Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) Prototype Part Tolerance Improvement
Dr. William L. Hughes
Stereolithography (SL) is a three-dimensional (3D) computer controlled, manufacturing process that rasters an ultraviolet (UV) laser onto a photocurable resin during the fabrication of pre-defined polymeric prototypes. Ugobe, an Idaho-based company located within the Treasure Valley, has enlisted the New Product Development (NPD) Lab at Boise State University, to fabricate polymer prototypes via SL technology. Although part tolerances within onethousandth of an inch are required for Ugobe, the SL manufacturing process is not producing parts at the specified/desired tolerances. Upon fabrication, the prototyped parts are assembled into intelligent robotic life-forms; such as PLEO the dinosaur. The objective of this project is to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the NPD Lab that will: 1) reduce manufacturing variability, and 2) increase tolerance specification during the fabrication of Ugobe prototyped parts. Thus far, experiments have been conducted to determine how primary tolerance factors such as SLA dimensional accuracy, resolution mode, and post-processing techniques, affect part tolerances during prototype production. Calipers and an optical comparator were used to gather prototype part dimensions for this project. Conclusions resulting from data analysis will identify sources of error within the current NPD Lab prototype production SOP, as well as provide suggestions on how to improve their manufacturing process vai the reduction of manufacturing variability and increased prototype part tolerance predictability.