Capabilities and economical evaluation of rapid prototyping processes for sheet metal parts

On-Uma Lasunon, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This research is concerned with the investigation of the capabilities and economics of methods for rapid prototyping (RP) of sheet metal parts. A comprehensive literature survey of sheet metal forming, including the newly RP processes, was conducted. Based on this a classification system for sheet metal parts has been developed by adapting one of the available systems. Then this classification system has been related to possible RP processes for sheet metal parts. The study focuses on incremental sheet metal forming (ISF) process, a new technology that shows potential for rapid prototyping and small production volume in terms of flexibility and cost reduction. The capabilities and limitations of the process have been experimentally and numerically investigated. The numerical study has been conducted using finite element analysis (FEA). Generally, both experimental and FEA results were in good agreement. This indicates that FEA is capable of predicting some characteristics and capabilities of the ISF processes. Due to a computational limitation, further study is still required. A review of other potential RP processes---laser forming and plasma forming, has been provided. The potential RP processes for different types of parts have been identified. An economic evaluation of RP processes for sheet metal parts presented in the last part of the dissertation includes the development of models of the ISF processes and a cost estimating program. Cost comparisons between some RP processes and some conventional processes for different types of parts have been investigated. Suitable and cost effective processes for different types of sheet metal part have been recommended. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Industrial

Recommended Citation

On-Uma Lasunon, "Capabilities and economical evaluation of rapid prototyping processes for sheet metal parts" (2006). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3248234.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3248234

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