adaptive sample than in the thin layer sample.”

Ultimately, the ability to use adaptive slicing to reduce the number of layers in the binder jetting process while still obtaining comparable results in terms of surface quality and density, will enable end users to accelerate the printing process without compromising on quality. The research could therefore be beneficial to binder jetting adopters and make the process more viable for production applications.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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